Written By;

Carl Sengstock

Pro-Ams are always amazing to me. You have 4 people willing to pony up $3500-$5000 dollars each to play 18 holes with a PGA touring pro.

I know some of you will say that a lot of companies pay the entry fees, but believe me I spoke with several players who pay up all by themselves to have a chance to experience this.

This was a wonderful day for a number of reasons. Being able to follow a United States Senator for 18 holes and ask him anything you wanted to…….WOW.

That was South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham. He was a piece of work. Shook hands with everybody, talked, took photos with everyone, and signed a ton of a autographs.

I lived in Ohio for 49 years and never met either of our US Senators ever. That is one of the reasons that this golf tournament is so special.

This golf tournament is 49 years old this year and today we had the absolute honor to meet and talk to the only person who has played in all 49 events here.

Dr. Nelson Carswell. Dr. Carswell is from Dublin Georgia and is 89 years old!

He used to fly his own plane to the island for the Pro-Am until he gave up his pilot’s license.

He told us that he used to buzz the golf course and people would know to send someone to the Hilton Head airport to pick him up.

He doesn’t recall who he was paired with the first year but he does recall that the pros back then were not excited about playing with a bunch of amateurs.

He told the story about playing with Charley Hoffman a few years back and Charley took the time to hand write him a note a few weeks later and thank him for a wonderful time.

He was looking forward to finding Charley today and tell him he was proud of his Masters tournament this year, especially the 65 Charley shot Thursday.

Dr Carswell remembers playing with Arnold Palmer too.

One of the other highlights of today was spending a little time with last year’s winner Branden Grace. Branden and I spent time together at the Arnold Palmer Invitational so he was all smiles when he saw me today.

He explained that Hilton Head Island and Harbour Town Golf Links are his favorite places to come.

He also explained that he plays a lot more aggressive than most pros on this course. He hits a lot of woods and only has short irons to the greens.

It helps to be accurate with your driver!

He also explained that he has been close in a lot of golf tournaments especially Majors and wants to snag a few more wins here in the states.

He said what so many have already pointed out……..this golf course is better than before!

He feels that some of the trees that were lost might have helped. The new trees that were planted only need a few years to get the course back to what it was.

Branden also feels that the course record, held by David Frost, of 61 could be in jeopardy especially with the perfect weather this week.

He also stressed the facts that he was proud of his 18th place finish last week and how proud he was of his good friend Sergio Garcia!

He is a good guy to repeat!!

I was just informed that the golf channel’s featured groups for Thursday will be Brandt Snedeker, Davis Love III, Jim Furyk & Marc Leishman, Adam Hadwin, Branden Grace.

This is going to be a wonderful golf tournament and I hope everyone watches. If you live in the area come out and experience it yourselves!

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