Every golf trip or getaway is different – what to pack in terms of apparel, how many dozens of golf balls to bring, prepping one’s self for 18- or 36-hole days.
Yet, there are things that always remain constant – the excitement leading up to the trip, the camaraderie and the planning that comes with every golf trip, especially when that entails visiting Hilton Head Island.
The Golf Vibe caught-up with Cary Corbitt, The Sea Pines Resort Vice President of Sports and Operations, to pick his brain about golf travel tips for Hilton Head Island.
Without further ado, here are Cary’s “do’s” and “don’ts” when it comes to making the most out of your sojourn to “Golf Island.”
Do plan ahead: Hilton Head is an island, after all, and hotel rooms and tee times, while plentiful, go fast in the peak seasons. There are numerous vacation packages available with convenient accommodations and a sampling of area courses. Visit Hilton Head Golf Island for a list of courses, lodging options and stay-and-play packages.
Do check seasons and weather: Speaking of peak seasons, spring and fall are prime for golf and summer for family fun. Temperatures vary from cool to hot with mild winters, balmy summers and a refreshing gentle coastal breeze, offering gorgeous weather year-round.
Do pack accordingly: If planning a summer golf trip, be sure to pack sunscreen, moisture-wicking attire and a good hat. For spring and fall, mornings and evenings can be cool (but refreshing), so a nice pullover or light golf sweater should do the trick. Each of the golf courses offer the latest in golf fashion so make sure you take your time to shop.
Do bring your appetite: Hilton Head Island has emerged as a foodie’s paradise, with famous chefs opening island eateries. The menu is always fresh on the island dining scene with mouth-watering local seafood, farm to table produce and Lowcountry staples like Anson Mills stone ground grits. The myriad of restaurants offer a variety of price points and dining options from a casual seafood house to an elegant four-star establishment, sure to please anyone. There’s also world-class dining at our resorts, such as Links, Live Oak and Coast at Sea Pines, and LagerHead Tavern at Oyster Reef.
Do plan for time off the tee: After you finish your round, or if you are bringing along any family members or friends who are non-golfers, the island is home to a plethora of leisure and recreational activities like fishing, shopping, windsurfing and biking. So be sure to take advantage of all that Hilton Head has to offer, not just the golf.
Don’t Do not overlook Bluffton: Just over the bridge is the charming and beautiful mainland town of Bluffton, S.C., home to antebellum homes, historic churches, moss-shaded streets and of course plenty of championship golf. Accessible by a quick car ride or scenic boat trip along the May River, Bluffton is home to a number of award-winning restaurants, unique boutiques, world-renowned accommodations and popular shopping centers such as the Tanger Outlets.
Do not miss out on the festivals and events: Hilton Head has a year-long schedule of can’t-miss festivals and events ranging from the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage in April to the Wine and Food Festival in March to Concours D’Elegance in November. Call and plan ahead if you want to experience one of the bigger events or festivals. There is always something going on.
Do not forget to reserve rental clubs: Particularly during high-season, they can be just in high-demand as the tee times and hotels. If you plan on traveling without your clubs, reserve a set in advance. Many of the courses offer top of the line rental clubs.
Do not neglect your handicap: Hilton Head has a high-concentration of world-class, quality golf courses, each with its own set of unique characteristics and challenges. Play courses that are in line with your handicap and level of difficulty.
Do not go near the alligators: You will surely encounter many of the indigenous gators while on your trip, and although it might be tempting to snap a photo of one up close and personal, it is illegal to go near or feed these reptiles – for your safety and theirs.