Hilton Head * Bluffton * Beaufort and Surrounding Areas

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Hilton Head Island Golf

Golfing great Gardner Dickinson who was a founder of the Senior PGA Tour once said, "They say golf is like life, but don't believe them. Golf is more complicated than that."

Few serious golfers would argue with Dickinson. Golf is an obsession acquired the minute one steps foot on a green. It is exhilarating, heartbreaking, strategic and profoundly exciting. As a property owner on Hilton Head, residents are given special golfing privileges to play world-renowned private and semi-private courses.

On Hilton Head, no two courses are the same and each offers something uniquely different for each player. Although every course on the island is worth playing, there are a few that have remained favorites with islanders and visitors throughout the years.

It's impossible to cover the great golf locations of Hilton Head without first beginning with Harbour Town Golf Links and the ubiquitous lighthouse that is part of the PGA Tours Verizon Heritage. Winners of the event have included every golf champion from Arnold Palmer to Jack Nicklaus. Designed by famed golf architect Pete Dye, Golfweb.com, the PGA's official site, calls it "a classic short course with many unique holes."

The Wexford Golf Club is a private course on Hilton Head Island located within the distinctive community of Wexford. It was designed by Willard Byrd, a landscape architect and course designer who partnered with developers during his 50 year career and became well-known for his exclusive work creating residential courses within exclusive communities. The 18-hole course is set among magnificent homes, a marina and a multimillion dollar clubhouse.

Few courses can maintain a 5 out of a possible 5 rating given by golfers who have played their greens, but Long Cove Club, a private course designed by Pet Dye has done just that. The club touts that "each hole is a signature hole" and remains a favorite among golf enthusiasts worldwide. As a former visitor lamented on GolfCourse.com, "BEST AND HARDEST COURSE I'VE EVER PLAYED!"

The two thousand acre resort, Palmetto Dunes has established itself as a must-play golf location. With three championship courses to choose from, each is designed by a golf legend - Robert Trent Jones, Arthur Hills and George Fazio - the courses have garnered their share of awards and accolades from the golf press. The Robert Trent Jones Course features patented bunkers, incredible views of the ocean and generous landing areas.

The Arthur Hills course is reminiscent of the architect's early roots as a landscape architect. Not only are golfers treated to a challenging course, they are surrounded by the beautiful trees, ocean and lagoons that are purposefully part of the distinctive design. Both the Jones and Hills' courses provide three teeing areas - blue, white and red to accommodate all experience levels.

The George Fazio course on Palmetto Dunes has four different teeing areas, adding a gold level to allow for varying golf expertise. The par 70 course is consistently a top pick for experienced golfers who match their wits with sand traps, bunkers and potential water perils.

The Oyster Reef Golf Club was developed nearly 25 years ago and features a challenging 18-hole course set among doglegs and shell-shaped bunkers designed by Rees Jones. Touted as one of the "few affordable daily courses," by golf writer Tim McDonald, the course was recently named "2006 Golf Club of the Year" by the Low Country Golf Course Owners Association.

Finally, the Robert Cupp Course at Palmetto Hall, a charming and distinctive community located just southwest of Hilton Head Plantation, may offer the most unparalleled experience to date for a golfer. Cupp designed the course on his computer and is characterized by straight lines and sharp angles.

A reviewer at HiltonHeadGolf.com calls the course, "A truly unique experience. From a player's standpoint, refreshingly new and great fun to play for all skill levels."

No doubt this sums up any one of the courses available on Hilton Head.