The Sea Pines Resort

Dynamic Duo of Dye Delights

Harbour Town, Hilton Head, SCIt could be said that Pete Dye “made” Hilton Head Island golf when his spectacular Lowcountry views, dramatic angles, signature waste bunkers, narrow approaches and small greens were introduced to the world at The Harbour Town Golf Links forty years ago. He might not admit it, but his return to The Sea Pines Resort to transform the old Sea Marsh course into the spectacular Heron Point by Pete Dye might just signal the “remake” of golf excellence on the Golf Island.

Dye’s intriguing “new” vision of that signature style that made Harbour Town so distinctive has made Heron Point a great compliment to its more famous sister course because of its contrasts. You know, like Ginger and Mary Ann. One thing the courses share is a championship quality that gives Sea Pines TWO must-play venues, and frankly helps the award-winning resort pair them in even more affordable two-course packages.

What Heron Point and Harbour Town do together is not only continue Dye’s legacy of revolutionary designs, they keep Sea Pines ahead of the evolutionary curve of what we all know as “resort golf.”

In the words of Cary Corbitt, Director of Sports and Golf Operations at Sea Pines Resort, “the days of ‘resort friendly’ are out the window. People want a challenge. Look around the country at PGA West, Whistling Straits and The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island (all celebrated Dye designs). They’re all getting a great amount of play and are among the hardest golf courses in the nation. Our customers want those types of challenges.”

They’ll certainly get it at Dye’s dynamic duo at Sea Pines. Harbour Town, of course, still hosts the PGA TOUR’s Verizon Heritage every year the week after the Masters, while entertaining thousands of golfers who love to take their shot at “playing where the pros play” the other 51 weeks of the year. The thrilling finishes the last five years, where the tournament wasn’t decided until the final hole, or in a playoff, as the best players in the world battled through the narrow corridors of moss-draped oaks and pines to the fabulous finish along Calibogue Sound, have given guests to the course an intriguing frame of reference to base their own success. The addition of forecaddies to every group and the availability of walking caddies at Harbour Town adds to the “professional” experience of playing one of the pros’ favorite layouts.

The Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head, SC


Heron Point, which opened to rave reviews by players and golf experts alike last fall, is a delightful contrast to its older sibling in its openness, its elevation changes, and its collage of colors. Dye’s design at Heron Point occupies the same corridors as the old Sea Marsh layout, but many greens have been moved to sunnier, more open areas. With the installation of the same state-of-the-art sub-air moisture removal system under the greens that Harbour Town has and the same Mini Verde greens that transformed the TPC Sawgrass, Heron Point will be very playable no matter how much it might rain. Speaking of those greens, Heron Point’s are slightly larger than Harbour Town’s legendarily small targets, but are significantly more undulating, with many run-off areas creating exciting recovery options.

Besides the berms and mounds used to create elevation changes, Dye actually dug down into the island that’s barely above sea level to create a surprising number of uphill shots at Heron Point. And instead of his signature railroad tie bulkheads, Dye’s installed 12” wooden planks separated by grass on some of his hazard borders, grass-walled many of his bunkers, and with soft white bunker sand and shades of brown and red coming from the mulch and pine straw borders, has created a kaleidoscope of color.

Instruction from Top 100 teaching pro Rick Barry and his staff at the Golf Academy of Hilton Head Island at Sea Pines, and package deals that can get you on both of Pete’s masterpieces, with accommodations in villas, homes, or at their world-class Inn at Harbour Town, are available through www.seapines.com, or by calling toll free (866) 561-8802.

 

 

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