Before every Stewart Cink shot, he talks to his most trusted adviser: his caddy and son Reagan.
“It’s a great place for us to bring kids, we’ve always enjoyed it, and now that our kids are old and grown up, we have not stopped bringing them,” Cink said.
Reagan has been coming to Hilton Head for the RBC Heritage since he was smaller than the big that now rests on his shoulder.
“His favorite memory from childhood is probably hanging out in the big sandy playground there under the tree just about a couple hundred yards away from here right beside the yacht basin,” Cink said while standing next to the 18th green.
Cink is hardly alone; most pros have their biggest fans – the kids – tag along at Hilton Head.
“The week after The Masters, last week, is so stressful,” said pro Shane Lowry. “You’re coming here and everybody’s got their families here. It just feels like a semi-holiday and you just go and play a bit of golf as well.”
When the kids are too young to watch dad on the golf course, there’s an army of longtime child care volunteers to lighten the load.
“Its been fun to watch them grow up and I have grown up with some of these kids myself,” said Atarah Fish, the co-chair of the RBC Heritage’s child care volunteer team.
Kids aged 12 and below can be enrolled in the daycare program. Their schedule during the week is kept secret, for obvious reasons.
However, if past years are any indication, the kids are in for a good time.
“We’re outside playing group team-building games,” said Nancy Fowler-Fish, the committee’s chairwoman. “We’ll bring people in for a magic show or a special art class with a local artist. We’ll do a variety of things like that.”
While the kids get a weel full of fun, the dads get peace of mind on the course.
“Their kids have no idea sometimes – especially the young ones – what dad does,” Fish said. “Seeing them in the nursery, them just coming out and coming in and saying hi, I think people forget that aspect of it, that they’re just regular dads to these kids.”