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2023 RBC Heritage Shines Light on Unmatched ‘Golf Island’ Experience

By Shane Sharp

The total purse for the elevated 2023 RBC Heritage at The Sea Pines Resort’s Harbour Town Golf Links was $20 million. Winner Matt Fitzpatrick took home a whopping $3.6 million. Jordan Spieth, who finished second in a dramatic three-hole playoff against Fitzy, won $2.18 million … as compared to the $1.44 he pocketed last year winning the tournament.

Let’s keep the bottom line near the top of the story: it was an RBC Heritage for the ages and (more relevant to this blog post) yet another not-so-subtle reminder that there’s never been a better time to visit Hilton Head, America’s Golf Island.

Never been a better time, or time of year for that matter. Golf Island is open year-round to fit your busy schedule, with dozens of world-class courses on and off the island and a wide variety of lodging to suit any type and size group. Here’s a quick golf primer to get the ball rolling toward the hole in planning your 2023 golf getaway.

Where to Play

While it may register a mere 69 square miles, Hilton Head Island, proper, is home to numerous layouts, including famed Harbour Town Golf Links and The Sea Pines Resort’s two other outstanding courses, Heron Point by Pete Dye and Atlantic Dunes by Davis Love III. Palmetto Dunes Resort, five miles from the Sea Pines gates, features three highly touted tracks: The Robert Trent Jones, George Fazio and Arthur Hills Courses. Palmetto Hall, on the island’s north end, is just minutes from the Hilton Head Island Airport and treats golfers to 36 holes from Hills and Robert Cupp. Golf course architecture aficionados also relish a round at the Rees Jones-designed Oyster Reef, which features one of the region’s most beautiful holes, the 192-yard par-3 6th, with stunning views of Port Royal Sound.

And one thing golfers will appreciate – Hilton Head Island, while a famed atoll, is also a general geographic term used to describe a much broader area, including neighboring Bluffton and historic Beaufort, less than an hour northeast. Bluffton is home to such treats as local golf course architect Clyde Johnston’s Old South Golf Links and Gary Player and Bobby Weed’s gem at Hilton Head National. Several solid picks are dotted along the U.S. 278 corridor connecting the island to I-95: Hidden Cypress, Argent Lakes and Island West Golf Clubs. Time permitting, be sure to make the trip to Parris Island to play the Legends Golf Course on the famed Marine Corps base.

Where to Eat

There may not be a more pleasantly challenging rhetorical question when it comes to visiting Hilton Head Island, which has emerged as a culinary destination for foodies and restaurant critics from throughout the U.S. and around the world. Fresh seafood abounds, ranging from Redfish, Flounder and Grouper to oysters, shrimp and crab. There are also seemingly limitless options for landlubbers, spanning burgers, steaks and chops to hand-tossed, brick oven pizza.

What to Pack

Shorts are sufficient on America’s Golf Island most of the year. But pack a few pairs of golf pants if you and your group are playing in the early morning from mid-October through mid-April. As for uppers, short-sleeve golf shirts are the optimal base layer. But bring a golf hoodie, a quarter-zip or light sweater for early mornings in the late fall and early spring, and a thermal and mid-weight jacket for winter mornings. And even when it’s not hot, UV levels usually remain high from more than 215 sunny days a year, so bring plenty of sunscreen.

Getting Here

Getting to America’s Golf Island has never been easier. Hilton Head Island Airport (HHH) on the island’s north end offers non-stop and one-stop service from multiple hub cities and connections via American Airlines, Delta and United. American offers daily non-stop flights from Charlotte and seasonal service from Dallas / Ft. Worth, Philadelphia and Washington National (DCA). Delta has daily flights to Atlanta and United provides daily non-stop service to Newark (EWR) and Washington Dulles (IAD).

Golfers can also utilize Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV), with direct flights from numerous East Coast, Midwest and Texas airports on several major and discount airlines. For golfers who prefer to hit the open road, major metro areas in the Carolinas, Georgia and north Florida are under a half day’s drive, while several Mid-Atlantic and Midwestern cities are seven to nine hours away.

Ready to explore a golf vacation to Hilton Head, America’s Golf Island? Click here for a quote from one of our golf vacation planners.

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