Despite having played golf all over the world, Rucker still says it’s hard to beat South Carolina for golf options. “One thing I love about our state (is) we have a lot of great golf courses,” he says with a laugh. “And I try to play them all.”
Golf was a common bond between the members of Hootie and the Blowfish. “We all started playing as kids, and when we got to know each other in college and formed the band, we played together,” Rucker says. “I like being outside — I’ve never seen an ugly golf course — and it’s such a challenging game; no two rounds alike. I like that a lot.”
Hootie and the Blowfish even did a music video with SC golf “godfather” Jay Haas, Masters champion Fred Couples, Miami Dolphins Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino and other athletes. They also helped establish an annual fundraiser, the Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After the Masters Pro-Am, which raises money for the SC Junior Golf Foundation and associated causes.
Rucker is now a Charleston resident, and he and his Hootie and the Blowfish bandmates, Mark Bryan and Dean Felber, are founding members of Bulls Bay Golf Club in Awendaw (near Mount Pleasant). Although the Mike Strantz-designed course is his favorite, Rucker says he squeezes in a round of golf whenever and wherever his schedule allows.
When asked where in South Carolina he most likes to play golf, Rucker responds, “Bulls Bay is my favorite; I like the pace of play and it’s a beautiful course — fair but hard — which is what I ask of any course. Plus, it’s my course and anyone likes their course. I love it out here.
“Harbour Town is great, and I also love Dunes West and Chanticleer. There are so many great courses in Myrtle Beach. The Dye Club at Barefoot Landing is an amazing golf course; I love it. Patriots Point is one of the most beautiful courses [in Charleston]; the views on No. 17 are just amazing.
“And I still play LinRick when I’m in Columbia. I have a love for that course because that’s where we played all the time in college. I like to go there and remember those days.”