I’m not sure what has happened to me, but I’ve gotten bogged down with this blog.  I’m having some trouble determining just why, especially because I think about writing here at some point every day.  But I don’t.  Even though I can’t say that I’m gifted in “written expression”, it’s in my blood.  When I’m unable to do it for a few days, I get antsy – longing a block of uninterrupted time to immerse myself into putting my thoughts and feelings into sentences and paragraphs.

I have another blog besides this – a more personal one on Live Journal, which is locked to “friends only” which allows me to write about things which might not be appropriate to be public on the internet.  However, even that one has suffered over these several weeks.

With that being said – I’m playing catch up in this entry.

Since I last wrote, I’ve had two sets of house guests, and outings with friends which have given me great opportunity for photography.  Also, Ray and I went to the Verizon Heritage Golf Tournament at Harbourtown Golf Links, and I have photos from the pre-tournament days of Harbourtown, itself as well as some of the tournament, itself  (One cannot take photos during tournament play)

Where to begin?

Maybe that’s why I’m not updating?  Overwhelm.  If I don’t know how to start, I run, thinking at some future time I’ll know.  Sometimes you just have to begin….

The Verizon Heritage Golf Tournament

the Verizon Heritage Golf Tournament is played each year in mid-April Harbourtown Golf Links up in Sea Pines on Hilton head Island.  This year it was from April 12 – 18.  It’s been a long standing tournament, begun in 1969, and won in it’s first year by Arnold Palmer.  At first, it was played in late November, but later was changed to this time slot, as this is more the golf season.

The first part of the tournament is devoted to practice rounds, and two Pro-am tournaments, a lesser one on Monday and a more “important” (read: more expensive to play) one on Wednesday.  Tuesday is Youth Day and more practice play, as well.  The atmosphere is more casual from Monday – Wednesday, and cameras are allowed on the course then — and I didn’t miss that opportunity.

Ray and I tend to only go up for afternoon play, so, in general, we would leave the house at about 11 a.m. or noon to arrive at the course about noon or 1 p.m.  Because parking at the golf course site would be too unwieldy for that many spectators, they have about 5 large parking areas in another area designated for parking, and large Greyhound size buses take you to the Harbourtown shopping area where it’s an easy walk to the golf course.

As we walked to the course, I always took photos of Harbourtown, the lighthouse, the  marina, etc….

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1.  The shopping area of Harbourtown, all decked out for spring with Geraniums, etc.  The lighthouse and a little of the marina is also visible in this photo
2.  The Liberty Oak — benches to sit when there are concerts.  As we were leaving on several days, we’d see bands setting up to play there.  Ray’s parents used to live up in the Harbourtown area when and when we’d visit, we’d occasionally go up for a concert that would be under the Liberty Oak.
3.  The Harbourtown Lighthouse.  This lighthouse is sort of a disappointment to me.  I’m not even sure it’s a working lighthouse, but only built for “show”.  Again — not sure about this, but Ray and I have nicknamed it “The Tin Lighthouse” because it seems so “cheap” in comparison to the Montauk Point Lighthouse near us on Long Island

Got Yachts?

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1.  This is one of the two huge yachts that we’d see daily along the way.  As I was passing this yacht and taking a picture of it, this man stopped me to point out the name of it:  “Pa-li-ne”.  If you click on this picture to see it larger in Flickr, you will see the name more clearly.  His humorous suggestion was to remove the E off the end – and guess whose yacht it would belong to then?  *shaking head*
2.  Another huge yacht docked right beside the Liberty Oak.  As far as yachts go, many turn into party boats late in the afternoon on tournament days – and all can view the festivities as you walk by!

The walk to – and from – the course was always pretty.  I know I annoyed Ray with my constant stopping to snap pictures.  But – oh well *g*

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1.  One walks by the yachts, and then turns left where there is winding path which leads towards the clubhouse of the golf course.  If you look back – you can see the lighthouse centered straight ahead
2.  The Harbourtown Golf Links club house.  Walk by this and you have entered the tournament area.  It’s where the 1st and the 10th hole teeing areas are located.  (There is another way to go if you want to go to the 18th green, and we’d sometimes walk back to Harbourtown that way)
3.  Huge concession booth for selling merchandise.  Kind of a bust this year.  Bought almost nothing.

