I’ve golfed in a lot of places: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North
Carolina in the Southeast; Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin and Missouri in the Midwest; and a few other places scattered around the country. I’m not bragging, but I’ve clocked more than 160 courses.
Among all of those places, Hilton Head Island stands out.
Here’s why. Part of it came from watching the Heritage Tournament on television while growing up in Michigan, then seeing that beautiful lighthouse and yacht harbor in person. One doesn’t forget seeing icons, much like seeing Big Ben or Notre Dame (the one in Paris, not South Bend, Ind.) I’ll never forget the beeline I made to have a cocktail on the porch overlooking the ninth green at Harbour Town Golf Links. I had ARRIVED! I didn’t play that day — just seeing the course was enough.
Another appeal, I think, is the classiness of Hilton Head Island. As soon as you hit the bridges and see that view of Mackays and Skull creeks and a glimpse of the May River, you know you’ve left the typical behind.
The medians are manicured, abloom with something no matter what the season. Commerce is tucked behind trees and unobtrusive signs. It‘s a little maddening when you’re trying to find something, but listen to the voices, better known as your navigation system. It’s a small price to pay for how nice this place looks.
Then, if you look at a map of Hilton Head, as I’m doing right now, you can see how it’s dotted with golf courses, from the newly renovated Dolphin Head Golf Club to the Country Club of Hilton Head and Oyster Reef, both classic Rees Jones designs. Then there is Palmetto Hall Plantation and its Robert Cupp-Arthur Hills twin billing to Port Royal and its three courses. I’m just warming up and I’m not halfway down the island.
OK, likely you know there are dozens of courses on the island. But so what?
Here’s what. You’ll notice the Hilton Head difference long before your first backswing. It begins when you pull up to the bag drop and a friendly face is there to greet you and unload your clubs. Welcome, they’ll say, whether it’s your first visit or your 90th. Staff members don’t take anyone for granted.
Well, if they do, they won’t last long. Such an attitude isn’t tolerated and, face it, there are thousands of people stuck behind desks or service counters in small, drab towns across the country, heck, the world, who would love to have their job. They would do it better for less. This is a special, coveted place for everyone. We’re all lucky to be here, whether we are among the few who were born here, visiting or moved here.
Then, when you get on the course, whichever one it is, it’s going to be in great shape. It’s just a given and I’ve never seen an exception whether it was January, June or September. Again, there is no resting on laurels here. Hilton Head earns your visit each and every time.
I’m not blowing smoke. You can’t go wrong with whichever course you play on Hilton Head Island. It’s kind of like going to the beach. There isn’t a bad one of those on the Island, either.
I think that’s why people keep coming back here. You can’t miss. Great weather, beautiful ambiance, fabulous restaurants and flawless golf. It’s all good and everyone’s grateful to be here, either as a visitor or a service provider. If you’ve forgotten how lucky you are, I hope this reminds you and restores a smile to your face.
We’re all delighted we’re here, whether it’s for a few days or a few generations. Come join us, won’t you?