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Last weekend saw Swede Carl Petterson hold off a strong field that included world number 2 Luke Donald, to win the RBC Heritage at the famous Harbour Town Golf Links in the golfing paradise that is Hilton Head.
This event is always the first PGA Tour even to follow the US Masters and has an impressive list of previous winners that includes Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Nick Price, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Greg Norman and Davis Love III.
These golfing greats have all enjoyed the fantastic course and stunning island surroundings, and I am lucky enough to have enjoyed teeing it up here too, and would recommend it to any golfer looking at a golf break to the USA.
Top of any golfers list should of course be the Harbour Town Golf Links, made famous by the red and white striped lighthouse that sits behind the 18th green on this superb Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus course. Situated in the exclusive Sea Pines Resort, the narrow, tree lined fairways mix with huge bunkers and plenty of water to offer a stern challenge for golfers of all abilities. These factors all combine to produce one of the most beautiful courses you will ever play.
Whilst Harbour Town Golf Links is the jewel in Hilton Head’s impressive golfing crown, there are a number of other superb courses on the island that you ought to try.
Still in the Sea Pines Resort, the Ocean Course is a personal favourite, with the many vast expanses of water more than justifying the name of the course! The most spectacular water however comes on the signature par 3 15th hole. From a raised tee it plays 210 yards from the tips, with the Atlantic Ocean providing the most amazing backdrop to any hole I’ve ever played.
As well as the Sea Pines Resort, Palmetto Dunes is another area on Hilton Head that is a complete paradise for golfers. With courses from some of the world’s top designers, you’ll be spoilt for choice. First up try the Fazio Course, which like many of the courses on the island, boasts large swathes of sand and water hazards, and the outstanding design has led to some people asserting that this is the finest challenge of championship golf on the island.
In addition to the George Fazio course, is the Jones Course, from Robert Trent-Jones. Weighing in at over 7,000 yards from the back tees, and with a network of lagoons coming into play on 11 holes and the proximity to the ocean, it would be wise to pack some more golf balls! Completing a trio of great courses in Palmetto Dunes is the Hills Course. Although shorter than many of its neighbours, at just over 6,600 yards, this Arthur Hills designed course still offers a good test for all golfers.
When out on any of the courses keep your eyes peeled for some of the slightly more exotic wildlife that can be found. During my rounds I’ve encountered wild deer, a turtle (which I had initially thought was a yardage disk until it started to move!) and an alligator, which happened to be lying just next to a ball I had put into a stream – needless to say I took a drop on that one!
When not on the course, there’s a whole host of things to see and do, from topping up your tan on the 14 miles of gorgeous beaches, to boat trips round the island. For something a little more active, hire out some bikes for a ride around the island or enjoy a game of tennis at the fantastic Sea Pines Racquet Club. Boasting 23 clay courts and a Stan Smith academy, it’s ranked as one of the top tennis resorts in the world, and is free for guests within Sea Pines.
Located on the South Carolina coast, Hilton Head is one of the best places on earth for a golfing holiday. And if you don’t want to take our word for it, then how about this, Golf Inc. Magazine ranked it the 5th best golf resort in the world and the 2nd best in America, whilst it also appeared in the Condé Nast Traveller Gold List for the world’s best places to stay – praise indeed!
Book your Hilton Head golf holiday today with Your Golf Travel, or call 0800 043 6644 to speak to our team of experts.