Thursday, May 31, 2018

2018 Mazda 3 and Memorial Day at Seabrook Island

Mazda 3 and patriotic American flag display
on Memorial Day weekend at Seabrook Island
Nice control center in between seats
Spending the Memorial Day Holiday shuttling back and forth to the beach is a tradition in the Lowcountry. The arrival of Tropical Storm Alberto kept some in suspense as to when the deluge of rain would washout any of that cherished cookout time. The blowing wind and rain hit hard on Sunday afternoon, but thankfully the first half of the holiday was sunny and pleasant. Patriotic displays with American flags keeps everyone mindful of the sacrifices that inspire the holiday, while we celebrate the freedom to gather together and to enjoy our favorite past times.

Test driving a sleek car like the 2018 Mazda 3 GT over the holiday weekend allowed me to pursue the freedom of driving since this hatchback zips and hugs the roads that lead to the beach. The Mazda 3 does sit low, but getting in and out of the car doesn’t seem to be an issue, and when seated I have a clear view out of all windows. The 2.5-Liter 4-cylinder engine provides the speed while the G-vectoring steering system gives the driver lots of feel when turning the wheel. This car has lots of innovative safety features like the pop-up display on top of the dash that allows the driver to view what speed limit zone they are in along with their current speed.
Hatchback holding beach chairs

I didn’t need to make use of the heated seats over Memorial Day, but for the first day or two I was glad to open the moon roof and let the salt air flow through. Power windows and a satellite radio cam be a wonderful combination for those who like to listen to beach music. The hatchback swallowed up my gear including two beach chairs, two sun umbrellas, a wind-stopper tent and a metal detector. The back seat was roomy enough to handle a soft-sided cooler and a couple of beach bags with more room to spare when making a quick stop at the grocery store.

To view the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian

Sunday, May 27, 2018

2018 BMW Pro-Am Revs Up Tour

Shep Rose on the 12th hole at Thornblade
The Tour formed in 1990 as the developmental league for the PGA Tour. The system is working well with the PGA tournament in Texas this week marking the 500th win for former Tour players. Greenville hosts the only Tour event to pair celebrity golfers with their players and they just agreed to an extension of five more years, including expanded television coverage. Michael Arnaud won the BMW Pro-Am on Sunday May 20 by five shots, the first ever Tour win for the 36-year old looking for a victory to turbocharge his quest for the PGA Tour.
A rainy weather pattern over South Carolina couldn’t dampen the 2018 BMW Pro-Am presented by the Synnex Corporation. The Tour officials played it safe and moved up the daily tee times in order to stay ahead of afternoon showers. Despite a couple of rain delays mid-day on Friday at the Cliffs Valley Course and the Furman University course, the weather was surprisingly clear and pleasant. Pro golfers really like to aim for the flags when the greens are receptive after rain, and this weekend was no exception.

Pro John Mallinger helps Green Bay Packers QB
Aaron Rodgers read a putt
Another 5 years ahead for the BMW Pro-AM
Three golf courses are used in rotation at the BMW Pro-Am with the Thornblade Club hosting the final round of play on Sunday for pros only to decide who takes home the first place pay day of $126,000. Michael Arnaud played at Thornblade on Friday and posted a score of 60 tying their course record, and when he returned to play Thornblade on Sunday he backed that up with a score of 63, which is 8-under par. Arnaud already has a nickname on tour as The BMW, since they claim he is the Ultimate Driving Machine, and now he has the custom BMW steering wheel trophy to prove it.

To view the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries about golf click on S.C. Golf AssociationForest Hills - Augusta National - Barnsley Resort 

To view past blog entries about the RBC Heritage click 20182017 - 2016 20152014 - 2013

To view past blog entries about the PGA Championship click on 2017 - 2012

To view past blog entries from the BMW Charity click on 2016 - 2015 - 2014
To view past blog entries from the Champions Tour click on 2014 2013
To view past blog entries from The Masters click on 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2009

Thursday, May 17, 2018

2018 Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begins

Image courtesy Edisto Chamber of Commerce
Loggerhead sea turtles return to the beaches of the South Atlantic coast each year in late spring to begin nesting. The annual Lights Out campaign runs from May 1 – October 31 in order to encompass all of nesting season which can extend into August, and the roughly 60 days it takes for eggs to hatch. Each barrier island has a team of volunteers ready to walk the beach each morning in search of turtle tracks and to document when and where a sea turtle makes her nest. The first loggerhead nest in South Carolina this year came on May 8, right in the Lowcountry on Dafuskie Island near Hilton Head.
It’s worth noting that the first S.C. loggerhead nest of 2018 is confirmed in the South Lowcountry, because most years the first nest is in the northern range along Cape Romaine National Wildlife Refuge. The second loggerhead sea turtle nest came the next day on May 9 on Kiawah Island. Cooler than normal water temperatures due to the prolonged spring may have delayed nesting season for a few days, but now that the weather has become more tropical it is time for increased nesting behavior. 

Witnessing a large 300-pound loggerhead sea turtle at night on the beach is an experience that triggers an emotional response for some. Their ancient cycle of life continues to succeed using only a ribbon of beach for nesting, and then spending the remainder of their life in the open ocean. As technology evolves, scientists are using DNA extracted from eggshells to track generations of female loggerheads that return to specific beaches over time. When the sea turtle hatchlings emerge from the nest, they are ingrained on that particular beach, giving them a place they can call home if and when they return to nest as a mature sea turtle in the future.

To view the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.