Celebrities gear up to tee off in Hilton Head tourney

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) - For 31 years, pro athletes, actors, musicians are among the variety of celebrities who descend on Hilton Head Island for the celebrity golf tournament.

Since it first hit the links in 1978, the tournament has raised nearly $4 million for local children's charities.

"It's funny, most of us are entertainers, former athletes, we have a pretty charmed life and when you see some of these kids and the things they have to go through, to come out here and lend your time and play some golf, is the least I can do. To see how these kids are helped is amazing," said Mark Malone, NFL Color Analyst, Pittsburgh Steelers.

"I was one of those kids before. No one ever thought I would be playing in Super Bowls or acting now, and I just came from a small town in New Jersey. I really didn't have anyone to mentor me, but I know how important it is. If I can be a part of the process to help these children so be it," said Dwight Hicks, of the San Francisco 49ers NFL Super Bowl Championship Team.

This year, the tournament unveiled a special symbol of appreciation for Greenwood Developments and its dedication to keeping the tournament at the top of the leader board.

"Greenwood has been with us all 31 years. Trying to have the staying power to get a sponsor to stay with you 31 years is unbelievable we never had to go through anything of really searching for title sponsors and we have been fortunate," said Paul Smith, tournament chairman.

During the three-day tournament amateurs will be hitting the links alongside celebrities.

"The sun is shining on another beautiful day get out and play and what a day we have to play today," said Paul Smith.

Copyright 2011 WTOC. All rights reserved.