By Loren Otten, The Heritage Collection on Hilton Head
Golf on Hilton Head Island is truly a treat for anyone — local or visitor, novice or expert. I started playing golf on the island as a beginner and grew to love the game along with the Island’s sandy courses, alligator lagoons, and ocean side greens. Although I haven’t played every course on the Island…
One of my favorite courses on Hilton Head is Oyster Reef Golf Club. Nestled inside Hilton Head Plantation, Oyster Reef proves itself to be a challenging course with numerous dogleg holes, elevated greens, and strategically-placed bunkers. While this Rees Jones’ course layout is difficult in spots, the views from Hole 6 reveal a spectacular view of the Port Royal Sound and an oyster-shaped bunker. It’s a Hilton Head gem that you don’t want to miss.
Another favorite golf club on the island is Port Royal Golf Club. I really enjoy this mid-Island club due to the variety of the courses available. Port Royal has three 18-hole courses each with a distinct personality. Robber’s Row Course, the easiest of the three, is fun to play as the greens are well protected with bunkers, yet there’s typically a friendly slope to help you when you need it most. If you’re a history buff, you’ll really enjoy this course with the history lessons on the tee boxes showcasing the area’s significance during America’s Civil War. The Barony Course is one of the oldest courses the Island has to offer and has proven to be an Island classic. The challenge on this course is the small greens, which is a delight for all those target golfers our there. Take special note of the scenery on this course as it winds through trees covered in Spanish Moss and lagoons laden with lily pads. The final course at Port Royal is Planter’s Row. One word comes to mind for this course: accuracy. The tree-lines fairways and numerous water hazards create a narrow path to play. Miss your drive and you’ll be enjoying a trip through the tall pines or putting that Mulligan to good use.
Located on the south end of the island, Shipyard Golf Club is compromised of a set of three 9-hole courses – Clipper, Brigantine, and Galleon. Clipper will test your long game, Brigantine will challenge you short game, and Galleon demands accuracy around the large oak trees. Two of these three courses provide a round of golf with healthy greens, white-sand bunkers, and alligator occupied lagoons. Shipyard is soaked in historical significance as a former Brickyard – ask the Clubhouse pub for some interesting facts.
I’ve never experienced an island more populated with golf courses than Hilton Head, and of those many island options, these courses are distinct and just good fun to play. Don’t miss what these clubs have to offer… and watch out for the alligators!