Golf is one of those games where fans are generally expected to be quiet. Sure, you hear the applause from the gallery when a player makes a great shot. You hear the chorus of “Ooooohhhh!” when the ball seems to be on target and then rolls off the green and into the bunker.
Still -- and again, generally speaking -- golf is a spectator sport unlike football, basketball, soccer and, certainly, ice hockey. Even the players are rather quiet, save for the occasional muttering under the voice heard among the pros. OK, there was that time at the Masters I recall hearing Tiger Woods do far more than mutter. He was a bit too vocal with his dropping of some rather foul language when things were not going his way. It was downright embarrassing as young fans were nearby and their eyes suddenly popped when they heard him drop the F-bomb.
Were I on the course, however, things would be anything but quiet. Just let me get up to that first tee and I about guarantee you the fans would, from that hole forward, be standing behind me like so many people on an outdoor firing range. They wouldn’t dare stand down along the fairway to watch for fear the ball would careen right off their heads. And so there would no doubt be a lot of yelling, at first from me as I attempt to warn people of impending doom. Then it would be from the gallery as they beg people to get this so-and-so off the course. Save the women and children!
NO WORRIES, THOUGH. Everyone will be safe this week whenever I might step foot on the beautiful course at the Links at Stoney Point. Especially the women. And there will lots of them. In fact, there will be 144 of them to start things off on Thursday, and that’s just the golfers. I’ll just be watching like many others from the gallery, awestruck by how these young ladies can swing a club and send a golf ball like a cannonball fired from Fort Sumter.
I never took up the game, much to my wife’s happiness. Of course, as we age and she realizes one day I might retire at an earlier age than Strom Thurmond did, she might rather I take up the game and get the heck out of the house. I’ve tried putt-putt a few times in my life, which is why I know how the gallery would react if I were on a real golf course in a real tournament. Did you know you can actually hide inside that windmill on the course in Myrtle Beach? That’s helpful, especially if your swing is a bit uncontrolled and your ball takes some guy’s gal off the back of a Harley during Biker Week. Keep that in mind.
So Whiting, where are you going with all of this, you ask. Well, not to Myrtle Beach. I already told you. I’ll be going to the Links at Stoney Point to enjoy watching the premier Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women’s Health Classic. And I think you should as well. Jim and Denise Medford have worked hard, right along with a number of other faithfuls, to bring this event here with the promise of nine more years afterward.



IT’S NOT THE MASTERS, you say? True. It is not. But this Symetra tournament is exciting, it’s professional and it’s being produced as though it is every bit as spectacular as Augusta’s claim to fame. And you know what? It has every bit the potential to become Greenwood’s claim to fame in the world of golf too. Oh, and if you’ve been missing pristine courses, azaleas and such, that’s another reason to attend. Much has been sunk into making the golf course a site to behold, and it’s right there by the lake too. Craving one of those piminto cheese or egg salad sandwiches like they serve in Augusta? The Medfords have something in store for you in the eats department as well. Treat mom to a fine Mother’s Day brunch and enjoy the final round Sunday. There’s all sorts of great food lined up. You won’t want to miss it.
See you on the Links. And don’t worry, I won’t have a club in my hand. You’ll be safe.

Whiting is executive editor of the Index-Journal. Contact him at 864-943-2522; email rwhiting@indexjournal.com, or follow him on Twitter at IJEDITOR. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.