As (yes) Spring approaches, golfers’ thoughts turn to the links. For many in the Southeast and East Coast, that means Hilton Head Island, S.C.
More than a million rounds of golf are played on Hilton Head every year. While some of the top area courses are private, Hilton Head has earned its reputation as one of the world’s finer golf destinations, because of its outstanding public and resort courses.
With that in mind, Hilton Head Golf Island has recently unveiled several group getaway packages.
Hilton Head Golf Island features more than 30 member courses on Hilton Head and Fripp Islands, as well as Bluffton, Beaufort and Jasper counties. Golfers can outstanding public and private designs sculpted by legendary architects such as Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus and Robert Trent Jones.
Here’s a look:
SEA PINES RESORT
At fabled Sea Pines Resort – the resort that was really the blueprint for dozens of golf resorts – Harbour Town Golf Links remains a lasting monument to southern coastal golf and a bucket-list golf course for any aficionado. The Pete Dye Room at the Harbour Town designers. Ol’ Pete’s love affair with Harbour Town is legendary – and it’s the course where Nicklaus cut his golf course design teeth.
Sea Pines has another terrific Dye design – Heron Point. The resort’s third layout, Atlantic Dunes by Davis Love III, was recently named “National Course of the Year” by the Golf Course Owners Association.
“The Sea Pines Resort Villa Golf Package” includes three nights and four days, along with three rounds of golf. Rates start at $218 from through February; and to $229 from March through October, per player and per night and do not include taxes and fees.
Each of the villas which provide a fully equipped kitchen, dining room and relax living room.
Included in the package are one round of golf at Harbour Town Golf Links, one round of golf at Heron Point by Pete Dye, one round of golf at Atlantic Dunes by Davis Love III, and complimentary green fees for afternoon replays on Heron Point and Atlantic Dunes.
PALMETTO DUNES OCEANFRONT RESORT
Located Mid-island and popular with families, as well as golfers, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort features golf, tennis and pickleball, spa treatments, and bike and kayak rentals.
The “Palmetto Dunes Golf Stay and Play Package” vacation package features resort accommodations on Hilton Head Island, plus two to three rounds of golf on your choice of three courses. Each of the courses at Palmetto Dunes have previously been honored as South Carolina’s “Golf Course of the Year.” This Hilton Head Island golf vacation package is completely customizable with accommodations and activities.
One package, for example, includes four days and three nights in a two-bedroom villa at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, along with two/three rounds of golf on your choice of courses, which includes green fees and cart fees. The package also includes complimentary range balls, pro shop merchandise and dining discounts at Big Jim’s, The Dunes House and Alexander’s Restaurant and preferred rates on select resort activities, along with two hours of court time per day per villa or home at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis & Pickleball Center.
The Heritage Collection on Hilton Head Island
The Heritage Collection on Hilton Head Island includes a trio of island stalwarts — Port Royal, Shipyard and Oyster Reef Golf Clubs. Shipyard Plantation offers 27 holes designed by George Cobb and Willard Byrd that can be played in a trio of 18-hole combinations. Each nine-holer — Galleon, Brigantine and Clipper — can be played in any combination.
Port Royal Resort — home to the original landing site of William Hilton, the explorer for whom the island is named — offers a trio of distinctly different 18-hole golf courses. Robbers Row, Barony, and Planter’s Row. Robber’s Row was designed in 1967 by Cobb and Byrd, and was redesigned in 1994 by Pete Dye.
Located on the scenic marsh side of the Port Royal Plantation sits atop former Civil War grounds (the Union Navy bombarded the island in 1861) and features historical markers throughout. The layout winds through beautiful strands of magnolia and live oaks.
The Barony Course opened in 1963 and was one of Hilton Head’s first courses. From the tee box, many of the holes appear to be relatively open, but as golfers approach the recently resurfaced Bermuda greens, the challenge becomes clear.
Oyster Reef Golf Club opened in 1983 in Hilton Head Plantation on the north end of the island and was immediately lauded as one of the country’s best new resort courses. Carved out of 190 acres of breathtaking Lowcountry terrain, Oyster Reef is home to one of the more spectacular golf holes on the entire island — the par-3 sixth hole that plays 192 yards from the championship tees to a green that is set against the backdrop of Port Royal Sound. Winding lagoons, lush vegetation and scenic views of the island surround Oyster Reef’s spectacular layout.
Feature Photo: Harbour Town Golf Links (Sea Pines Resort)