Sun City Hilton Head

Sun City Hilton HeadSome travel to Hilton Head Island for a memorable golf getaway on some of the finest golf courses in the world. Others travel to the beautiful South Carolina Lowcountry for a complete lifestyle change, craving the leisure, luxury and excitement of the area’s acclaimed golf course communities.

No matter the category you fall into, Sun City Hilton Head is a stop you can’t afford to miss. Boasting a pair of championship golf courses that are as spectacular as they are unique to one another, Sun City Hilton Head offers the ultimate in golf course living to its residents and a memorable golf experience to its visitors.

A burgeoning active adult community located a mere 20 minutes from the bridge to Hilton Head Island, Sun City features 36 holes of spectacular golf designed by former PGA TOUR standout and acclaimed architect Mark McCumber. Yet the similarities between Hidden Cypress and Okatie Creek, which are both open for public play every day, essentially end with the designer, as both courses offer their own distinct flavor and challenges.

Sun City Hilton HeadOkatie Creek, the elder statesman of the two layouts, boasts a player-friendly experience with open fairways, few forced carries and inviting greens. By contrast, Hidden Cypress, which opened a little more than four years ago, is a serious test of golf. The layout, which can stretch to more than 7,000 yards, demands accuracy from tee to green and a steady short game that will be tested on every hole.

But whether choosing Hidden Cypress or Okatie Creek (or both) golfers will find a well-manicured golf course, friendly staff and an experience worthy of a lifestyle change.

“The two courses allow us to accommodate virtually all the different playing levels we have out here,” said Sun City Director of Golf Bob Pfeffer. “We offer two great golf courses that our members and visitors can really enjoy.”

While both courses can be equally enjoyed by all skill levels, Hidden Cypress is by far the sterner of the two tests. Boasting many of McCumber’s design traits, Hidden Cypress features challenging fairway bunkers, testy doglegs and green complexes that are well guarded by deep bunkers and mounding. Not a short course by any stretch, Hidden Cypress offers five sets of tees that allow golfers to select the appropriate challenge, but no matter the tees chosen, accuracy off the tee box and steady nerves around the greens are always in play.

“People like to play Hidden Cypress because it presents a good test of golf,” Pfeffer said. “The greens are more undulating on Hidden Cypress than they are on Okatie Creek. The areas that surround the greens offer more challenges.”

Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of Hidden Cypress is its tremendous foursome of par-3s. Highlighted by the beautiful signature 17th hole, each of the par-3s require a deft combination of distance and accuracy in order to score well – especially from the back tees.

Sun City Hilton Head“The par-3s are some of the best around, from any tee box,” Pfeffer said. “But from the back, they are spectacular. You’ll use different clubs on every one and on No.17, a fairway wood may be required.”

Featuring a pair of fountains – one by the tee box and another to the left of the green, the 17th hole is as visually stunning as it is daunting. Measuring 231 yards from the back and 216 from the Gold tees, the signature 17th features a creek that runs up to the left of the green that is beautifully decorated by rock outcroppings. Golfers unsure of themselves will favor the right side of the hole, but that leaves a delicate chip to a green that flows significantly from back to front.

While survival is the game on the par-3s, Hidden Cypress does provide some opportunities to score. Each of the four par-5s, highlighted by the stunning and rustic 15th, are average in length from the middle tees and provide birdie opportunities for golfers who can avoid the numerous fairway bunkers found on each.

Continuing to expand its commitment to golf, for both it’s resident base and visitors, Sun City Hilton Head is currently building a new clubhouse that will overlook the first and 10th tees at Hidden Cypress, which will complement the existing clubhouse at Okatie Creek.

The 20,000-square-foot clubhouse and recreation center, which is expected to open in late 2004 or early 2005, will house a fully stocked golf shop, a full service restaurant and bar with outdoor seating and multi-purpose space for meetings and catered functions. The clubhouse will also offer meeting rooms, a fitness center with locker rooms, and an outdoor pool and spa area that are reserved for members only.

Like its sister course, Okatie Creek offers beautiful Lowcountry scenery with tree-lined fairways, stunning marsh views and natural contoured land that was well incorporated into the McCumber design.
Though less demanding off the tee, Okatie Creek can stretch to more than 6,724 yards, and with five sets of tees, golfers can get all they want out of this “classic” golf course.

Sun City Hilton Head “Okatie Creek is anything but vanilla,” Pfeffer said. “You can really bite off as much as you can chew depending on the tees you select.”

Known for its wide fairways and generous greens, Okatie Creek might surprise you with its water hazards and significant bunkering. In fact, 13 holes on Okatie Creek feature water, although McCumber’s design requires few forced carries of any considerable length.

“Okatie Creek is more forgiving than Hidden Cypress,” Pfeffer said. “It’s a golf course where all players can go out and have a good round of golf without getting beat up.”

Designed for all players in mind, Okatie Creek lays out well from the tee box, providing golfers with a good view of each hole, and avoids needless surprises and “tricked up” shots.

“Okatie Creek is a classic course that players will find fun, not frustrating,” said Mark McCumber when the course opened nearly 10 years ago. “There aren’t a lot of narrow fairways or forced carries, but scratch golfers will definitely find it a challenge if they choose to play from the farthest tees.”

Its pair of demanding par-5s, which offer the perfect combination of risk and reward, highlights Okatie Creek’s front nine. Though a modest 519 yards from the back tees, the par-5 fourth demands accuracy the entire way as water looms to the right near the green. For the average golfer, however, two well-played shots will leave a short approach to a small, well-guarded green.

At 549 yards, the par-5 sixth is far more demanding as it offers a double dogleg that turns left then right. Now the third toughest hole on the course, the sixth demands the perfect mixture of power and accuracy.

While certainly a treat for visiting golfers, what Sun City and its two golf courses present the best is a desirable lifestyle of leisure, competition, camaraderie and ease. An active adult community in every sense, Sun City hosts 20 to 22 golf outings for its members each month ranging from men’s and ladies days, 9-hole couples tournaments and other golf-related activities.

Community amenities include a beautiful Town Square, a multi-million-dollar recreational center offering tennis, fitness center, art studios, computer rooms, ballroom, and indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

So whether it’s a memorable golf experience or a complete lifestyle change, Sun City Hilton Head offers everything golfers come to the beautiful South Carolina Lowcountry in search of.

To make a tee time on Hidden Cypress, call 843 705-4999. For a tee time on Okatie Creek, call 843 705-GOLF.


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