Doug Weaver

At the sprawling Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, tucked inside the golf course clubhouse, resides the spiritual head of Hilton Head, Doug Weaver. The 54-year-old former PGA pro, now golf instructor at the resort, has called this barrier island in the South home for more than 30 years.

Upon graduating from Furman University in Greenville, S.C., the young standout golfer grappled with the prospect of going pro. The problem? His new home was too much fun. “I didn’t go pro because I was loving my life in Hilton Head so much,” he says. “I was fishing, crabbing, golfing, playing tennis—enjoying all the amenities, year-round.”

But after some prodding from his now-wife Trish, Weaver did give the PGA tour a try. His career highlight came at the 1989 U.S. Open at the Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y. when he made history by being the first of four golfers to hit an ace on the same hole.

Never able to advance beyond the two U.S. Opens he appeared in, Weaver settled back in Hilton Head and found a new calling. As Palmetto Dunes’ director of golf instruction, he draws on his successes and failures daily.

“I see in my clients the same struggles that I had and still do,” he says. “I try to really connect with them, ask them why they’re fearful or doubtful, and build them up in a sincere way.”

Through his lessons, Weaver teaches students not just how to play golf—the mechanics and etiquette—but how to enjoy golf, reminding his clients that the game can serve as a gateway to a better understanding of one’s place in the world.

“My clients come with the understanding that they’re going to leave my golf experience as better employees, better citizens, better husbands and wives—better people,” he claims.

You could call the transformation becoming “Weaver-ized.”

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