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Governor McMaster visits Berkeley Hall clubhouse

  • Dan Hunt/Beaufort Today Governor Henry McMaster speaks to the clubhouse at North Berkeley.

Adding to what was an already intriguing final round at the Players Amateur, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster made an appearance at the Berkeley Hall clubhouse on Sunday evening.

The 70-year old Republican gave what seemed to be a mostly impromptu speech for club members, patrons, volunteers and the media.

McMaster touched on a number of topics, stopping for an extended time to focus on South Carolina’s growing manufacturing field. He referenced Boeing and BMW Spartanburg as two of the state’s most lucrative businesses.

He spoke briefly about stopping the spread of drugs and violence and transitioned into tourism and the state’s natural beauty.

But once he sat down with the local media, the 117th Governor of South Carolina talked about what he was there for in the first place: Golf.

“We’re always looking for these types of contests and this type of interest to encourage people to come to South Carolina,” McMaster said. “But there’s not another place in the world that can top [the state] for golf. And this tournament which is unique, and the Heritage which is unique and of course just across the stream is the Masters which is unique. This is golf territory.”

McMaster said he knows that ‘they say business is often conducted on the golf course,’ but the politician hasn’t been on the links himself in years.

“I never was very good at it. I grew up across the street from a golf course in Columbia and we played a good bit. My daddy played his whole life but I never quite got the knack of it. But I used to enjoy it very much. I think I may polish up my clubs and get back out there. And get some new clubs. The new ones look nothing like the ones I used,” he said.

Several of the tournament’s young athletes had a chance to speak with the Governor, among them, Bryson Nimmer, the Bluffton native who finished runner-up.

“He’s really a great story and it will be fascinating to watch how things turn for him,” McMaster said of Nimmer. “It’ll be a great thing to watch out for. All these young people grow up, you know?”

South Carolina, as a state, now boasts a 2017 football national championship, three baseball national championships in the past eight years and a 2017 women’s basketball championship; and Dustin Johnson, the world’s No. 1 golfer is a Columbia native.

McMaster explained how that recent athletic success has helped the local economy.

“These big companies that could go anywhere in the world – they’re coming here because they like what they see in South Carolina people,” he said. “And having won the national football championship and national baseball championship and basketball championship just recently just shows more as an insight to the competitive spirit of the people of South Carolina and the capacity of talent in the state.

“Some of these companies ask about these championships. It reflects something about the people here and [the companies] like it. Those of us who have been here a while have known it all along. It’s good to see the impact that it’s having on the prosperity of our state. We’ve got great people and a natural environment that’s straight out of heaven. It just does not get any better.”