Ray and I would then walk up to the 8th hole by walking up the 9th hole from green to tee, then across the street (Plantation Drive) to the 8th green, and we’d sit on that hole for a while – maybe have something to eat there at the Rotary Concession booth.  After sitting a while, we’d move onto the 15th hole, which has become our favorite spot to hang out.  Ray and I purchase what they call “clubhouse” passes to the tournament, which allows one to sit in a special set of awning covered bleachers on the 15th hole.  Once it opened up on Thursday, this is where we spent most of our time.  They sold drinks and food right there, and I got to be in the shade for the most part.  They had the best Bloody Marys there….  *g*

The food at the tournament was — all the same – even in the clubhouse bleachers.  And, because of Homeland security and worries about terrorism, one is not allowed to bring any food or drink up to the tournament, nor carry anything larger than a fanny pack.  They have the same concession which all the food booths must purchase their food from, so there is no variety.  Mainly I’d get a pulled pork sandwich which was kind of good, but by the end of the week, I’m sick of them!

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1.  The Rotary Concession booth
2.  View of Plantation Drive — where one walks to get from a number of holes which abut this road.
3.  The azaleas were in bloom!

Then there were the photos taken as we cruised around the course:

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1.  The Leader Board – – this shows the Pro-am standings on Wednesday.

2.  Each time a golfer gets ready to putt, there are volunteers who hold up these “Quiet Please” signs for the gallery to remind them to shut up!  *g*

3.  View of the 15th hole with a group of golfers coming toward the green.

Then there were the golfers. I didn’t take too many pictures of them, as I kind it’s a bit distracting to them — even on days when cameras are allowed. However, I couldn’t help taking a picture of John Daly. Oh my — he sure knows how to pick eye scorching neon bright golf clothes….. And — he was no more subdued on subsequent days.

I did a bit of research after we got home and found out that he has a line of clothing for sale:  http://www.loudmouthgolf.com/top.html You, too can purchase clothes like John Daly wears!  🙂  It’s ironic, but I liked them on him.  They suit his personality perfectly!  However, I wouldn’t have the nerve to wear anything like that myself.  John Daly is a maverick golfer – and is so much fun to watch!  During tournament play, instead of going around the trees on the 15th hole, he shot over them – and birdied the hole!  However, this trait of taking chances also can have the other consequence, so he runs either hot or cold on the golf course.  He didn’t make the cut, so we only got to watch him Thursday and Friday.

Actually, I noticed that there were several golfers who got off on wild outfits. On Sunday a golfer named, Ricky Fowler was decked out in solid BRIGHT orange from his hat to his shoes, and even to his belt. Oh my. You could see him coming a mile away!

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1.  John Daly on the green of 15 (during Pro-Am)
2.  John Daly with his caddie on the green of 15
3.  John Daly on the 16th tee.

Then I’ll end with a few more random photos….

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1. This is a rather unique private residence right on one of the holes on the golf course. I can’t remember which one – but there was an ice cream vendor there, so Ray and I stopped to have some and I shot this photo then.
2. The Caveman’s Cave — (Geico’s advertisement booth)
3. Some hibiscus and azaleas in front of some condos
4. some leafy plant — so pretty — but I don’t know what it is.

Oh — I forgot to mention who won. Ray and I didn’t stay up for the bitter end, and chose to go home and watch that part on TV. It’s just easier to see that way rather than through a maze of spectators. It was an amazingly close tournament, and even I got into it. Jim Furyk ultimately was the winner — but it nearly went into a sudden death playoff. Brian Davis, however, got into some trouble on the 18th – and ended up calling a penalty on himself. Golf is a game of honor — and players rule themselves for the most part. He realized he’d touched something with his club (I’m a little sketchy as to exactly what happened) in a hazard area which he shouldn’t have touched, and called a rules official over for a ruling. After discussion (and they may have looked at the videotape of it) he was penalized 2 strokes, sealing the tournament for Jim. With “integrity” seemingly in short supply in our society, this was refreshing to see. And, in my opinion, Jim won the tournament fair and square, but Brian Davis is a winner in my book!

Also — the main sponsor of this tournament, Verizon, is backing out after this year. The Heritage Foundation has not found another one. I read that they can run the tournament one more year without a major sponsor, but if they don’t get one, it has the potential to die. This economy may make it more difficult to fine one, but – – Let’s hope. I didn’t realize how much the economy of this area depends upon this tournament.