Heading to Hilton Head, South Carolina? Then don’t forget to pack your golf clubs. The abundance and quality of Hilton Head’s golf courses have turned the area into one of the US’s prime spots for golfing… so much so, in fact, it’s been voted one of Golf Magazine’s top five golf havens for retirees, Golf Digest’s “Top 10 Best Courses”, and the International Association of Golf Tour Operators Sustainable Golf Destination of the Year 2017. Need any more convincing as to why Hilton Head is such a paradise for golfers? Then check out our compilation of its top 10 golf courses.
10. Crescent Pointe Golf Club
Journey three miles west of the bridge to Hilton Head and you’ll find the fabulous Crescent Pointe Golf Club, the only course on the island to be designed by the iconic Arnold Palmer. Offering a challenging but not overwhelming game, it’s a great place to hone your skills while enjoying spectacular views of the surrounding marshlands.
9. Hilton Head National
A quick scroll through Hilton Head National’s extensive list of accolades tells you all you need to know about this world-class golfing experience. In 2012, it won the title for Favorite Golf Course with three of the area’s biggest publications (The Island Packet Newspaper, The Bluffton Today Newspaper, and Hilton Head Monthly’s Magazine). It also ranked as one of Golf Advisor’s “Top Courses in South Carolina” in 2013, 2016, and 2017, and currently enjoys a 4.5 out of five rating with the publication.
8. Old South Golf Links
A game of golf at Old South Golf Links isn’t just a game of golf- it’s a chance to explore one of the best settings on the island. With several holes nestled against the Intracoastal marshes of McKay's Creek, a course that meanders from vast open pastures to densely forested woodlands, and breath taking views across the Sound, you don’t need to be a keen golfer to enjoy the club’s spectacular setting… although it does help justify that $70- 95 entrance fee.
7. Oyster Reef Golf Club
Described as ‘challenging but not threatening’, Oyster Reef Golf Club is one of the premier golf courses on Hilton Head Island. On its opening in 1982, it was immediately ranked as one the Top 25 New Courses in America: nearly 40 years later, it’s still ranking as one of the best. As popular with locals as it is with visitors, the club enjoys a 4/5 star rating on Trip Advisor. With comments like “We played this course twice and judged it the best we played. A good variety of holes, none impossible for the ordinary golfer and a lot of attractive views. The green was the best we played,” and ‘A picturesque par-three with ocean marsh backdrop. Tee boxes for all skill levels and nice fairways,” it’s easy to see why.
6. May River Golf Course
A round of golf at this stunning par-72 Jack Nicklaus Signature Course has been described as a “journey to nirvana”... and for very good reason. The 18-hole course winds its way through 7,171 yards of the May River Forest, offering a challenging game with strategic, white sand bunkers, undulating slopes, and natural waste areas. Granted, it’s not the cheapest round of golf you can enjoy on the island, but if budget is of no concern, it’s the kind of once in a lifetime golfing experience you’ll have little cause to regret.
5. George Fazio Course
As Hilton Head Island’s only par-70 public golf course, the George Fazio Course promises one seriously exciting game of golf. Full of stimulating challenges, the last 4 holes, in particular, will test the wits of even the most experienced golfer. Once you’ve recomposed yourself from the pressures of the fairways, treat yourself to a drink at the excellent Clubhouse and Grill, or give yourself a head start on your next game with a practice round at the exclusive “Birdie Ball” practice facility.
4. Heron Point by Pete Dye at Sea Pines
Those looking for some seriously challenging play would do well to consider Heron Point by Pete Dye at Sea Pines. Since its multi-million-dollar reconstruction in 2007, it's become one of Hilton Head’s outstanding attractions. Shifting elevations and strategically placed obstacles keep even the best of golfers on their toes while guaranteeing one of the most exhilarating games you’ll likely experience anywhere in the Lowcountry.
3. Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort Robert Trent Jones Course
It may be the oldest course on Hilton Head, but the majestic Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort Robert Trent Jones Course has lost none of its appeal with age. Combining stunning ocean views with a great variety of holes, it’s an excellent choice for all ages and skill levels.
2. Atlantic Dunes by Davis Love III at Sea Pines
Since its refresh in 2016, Atlantic Dunes by Davis Love III at Sea Pines has climbed up the ranks to become one of the best golf courses in Hilton Head. Its interesting holes and vast fairways undoubtedly make for a great game of golf, but what makes the course truly special is the way it's incorporated the seaside ambiance of the town into its landscape. Seaside grass, coquina shells and pine-lined fairways create a course so beautiful to look at, you may end up wishing you’d bought your camera rather than your golf bag.
1. Harbour Town Golf Links at Sea Pines Resort
Harbour Town Golf Links at Sea Pines Resort is without question THE place to be seen for golf fans. As the home of South Carolina’s only PGA Tour event (the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing), it’s the golf course that has done more than any other to put Hilton Head on the map. With breathtaking views over the Calibogue Sound and Hilton’s Head famous red and white striped lighthouse, small greens, challenging holes, a first-rate clubhouse, and the opportunity to enjoy world-class cuisine at its stylish restaurant, it’s easy to understand why it ranks as #14 on Matt Ginella's top 50 U.S. courses you can play.
Written by Liz Flynn
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