By Colin McCandless for Island Eye News
The Three Island Challenge, an annual golf event starting in October and continuing through early November, will pit three teams from Wild Dunes, Seabrook Island and Kiawah Island against each other in a game called “Nines.”
Lasting over the course of three matches, the first round of 18 holes will tee off at 9 a.m. at Seabrook’s Ocean Winds Course on Oct. 10. The subsequent two rounds are played at the Links Course Wild Dunes on Oct. 23, wrapping up with Turtle Point at Kiawah on Nov. 7.
Originating in 1991, the Three Island Challenge was started to create a spirit of camaraderie and friendly competition among the three islands.
The object of Nines, also called 5-3- 1, is to play off of handicaps, basing scoring around the largest handicap in a threesome, according to Mike Gollobin, president of the Men’s Golf Association at Wild Dunes, who helps coordinate the Wild Dunes team.
Each team supplies 18 players, (golfers of all different handicaps) which are broken up into threesomes. The idea is to closely match players based on their handicaps, explained Gollobin.
As the game’s name implies, there are nine points available on each hole. You want to win each hole or ‘game’ and earn five points. Second place receives three points and third place gets just one point. If everyone ties a hole, then each player scores three points.
Ninety points is the most you can score in a match and 18 is the lowest point total you can accrue.
If you manage to score in the upper 50s and 60s during a round those are considered good scores and the 70s is excellent, albeit rarer, said Gollobin.
Once all three rounds of the Three Island Challenge have been played and the cumulative points from each match are totaled, a champion is crowned.
The winning team earns bragging rights and gets awarded a trophy that they keep for a year at their respective pro shop until the next Three Island Challenge. Team Wild Dunes emerged victorious in 2017 and they are excited to be sporting new golf shirts this year as they look to defend their title and maintain the trophy at The Links Course one more year.
“It’s competitive, but friendly,” said Gollobin of the event. “It’s really well done.”
You must be a golf member at Wild Dunes and a member of the Men’s Golf Association to play in this event for Team Wild Dunes.
It costs $60 per person to participate in the Three Island Challenge. Each team from Wild Dunes, Kiawah and Seabrook has a team captain responsible for assembling their squad and collecting money.