Being named one of the four top courses in the National Golf Course Owners Association’s “Course of the Year” awards is akin to making college basketball’s Final Four- a huge honor in itself. The Sea Pines Resort’s new Atlantic Dunes by Davis Love III has gone a step farther, named “National Course of the Year” by the golf course owners over the other three finalists.
In the NCGOA’s criteria, the spectacular reconstruction of Hilton Head Island’s first golf course was “recognized as a course that epitomizes exceptional course quality and management excellence, while making important contributions to their communities and the game.”
In other words, it’s the best-of-the-best for 2017. The Sea Pines Resort and Atlantic Dunes will accept the award at the Golf Business Conference in San Antonio, Texas February 8th.
Even more remarkable is the fact that Atlantic Dunes was playable for all of 2017 after having to recover from Hurricane Matthew in October of 2016, just three days after the course opened.
“Atlantic Dunes is not only the perfect complement to our Harbour Town and Heron Point layouts, it is also a ‘must play’ golf experience on its own,” says Cary Corbitt, Vice President of Sports & Operations.
Atlantic Dunes was the work of Love Golf Design. Victorious 2016 Ryder Cup captain (and 5-time RBC Heritage winner at Harbour Town), brother Mark and lead architect Scot Sherman entirely rebuilt many holes to accommodate modern shot values and frame scenic corridors to create a seaside ambience accented by coquina shells and seaside grasses. Atlantic Dunes incorporates elements of the surrounding beachfront along with native pines and oaks lining the fairways, with restoration of natural sand dunes blending into the fairways and green complexes.
The award marks the second time in three years that a Hilton Head Island course has made the Final Four (Palmetto Dunes’ George Fazio Course was a finalist in 2015) and the third straight year a Hilton Head course was named Course of the Year in golf-crazy South Carolina, the first hurdle in the quest to become National Course of the Year (Sea Pines’ Heron Point by Pete Dye was the #1 state course in 2016).
The other finalists for the 2017 National Course of the Year Award were Manchester Country Club in Bedford, New Hampshire, Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth, Indiana and the Resort at Eagle Point Golf Club in Eagle Point, Oregon.
Photo courtesy of The Sea Pines Resort.