Three days and $200: Where can you play near Hilton Head Island, S.C.?

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- Spring and fall are heady times on Hilton Head Island.

Tourists and golfers gather to enjoy the gorgeous weather and beautiful scenery along the tidal marshes and on the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean.

Because it's high season, finding affordable golf options isn't easy. With a little creativity, it can be done, especially if you're willing to head off island to Bluffton. A budget of $200 for greens fees can last up to three days, no problem, if you're willing to play in the afternoon.

Bucket list golf isn't happening, so let's be clear on that. Scratch off a visit to Sea Pines Resort. Teeing it up at Harbour Town Golf Links in the shadow of the candy-stripped lighthouse doesn't come cheap. The area's other top 100-caliber course, May River Golf Club at Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, will have to wait. The three courses at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort never drop below $95 through May 6, so they probably aren't an option, either.

Your best bet on the island might be the Golden Bear Golf Club at Indigo Run , a fine facility run by ClubCorp. The Jack Nicklaus course provides a typical island experience. Condos and homes intrude upon some of the natural beauty, yet it's still fun and interesting routing. An afternoon tee time after 1:30 p.m. drops to $62, a perfect price in our range.

Video: Ginella on where to stay and play on Hilton Head Island

The next stop is just across the bridge, Old South Golf Links in Bluffton. An $80 afternoon round delivers some serious scenery. Five holes dance into the Intracoastal marshes of McKay's Creek with the Calibogue Sound on the horizon. The dangerous par 4s at no. 7 and no. 16 and the par-3 eighth hole all end at island-like greens. When the tide seeps in, this Clyde Johnston design really shines. It embodies the spirit and beauty of the Lowcountry.

"Golfers get mesmerized [by the setting]," Old South Head Professional Jim Uremovich said. "They get lost out there. Regardless if they are playing bad, they enjoy it."

The final round will put us slightly over budget ($7 to be exact). It's worth it. There are cheaper options farther off the island, but you'll spend extra time and gas money to get there.

A $65 afternoon tee time at Crescent Pointe Golf Club introduces three holes flirting with the beautiful Colleton River. Arnold Palmer designed this 6,773-yard par-71 course in 2000 as a semi-private playground just six miles from Hilton Head Island. Water lurks around every twist of the fairway.

"It's one of the courses down here you don't get bored of playing," said Stephen Neville, head professional at Crescent Pointe. "It's rough. Every tee shot, approach, there's a challenge. It's got great views. It is not a plain golf course. Each hole has something different to look at.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
0 Comments
Default User Image
Related Links
Harbour Town Golf Links is on everyone's must-play list on Hilton Head Island thanks to the PGA Tour event at Harbour Town every April, the RBC Heritage. Somewhat less familiar, however, are the wide variety of golf courses on the island and the nearby communities of Bluffton, Beaufort and Savannah. Ed Schmidt offers up some suggestions to accommodate any budget.
Golfers who want to avoid the traffic and other hassles of Hilton Head Island can stay and play in Bluffton, South Carolina, a growing retirement community that is home to more than a dozen golf courses stacked up one after another along Fording Island Road. There are enough public-access courses in Bluffton to keep snowbird, retirees and vacationers busy for a week or more. Here are five of the best.
If you are thinking about taking a golf trip to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina the courses at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort should be on your must-play list.
For convenience, nothing beats one-stop shopping, even when it comes to golf destinations. That's the case with the Heritage Golf Collection in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Now Reading
Three days and $200: Where can you play near Hilton Head Island, S.C.?
New Cookie Policy
WE AND OUR PARTNERS USE COOKIES ON THIS SITE TO IMPROVE OUR SERVICE, PERFORM ANALYTICS, PERSONALIZE ADVERTISING, MEASURE ADVERTISING PERFORMANCE, AND REMEMBER WEBSITE PREFERENCES. BY USING THE SITE, YOU CONSENT TO THESE COOKIES. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON COOKIES INCLUDING HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CONSENT VISIT OUR COOKIE POLICY.
CONTINUE