When I grow up, I want to be a … college golfer.
Seriously, there might not be anything better in the world. Sure, there’s the time-management conundrum of juggling school work with keeping your game sharp. But seriously … at the Division I level, you spend nine months playing golf tournaments at some of the coolest locales in the world (Hawaii, Cabo, Puerto Rico, Monterey Peninsula) and get to have some of the coolest experiences you might ever have in your entire life.
Case in point: this weekend’s Darius Rucker Intercollegiate. The six-year-old women’s tournament is hosted by the University of South Carolina and held in Hilton Head Island. The field for the 54-hole event that ends on Sunday is first-class—four of the top-10 teams in the latest Golfstat ranking, and seven of top 15, are competing in the 17-team field. The event is played at Long Cove Club, ranking Golf Digest America’s Second 100 Greatest listing. Oh, and the host is Darius Rucker, the current country performer and former lead singer for Hootie and the Blowfish.
Rucker not just some honorary figurehead with his name on the tournament marquee. Each year he performs a concert for the teams in the competition. Here's a picture from last night's event.
Rucker, an avid golfer and South Carolina alum, was originally approached about getting involved with a college tournament by former USC men’s coach Puggy Blackmon. Rucker bought in, and quickly the event became marquee tournament on the spring calendar.
“Hilton Head to start with makes it a great event,” Rucker says. “The weather is so great, and the course is just amazing. The guys that run it for us make it so fun. The course is fun, and we try and make the atmosphere as good as we can.”
The school provides a cool, interactive presentation about the event.
Oh, and the trophy that the teams are playing for seems only apropos.