Hilton Head Island is known for its 20 designer golf courses and the annual PGA TOUR RBC Heritage tournament at Harbour Town Golf Links.
Hilton Head Island also is home to some of the nation’s best golf instructors, from Hank Haney (Remember him and Tiger Woods? The Charles Barkley Project? Yeah, him.) to former PGA Tour pro Doug Weaver at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort to LPGA Teacher of the Year Krista Dunton at Berkeley Hall, a private community with two Tom Fazio courses.
You’ve probably seen Krista’s golf tip in the September issue of Golf Magazine or in the just released, “The Best Instruction Book Ever,” in which she lends a great tip for getting out of the sand. She is one of Golf Magazine’s Top 100 instructors and the 2002 LPGA Teacher of the Year. She offers lessons to anyone, Berkeley Hall members or the public, who is interested in quickly learning how to hit the ball better.
I called her to ask what is it about Hilton Head Island that attracts such talented instructors. Krista arrived in the Lowcountry about 10 years ago after building her teaching skills in New Jersey. She moved here because she wanted to teach year round in an area passionate about golf.
“The good things are the weather, the courses and the number of visitors,” Krista said, adding one drawback is there isn’t the population to draw from like, say, in Florida. That might be a drawback for instructors, but it’s a bonus for visitors. You won’t be just a number here.
“There are lots of instructors and places in Florida, but the Lowcountry has its own feel and pace,” Krista said. “It’s a lot more mellow here.” Plus, it has excellent teaching facilities.
Golf academies dot Hilton Head Island and its environs:
- At The Sea Pines Resort, you can practice indoors and out under a legion of instructors at The Golf Academy.
- Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy features director of golf instruction, Doug Weaver, a talented teacher who played as a PGA Tour pro.
- The Heritage Golf Group of courses recently added the nationally known TOUR Academy Hilton Head at Palmetto Hall Plantation.
- Last but not least is Hank Haney’s IJGA, The International Junior Golf Academy is a breeding ground for future touring professionals. You can see his students at work while playing Pinecrest.
When planning your next golf trip to Hilton Head Island, take advantage of the wealth of golf knowledge stuffed onto this resort island. A better golf game is the best souvenir I can think of to bring home from your golf vacation on Hilton Head Island.