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Guest Post: A Day of Golf with the Great Darius Rucker

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By Samantha Swinehart and Katie Rose Higgins
(Edited by Wes Todd, Asst. Media Relations Director)

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The South Carolina women's golf team was afforded the opportunity to play a round of golf with Darius Rucker, lead singer for "Hootie and the Blowfish" and one of the world's biggest and most visible Gamecock fans. Director of Golf Puggy Blackmon and head coach Kalen Anderson presented Rucker with a personalized South Carolina golf bag and named him an "honorary coach," which delighted the Charleston native. In this blog, freshmen Samantha Swinehart and Katie Rose Higgins talk about their experience last Friday at Bulls Bay Golf Club in Awendaw, S.C.)


When you first think of the name Darius Rucker, what do you think of? Well, you are probably thinking of an exceptionally talented musician, the lead singer for "Hootie and the Blowfish" and also as an outstanding new country artist. Well, now when I think of the name Darius Rucker, I think of a kind, outstanding, down to earth person who is a joy to be around. This is due to the opportunity the South Carolina women's golf team was given to play with Darius at Bulls Bay on our fall break (Oct. 15).

We (Sam and Katie Rose) anticipated the day so much, we posted a written countdown of days until playing with Darius on the front door of our dorm. The countdown started with five days and eventually went down until only a 1 was posted on our front door. This was when the excitement really began and the reality of playing golf with Darius Rucker finally set in.  Finally, Thursday arrived and we headed down to Bulls Bay as our excitement and anticipation continued to grow. Rickey Sullivan, the teaching instructor from Bulls Bay, set up the date and graciously hosted dinner for the team on Thursday night before we spent the night in the cottages at Bulls Bay.

On Friday morning, we had breakfast at the clubhouse and then proceeded down the long cart path to The Ranch where Darius awaited. He was so cordial and immediately introduced himself to each one of us. Then he began to joke around with us and talk with us as if he is just a normal guy. We were so impressed with how personable Darius was. He had flown in late the night before and had to fly out right after he played with us. Yet he acted like he was so happy to play with us and made it a very enjoyable and memorable round.

He reminisced on his times as a student at South Carolina, and talked about how great it is to be a Gamecock. Throughout the round he got to know each of the players. Sam (Swinehart) and Darius became friends quickly after finding they had the same laugh. Darius immediately nicknamed Amanda (Strang) "Controlled Fury" after feeling a wind gust after she swung the golf club. He switched threesomes after the turn, and posed for pictures with the team. After the round, we headed to the clubhouse, where Katie Burnett was honored with a cake and a Happy Birthday song from Darius. It truly was a treat and an experience we will cherish. Even with numerous No. 1 hits and sold-out shows, Darius stays down to earth and an avid supporter of the South Carolina Gamecocks.

260.JPGThe South Carolina women's golf team poses with Darius Rucker after completing a round of golf at Bulls Bay Golf Club in Awendaw, S.C., on Friday, Oct. 15. L-R: Katie Rose Higgins, Samantha Swinehart, Meredith Swanson, Rucker, Suzie Lee, Amanda Strang, Katie Burnett, Head Coach Kalen Anderson, Bulls Bay Director of Instruction Rickey Sullivan.

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