In late October on Hilton Head Island, glasses were raised and good times toasted as the 2022 Kingdom Cup drew to a close. After three days of great golf at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, visiting with top PGA TOUR pros and other VIPs, and enjoying tremendous hospitality, wine, spirits and entertainment, attendees shared their incredible experiences and looked forward to flying into Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV), the weekend’s official airport partner, for the following year’s installment. Here’s a look back at the 2022 edition of Kingdom’s premier annual event:
Announced near the birthplace of golf, at an event on the grounds of St. Andrews during the 150th Open Championship last summer, the Kingdom Cup was always going to be a special affair. And by the time the first participants began to gather on Hilton Head Island for the inaugural celebration of friends, success and the good that golf can do, there was no doubt: It would be an event to remember. Held October 27-30, 2022 at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head Island, Kingdom Cup was a collaboration between Kingdom Golf, America’s premiere luxury golf-lifestyle media brand, and Hilton Head Island, the country’s golf paradise. Hosted with the Hilton Head Island Visitor & Convention Bureau along with the official event partner, Tallmadge Golf Co., and MC for the weekend, golf correspondent, Alexandra O’Laughlin, it couldn’t have been better.
The 72 attendees at this year’s Kingdom Cup were joined by some very special guests, including Davis Love III. Fresh from captaining the 2022 U.S. Presidents Cup Team to victory, he mingled with guests and shared some special stories from his childhood and from his incredible 21 PGA TOUR victories—five of which came on Hilton Head Island, at the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. Joining him was another RBC Heritage winner, Matt Kuchar, who is a nine-time PGA TOUR champ and an Olympic Bronze Medalist. And rounding out the PGA TOUR pros, newly crowned PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year—and a member of Love’s winning Presidents Cup team—Cameron Young was there. Over two days of tournament play, the pros interacted with different activations on the golf course with Kingdom Cup participants, positioned at holes on which golfers could choose to play their own ball or one hit by the PGA TOUR pro. Needless to say, Love, Kuchar and Young helped to lower a few scores over the two days of the Kingdom Cup tournament, in addition to bringing smiles to everyone’s faces with some great inside-the-ropes anecdotes.
Geno Bonnalie had a few of those as well. Caddie for PGA TOUR pro Joel Dahmen, Bonnalie brought plenty of laughs along with some great insider information, as his Netflix documentary series prepares to launch next year. Influencer and Dewar’s brand ambassador Roger Steele brought more open jaws than laughs, smashing drives on the last hole of Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort’s Arthur Hills course on the first day of play. Again, participants could choose to play their own drive or Roger’s, with the latter usually found many, many yards closer to the hole. It was just one of the many engaging story moments at the Kingdom Cup, all overseen by O’Laughlin. She hosted nightly conversations with Kingdom Cup VIPs, drawing the audience in and making for a truly memorable event. Her conversation with tennis icon Stan Smith during the Kingdom Cup awards dinner on Saturday night came with a special surprise: all Kingdom Cup golfers received new Stan Smith adidas golf shoes autographed by the legend himself. That, along with a wonderful talk from golf course architect Jeff Klaiber, who worked with Pete Dye for many years, made for a very special last evening from an incredible array of top-tier talent.
Along with VIP guests, there was plenty of great golf played at the Kingdom Cup. That began with a cocktail event at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, which has a cutting-edge Toptracer Range. Guests enjoyed cocktails and pours from Dewar’s—including Lemon Wedge cocktails, the official cocktail of the U.S. Open. Following that, they participated in a putting contest and marveled at Matt Kuchar’s putting display, as he made a hugely long putt on only the second try (his first one almost went in as well). The following morning saw guests headed to the resort’s Arthur Hills course, with Kuchar hitting drives for participants on the first hole, and Davis Love III and Roger Steele doing the same later in the round; all three pros also posed for photos with each group that came through. The tournament used assigned tee times (as opposed to a shotgun start) and guests were announced by O’Laughlin as they came to the tee—a nice touch that underlined the specialness of the event. Ten holes on the Arthur Hills Course involve water, and so it was a proper Lowcountry experience—reinforced with a huge feast after the first day of play that saw numerous stations serving up steak, lobster, and other specialties prepared by tremendously talented chefs.
On day two of the tournament, the action moved to the resort’s Robert Trent Jones Course, with its signature par-5 10th offering plenty of drama with its ocean views. One of only two oceanfront holes on Hilton Head Island (which has a total of 23 courses!) it was a highlight of the round, as was Cameron Young, hitting balls for participants and posing for photos with groups a few holes later.
Dinner on night three was a lovely awards affair at the Harbour Town Clubhouse and, as it was on night two, the dining was fantastic and well complemented by top-shelf libations. Whispering Angel representatives were on hand every day, sharing the world’s most popular rosé and its siblings Rock Angel and The Beach rosé, and bringing a beautifully tinted cheer to the entire weekend. Likewise, Dewar’s delighted guests with their lauded new (and currently hard to find) 12-year-old whisky, along with other options from their incredible range. In cocktails or neat, there was plenty of Dewar’s poured, and the touch of Scotland was well enjoyed by all. Those, along with a curated selection of elegant wines from VinPorter complementing enough dining options to ensure that everyone was well fed, made for a tastefully splendid event.
Live music was also present on all three nights of the Kingdom Cup, bringing a festive aspect to the already celebratory atmosphere.
The final night’s awards dinner reminded us all of the good that golf can do when a representative from Folds of Honor, Colleen O’Hare, shared her story. Founded by Lt Col Dan Rooney, Folds of Honor provides scholarships to the families of service members and first responders who were killed or disabled in the line of duty. Since its inception in 2007, Folds of Honor has awarded over 35,000 scholarships totaling more than $160 million in all 50 states. It was the official charity of the Kingdom Cup, and everyone involved was proud to support it with our silent auction, and honored to have Colleen with us.
The winners for the weekend were the overall low net champions: Dan Talmage and Doug Nadeau, and the overall low gross champs were Anthony Loiacono and Andy Levine, all of whom took home a lovely selection of prizes, including golf bags from Vessel, which supplies so many of the TOUR pros with their bags.
Both groups won trophies from Winners Award Group, and the overall low net winners also received sets of custom fit wedges from Titleist. The prizes were complemented by the richly filled gift bags that all Kingdom Cup participants received, which included Kingdom Cup branded hats and luxury vests from Holderness & Bourne; jackets from LOHLA Sport for female guests; and an array of gifts from PRG and other top brands.
In the end, when the dining and drinks were done, the last glass lifted and the last toast made, everyone returned to some of Hilton Head Island’s finest accommodations for a great night’s rest. The next day would see flights from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport and happy faces heading home with new friends and connections made, gift bags overflowing, stories to tell upon their returns, and golf bags ready to go for next year’s Kingdom Cup.