Sunday, January 1, 2006
Island Treasures Southern Charm
Hilton Head Island
Indigo Run has a public and private course, both signature Jack Nicklaus designs. Palmetto Hall Plantation has an Arthur Hills course, one of the best on the island, and a course configured entirely on computer by Robert Cupp. For all its quirky geometrical features, including triangle-shaped bunkers, this is a fine, scenic test of golf.
Popular courses off the island include Old South in Bluffton, a marsh-dominated venue designed by Clyde Johnston. Closer to the island bridge is another Johnston offering, Old Carolina, built on a former horse farm. If you have the connections, two private clubs are worth using your reciprocal: Long Cove and Colleton River Plantation. Both feature outrageous Jack Nicklaus designs.
Accessible by ferry or private helicopter, Daufuskie reflects a bygone era of the Old South. There are no traffic lights or grocery stores on the island, but it does have three of the best golf courses in the Hilton Head area. These include Nicklaus and Weiskopf courses at the Daufuskie Island Resort, and Haig Point, a private Rees Jones product.
Top 5 Hidden Gems
1. Oyster Reef
When this Rees Jones effort opened in 1982, it found a place in the Top 25 New Courses in America list.
2. Golden Bear Golf Club
A challenging and enjoyable test from Jack Nicklaus at Indigo Run.
3. Ocean Course at Sea Pines
A redesign by Mark McCumber brought the tradition back to Hilton Head’s first course.
4. Robert Cupp Course at Palmetto Hall
Though sometimes overshadowed by the Arthur Hills Course, the Cupp is unique in that its namesake architect plotted the full 18 on computer.
5. Crescent Pointe
Outside Hilton Head in Bluffton sits an excellent Arnold Palmer design that’s rapidly gaining popularity.
Top 5 Hidden Challenges
1. Harbour Town
This Jack Nicklaus/Pete Dye masterpiece changed golf architecture forever. It will change your index, too (in the up direction).
2. Arthur Hills Course at Palmetto Dunes
Considered the best of the three excellent tracks at Palmetto Dunes.
3. Arthur Hills Course at Palmetto Hall
You won’t mind the demands Mr. Hills places on your game in such a spectacular setting.
4. The Fazio Course at Palmetto Dunes
Features only two par-5s and a string of long, challenging par-4s.
5. Long Cove
It’s considered the best layout on the Island—the challenge is getting on this ultra-private course.
Top 5 Hidden Experiences
1. Harbour Town
There’s nothing like following in the footsteps of champions, especially on a finishing stretch like this.
2. Ocean Course at Sea Pines
A classic course that reminds you what island life is all about.
3. Bloody Point
Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mungen River on Daufuskie Island, this Weiskopf/Morrish effort never lets up in terms of challenge and aesthetics.
4. Sea Marsh
An excellent Clyde Johnston renovation of a George Cupp keeper features a blend of challenge, playability and beauty.
5. Colleton River Plantation
Both the Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye courses at this private resort are in the most respected Top 100 lists.
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