Since 2012, the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate women’s golf tournament has been played in Hilton Head at the beautiful Long Cove Golf Course. The event returns this year Feb. 27-March 1, and spectators are welcome at no charge.
Darius Rucker is a country music artist and is perhaps best known as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of Hootie and the Blowfish. The band was formed in the late 1980s, when Rucker was a student at the University of South Carolina. Before “Hootie” became a household name and won two Grammys, the band played small venues in the state, included a favorite bar on Hilton Head Island known as the Old Post Office, formerly on Pope Avenue.
Rucker is also an avid golf fan. Several years ago, he was approached by the coach of the University of South Carolina’s golf team to see if he would help sponsor the collegiate tournament.
“Long Cove is one of the best courses, if not the best, on Hilton Head,” Rucker said. “They do an amazing job with the ladies tournament and we are blessed to be able to host at this course.”
The Darius Rucker Intercollegiate provides the unique combination of golf and music. Rucker looks forward to the event every year when he gets the chance to perform in concert for the student golfers, families, sponsors and Long Cove members in a small intimate setting.
Long Cove is a 1981 Pete Dye design. It is rated No. 4 in Best Private Courses in South Carolina by Golfweek magazine. Long Cove is set within a breathtaking Lowcountry backdrop featuring century-old live oaks and awesome water views.
Long Cove is always a challenge for the ladies. During the tournament the weather is often cold, windy and sometimes rainy. The course requires discipline and patience by the golfers.
This year’s field includes 18 teams from all over the United States – from Oregon to Texas to Kentucky and other universities.
The 2022 championship team, Wake Forest, is competing to defend last year’s win. They are the highest ranked team at No. 2.
Host team South Carolina, ranked No. 4, will be looking to win the tournament for the first time. There are eight teams competing from the Southeast Conference.
Previous winners of this tournament Stephanie Meadows (Alabama), Leona Maguire (Duke), Cheyenne Knight (Alabama), and Maria Fassi (Arkansas) now play on the LPGA Tour.
The Golf Channel will be televising the tournament, and you can watch coverage Monday through Wednesday from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.
The tournament is open to spectators at no charge, starting at 9:40 a.m. each day. Tee times each day start off No. 1 and No. 10 tees.
Spectators may enjoy food and beverage items at the snack bar located between the No. 9 green and No. 1 tee box.
Following play on Wednesday, at approximately 5:30 p.m., the awards ceremony will be held at the clubhouse.
Parking is free at Central Church, directly across William Hilton Parkway from Long Cove. Parking attendants will be on hand to assist. A shuttle will be available to take patrons back and forth to the course.
This is a great opportunity for anyone to come and watch some of the best golf played in South Carolina.
For more information, including start times and parking guidelines, visit longcoveclub.com/darius-rucker-intercollegiate.
Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at local golf courses. firstname.lastname@example.org; golfdoctorjean.com