Hear those birds chirping? Feel that warmth? Those signify that springtime is just around the corner.
And that also means that the golf season for many, especially those up north, is also just around the corner. Rather than spend the days warming up that swing in layers at a local muni, why not escape to a more sunny and warm locale like Hilton Head Island, and take advantage of some exceptional spring golf packages?
Here are five reasons why Hilton Head Island should be your next golf trip.
Variety, Value and Vaunted Venues
Recently named a “Dream Golf Destination” by readers of GOLF Magazine and “North American Golf Destination of the Year” by IAGTO, greater Hilton Head “Golf Island” boasts more than 30 golf courses tailored to every golfer’s taste and budget. A collection of “off-island” courses in neighboring Bluffton and Beaufort offer strong bang for the buck. On-island, resort golf dominates the landscape with multi-track venues such as Palmetto Dunes, Palmetto Hall, Port Royal, Shipyard and of course, The Sea Pines Resort – home of the PGA TOUR’s RBC Heritage. For architecture aficionados, the roster of course designers includes Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones Sr., Tom Fazio and many others.
Golf Courses and Resorts Invest Millions in Enhancements
Resorts dotting this storied Lowcountry golf destination have invested more than $200 million in their golf courses, accommodations, dining and amenities. The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort recently completed a $30 million renovation, while the two on-site hotels at Palmetto Dunes – the Omni Hilton Head Oceanside Resort and the Hilton Head Marriott & Spa – underwent a multi-million dollar rejuvenation. At the iconic Sea Pines Resort, two new clubhouses (Plantation Golf Club and Harbour Town) have opened in as many years. Harbour Town Golf Links was completely re-turfed, and the Ocean Course reopens later this year after a total makeover by Love Golf Design.
From Terminal to the Tee with New and Expanded Air Service
How nice would it be to stow the winter coat and scarves in the suitcase upon arrival, and show up to the first tee at Hilton Head Island in a golf shirt and slacks? It’s fairly easy from many locales, especially those up north. JetBlue Airways is currently running non-stop flights from Boston and New York City to Savannah / Hilton Head International Airport (SAV). Allegiant Air also flies non-stop into Savannah / Hilton Head from Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and other cities (subject to seasonal availability). Fourteen other airports offer non-stop service to SAV including Chicago, Detroit, Dallas / Fort Worth, Houston, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. (Reagan).
Golf’s Culinary Capital
Hilton Head Island offers an array of active lifestyle pursuits, all of which work up an appetite. Thankfully, the destination is chockfull of award-winning restaurants from some of the top names in the culinary scene. Among those on Hilton Head Island to sample – OMBRA Cucina Rustica, a classic Italian restaurant from celebrated Chef Michael Cirafesi and his longtime mentor, Chef Nunzio Patruno, and One Hot Mama’s American Grille. On-course dining has followed suit with the opening of acclaimed Links and American Grill and Live Oak at Sea Pines Resort, and LagerHead Tavern at Oyster Reef. Big Jim’s at Palmetto Dunes Robert Trent Jones clubhouse is still a great place for golfers to grab BBQ, burgers and pizza.
Fair Weather Fans
While most of the country is shivering and shoveling snow, Hilton Head Island enjoys sunshine and mild temperatures that set up perfectly for 18- to 36-hole days. “Golf Island” is the warmest of South Carolina’s great golf destinations. The mercury can jump into the 70s in February and March, on par with northern Florida. What’s more, golfers are treated to pristine conditions as courses island-wide often sport lush rye grass over-seeding.