5 Reasons Why Hilton Head May Be Your Next Golf Vacation Destination

If you're an avid golfer, chances are you've heard of Hilton Head, the island community off coastal South Carolina. And you may be familiar with the PGA Tour's RBC Heritage, staged every April at the famous Harbour Town Golf Links.

But you might not be fully aware of just how incredible and diverse Hilton Head Island is as a golf destination. Trust me - no matter your background or budget, you need to check this place out.

Not to put too fine a point on it, here are our top five reasons to plan a Hilton Head golf vacation:

1. The list of area golf courses is phenomenal.

You're familiar with Harbour Town, the Pete Dye/Jack Nicklaus collaboration that served as the beginning of the Golden Bear's own storied golf course design career. But there are 30 other courses to choose from in the area, designed by such titans of golf course architecture as Tom Fazio, Arnold Palmer, Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and Rees Jones, as well as fantastic solo designs by Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus. Want a "hidden gem" recommendation? Check out Bear Creek Golf Club, a Rees Jones design that was private until recently. It maintains that country-club feel, but now everyone can enjoy.

2. Multiple facilities are coming off millions in recent renovations.

In recent years, Hilton Head-area facilities have invested a combined $200 million in their golf courses, accommodations, dining and other amenities. The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort completed a $30 million project and Palmetto Dunes' two hotels - the Omni Hilton Head Oceanside Resort and the Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa Resort - have undergone their own multi-million dollar renovations of late. On the golf side, both clubhouses on the ground of Sea Pines have been totally rebuilt n the last two years, Harbour Town was completely re-turfed last summer and Davis Love III's design firm is currently overhauling Sea Pines' Ocean Course, which will debut this fall. In short, everywhere you turn, there's something new to discover on Hilton Head.

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3. It's easier to get there than ever before.

In the past, one legitimate criticism of Hilton Head has been that it's a challenging destination to fly into. Luckily, those days are over, as the number of airlines and cities serving the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) has exploded in recent years. Now, you can fly nonstop to Hilton Head from Boston, New York, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC; and many more. Jet Blue, Allegiant, American, Delta and United all serve the airport.

4. The food is as good as the golf.

Golfers love to eat almost as much as they love playing golf, and Hilton Head delivers a culinary standard that matches that of its golf courses. Speaking of which, those golf courses are often home to top dining spots, such as Big Jim's, located in Palmetto Dunes' Robert Trent Jones clubhouse, and the LagerHead Tavern at Oyster Reef Golf Club. Elsewhere on the island, top chefs have opened eateries that are popular among both visitors and island residents alike. There's OMBRA Cecina Rustica, run by Chef Michael Cirafesi and longtime mentor Chef Nuncio Patruno, and One Hot Mama's American Grille, which celebrity chef Orchid Paulmeier regards as a personal favorite.

5. The weather is pretty darn close to perfect.

There's a reason why the RBC Heritage is known as the first tournament of "Sundress Season" on the PGA Tour. Golf is a year-round activity on Hilton Head, and 36-hole days abound from March through October and beyond. Highs in the 60s and 70s in January and February are well within reach, and ocean breezes keep the heat from becoming oppressive in the summer.

To be honest, this doesn't even scratch the surface of what makes Hilton Head one of America's best golf destinations. If you're interested in chatting with the folks who know it best about heading there for your next golf vacation, click here.

Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for Golf Advisor and the Managing Editor of the Golf Vacation Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
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I'm a Brit.My son lives in Georgia and My wife & I visit the Savannah, Hilton Head & Charleston area every few years. Last year we stayed at the Inn at Harbour Town, We had had a room overlooking the First Tee and enjoyed morning coffee watching the Fourballs tee off.
The only sour note, why do guys who can't hit it 180 yards, go off the back tees and play 2, sometimes 3 balls until they hit one they like.
The Inn was fantastic, stay there if you can and the golf was memorable.
Every April I watch The Heritage on UK TV and remember the wonderful time we had there. We'll be back.

Commented on

I've been going to Hilton Head each year for the last 8. There is much to do and see at HH however if you want to go nearby and see what life was like in centuries past then a trip to Daufuskie Island is well worth it. It's the island you see across from Harbour Town. It is so well preserved because the only way of getting there is by boat. It takes about 45 min. to get there from HH. The roads are all dirt packed except for one paved road. You get to explore the whole island on your own by renting the carts. The one we had was an oversized golf cart on steroids and you virtually go anywhere you want to. There are golf courses on the island and an overnight stay and a round of golf is perfect.

Commented on

I've always preferred HH to Myrtle Beach in terms of overall experience, especially as I've gotten older and placed a premium on the golf experience as opposed to the night life. That's not to say HH doesn't have its fair share of fun off the course, with a great micro brewery planted alongside some fantastic restaurants. Caledonia in Myrtle is one of my favorite courses, but if you were looking for a one time treat, it's hard to beat Palmetto Dunes (RTJ) and of course, Harbour Town.

Shipyard plantation is not as highly publicized as its counterparts on the Island, but it's a fun 27 hole track and was kept in superb condition the last time I visited. I believe it is part of the Heritage Golf network, which operates some TPC courses as well as the Champions Retreat in Georgia. It is definitely a hidden gem.

Harbour Town is not just a golf course, it is a resort village. It is a fun way to spend an afternoon, and The Salty Dog Cafe for happy hour is a must.

The clubhouse restaurant at Harbour Town is a destination in its own right. I was lucky enough to be with a large group when we stayed inside Sea Pines, so we were seated in the private room of the clubhouse which housed an impressive collection of golf memorabilia and made for some great conversation. The Porter house there is something my buddies and I still talk about to this day.

I've never had a bad trip to HH...the golf is world class, and as you mentioned, the food and overall vibe are right up there with the golf.

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5 Reasons Why Hilton Head May Be Your Next Golf Vacation Destination
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