Hilton Head Island -- Views of Hilton Head Area Golf - Sample Some Low Country Links

Photos and Text by Jeffrey A. Rendall

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC -- Travelers are lucky. Luck comes with its own connotations — after all, it can be bad just as well as good — but when you’re talking about a place like Hilton Head Island, the luck’s most definitely all the positive kind.

The reason being a destination like Hilton Head Island offers so many different kinds of entertainments, it’d be hard not to have a good time. Golfers will certainly appreciate any trip to the island — because Hilton Head offers access to world-renowned courses 365 days a year, highlighted by Harbour Town Golf Links, safely anchored in most every magazine’s world top 100 list.

But to limit your Hilton Head thinking to just one activity is plain foolish — I guess you’d call it narrow-minded. The fact is, the Island is a lot more than golf, which is good for me, because my wife’s a golf widow. I also have a couple little ones, and they certainly don’t appreciate Harbour Town for more than its colorful lighthouse.

For the well-rounded visitor, the island and surrounding South Carolina low country is rich in history, offers some fantastic native and international cuisine, and provides all the recreational activities you’d ever desire from a high-end resort destination. Sunbathers will love the beaches, adrenaline nuts can try parasailing or big-game fishing, and partygoers can easily find all the nightlife they can handle on this relatively small island.

Admittedly there’re tons of things to do there, but it will be tough to tear yourself away from the golf course. I’ve been fortunate to sample a good portion of the area’s courses. For a locale that’s fairly devoid of topographical variation, you won’t lack for variety in your golf course menus. And you certainly won’t have to confine yourself to just the island – a short drive across the bridge is a burgeoning golf community, and there are still more selections within a couple hours drive of where you’re staying (as you’ll see from the Fripp Island photos below).

Here’s a small sampling of visual delights from the Hilton Head area:

One of the more recognizable holes on the PGA Tour is also probably the most famous view from Hilton Head Island - the 18th hole at Harbour Town Golf Links. From the back tees, you'll appreciate the grandeur of a classic finishing hole.

Two large oak trees protect par on the 9th hole at Eagle's Pointe (in Bluffton, right across the bridge from Hilton Head Island). Off the tee, the huge oak rests in the right-center of the fairway. Near the green, it's guarding the left side. You likely won't forget either once you've been here.

Some of the best island golf you've probably never heard of is on Fripp Island, about 1½ hours from Hilton Head. Fripp features two courses - Ocean Point and Ocean Creek - and here you see quite a bit of the deep from Ocean Point's 9th hole.

These are the same marshes you see in the Vietnam scenes of 'Forrest Gump,' though Fripp Island's Ocean Creek Course is probably more noteworthy as being Davis Love III's first design project. Here, you're near the 6th green.

The extensive marshland views of Old South Golf Links (in Bluffton) make it one of the local favorites. The inland holes are not especially difficult, but the target golf near the water is grade-A difficult.

The 15th hole at Sea Pines' Ocean Course is one of only two holes on Hilton Head Island that borders the Atlantic Ocean. The Ocean Course was the first golf course built on the island - and was remodeled recently by Mark McCumber.

Harbour Town Golf Links' 4th hole is the first of what Ken Venturi described as 'the best set of par threes on the PGA Tour.' All have water, all are challenging, and all are memorable.

For more information on Hilton Head Island and these courses pictured here, check out the full reviews in the Travel Special Features section.

Related Links   Comments on this article?
Maryland National Golf Club
Hollow Creek Golf Club
Rocky Gap Resort
PB Dye Golf Club in Ijamsville
Whiskey Creek Golf Club
E-mail Jeff Rendall, Editor: