Advertisement

Women’s professional golf returns to HHI after a 36-year hiatus

After 36 years, women’s professional golf was back on Hilton Head Island Friday as 17 LPGA Legends teed off at Moss Creek’s “Devil’s Elbow” South Course.
Kathy Johnston-Forbes on the 16th hole at  Moss Creek Golf Club's South Course. Forbes won the...
Kathy Johnston-Forbes on the 16th hole at Moss Creek Golf Club's South Course. Forbes won the Legends Tour at Moss Creek.(WTOC-TV)
Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 11:05 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HILTON HEAD, S.C. (WTOC) -After 36 years, women’s professional golf was back on Hilton Head Island Friday as 17 LPGA Legends teed off at Moss Creek’s “Devil’s Elbow” South Course.

With no tournaments and no fans for a year-and-a-half due to the Legends Tour being cancelled because of the pandemic, even a small crowd was a welcome sight and sound at Moss Creek Golf Course.

“It’s been about a year-and-a-half since we’ve hit shots in front of anybody, so I was nervous on the first tee, and, you know, I wasn’t as nervous coming in to 18 as I thought, but probably because I was hitting it well, but yeah, it’s fun. It’s exciting,” said Kathy Johnston-Forbes, who won the round.

The women were playing a friendly for a purse of just over $24,000, but mostly to tune up before the U.S. Senior Women’s Open on July 29.

Hall of Famer Rosie Jones knew the perfect spot: her home course.

“We had all these people from Moss Creek and the surrounding area to come out and watch us play,” said Jones, a LPGA Legend and Moss Creek resident. “Our players were so excited to be here, and to get some competition in, it’s just amazing.”

Moss Creek was an official stop on the LPGA Tour from 1976 to 1985.

With multiple PGA Tour events coming to South Carolina this year, they hope to see a resurgence of women’s golf in the area too.

“I think it’s inevitable that we have more women’s events with what’s happening in the world today, and then you have the fastest growing port in the world, you know, why not have a women’s event and showcase the southeast,” said Hollis Stacy, a LPGA Legend and Savannah native. “I’m so excited to be a part of women’s golf- especially now.”

For Stacy, it was milestone for multiple reasons.

“I think I shot 80 today, which wasn’t too bad. It’s the first time I’ve played in almost two years. I had shoulder surgery, so I played with new clubs and a new shoulder, so I’m pleased with the outcome,” she added.

The pros also donated $1,000 of their winnings to Folds of Honor, which helps provide scholarships to spouses and children of fallen and disabled service members.

Organizers announced after the round that they’ve secured sponsors to play again next year, and hope to make it an annual event.

Copyright 2021 WTOC. All rights reserved.