Distinguished Panel Names Hilton Head's Harbour Town Golf Links South Carolina's Top Course

Harbour Town Golf Links The South Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel has once again named Hilton Head Island’s famed Harbour Town Golf Links as the Palmetto State’s top course, an honor that has been bestowed upon Harbour Town the past four times the prestigious list has been unveiled.

Harbour Town is set to host the 40th edition of the PGA TOUR’s Verizon Heritage April 14-20, bringing the renowned layout even more attention. Harbour Town also consistently ranks in the top 50 of Golf Magazine’s list of the “Top 100 Courses in the America” and “Top 100 Places You Can Play.”

Located within Sea Pines Resort, the joint creation of Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye was completed in 1969 and hosted the Heritage the same year. The event was the first-ever PGA TOUR stop in South Carolina and remains so today.

The immediate Hilton Head Island area, which includes nearby Bluffton and Daufuskie Island, placed three courses in the top 5 and was represented a total of ten times on the panel’s list of the “50 Best in SC”.

The May River Golf Club in Bluffton, designed by Nicklaus was rated as the fourth best layout in the state and was immediately followed by Long Cove Club which was designed by Dye. Both are private courses.

Both Colleton River courses (Nicklaus and Dye) made the list as did the two layouts at Belfair Golf Club (East and West). Colleton River and Belfair are both located just over bridge from Hilton Head in Bluffton.

Hampton Hall Dye and Nicklaus each landed new courses on the panel’s list.

The transformed Heron Point by Pete Dye, formerly the site of Sea Marsh, was a newcomer to the list at No. 25.

The Nicklaus-designed Cliffs at Keowee Falls in Salem, SC recorded a soaring debut at No. 13.

Nicklaus and Dye now join Tom Fazio as the most prolific architects of the “very best of the best” in South Carolina, each with four courses in the top half of the “50 Best” list.

The only courses not in close proximity to Hilton Head in the top 5 were Granitiville’s Sage Valley Golf Course, which is located just down Interstate 20 from Augusta National and Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course, which is slated to host the PGA Championship in 2012.

The only course to break into the top 10 was Secession Golf Club in Beaufort. The Bruce Devlin designed walking-only course moved from No. 11 to No. 9.

The South Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel consists of up to 125 members representing all facets of the game and all levels of playing abilities. Ratings are conducted by a closed vote with results tabulated once voting has closed.

The following criteria are considered when evaluating a course for consideration on the “Top 50” list: Routing, Variety, Strategy, Equity, Memorability, Aesthetics and Experience.

The objective of the Panel is to promote excellence in South Carolina golf course design and operations through competitive rankings, education and public advocacy. It serves as an ambassador for golf in South Carolina by striving to stimulate and facilitate the promotion and marketing of the outstanding golf courses, resorts and real estate development.

The Panel also hands out an annual award for “Excellence in New Course Design” and publishes a list of The Best 30 Courses You Can Play in SC, highlighting resort, public access and daily-fee courses.

Complete List
1. Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head Island (Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus)
2. Sage Valley Golf Club, Graniteville (Tom Fazio)
3. Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, Kiawah Island (Pete Dye)
4. May River Club at Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton (Jack Nicklaus)
5. Long Cove Club, Hilton Head Island (Pete Dye)
6. Greenville CC – Chanticleer Course, Greenville (Robert Trent Jones, Sr.)
7. The Dunes Golf and Beach Club, Myrtle Beach (Robert Trent Jones, Sr.)
8. Yeamans Hall Club, Hanahan (Seth Raynor)
9. Secession Golf Club, Beaufort (Bruce Devlin)
10. Cassique – Kiawah Island Club, Kiawah Island (Tom Watson)
11. Musgrove Mill Golf Club, Clinton (Arnold Palmer)
12. Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards, Salem (Tom Fazio)
13. Cliffs at Keowee Falls, Salem (Jack Nicklaus)
14. River Course – Kiawah Island Club, Kiawah Island (Tom Fazio)
15. Bulls Bay Golf Club, Awendaw (Mike Strantz)
16. Country Club of Charleston, Charleston (Seth Raynor)
17. Caledonia Golf and Fish Club, Pawleys Island (Mike Strantz)
18. Palmetto Golf Club, Aiken (Herbert Leeds, Allister MacKenzie)
19. Nicklaus Course at Colleton River, Bluffton (Jack Nicklaus)
20. Tidewater Golf Club and Plantation, Cherry Grove (Ken Tomlinson)
21. Wachesaw Plantation, Murrells Inlet (Tom Fazio)
22. The Cliffs at Glassy, Landrum (Tom Jackson)
23. The Golf Club at Briar’s Creek, Johns Island (Rees Jones)
24. Old Tabby Links, Spring Island (Arnold Palmer)
25. Heron Point by Pete Dye, Hilton Head Island (Pete Dye)
26. Chechessee Creek Club, Okatie (Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw)
27. Cherokee Plantation Golf Club, Yemassee (Donald Steele)
28. Ocean Point Course, Fripp Island (George Cobb)
29. Ralston Creek Course, Daniel Island (Rees Jones)
30. The Reserve Golf Club, Pawleys Island (Greg Norman)
31. Mount Vintage Golf Club, North Augusta (Tom Jackson)
32. The Reserve at Lake Keowee, Sunset (Jack Nicklaus)
33. West Course at Belfair Golf Club, Bluffton (Tom Fazio)
34. Debordieu Golf Club, Georgetown (Pete and P.B. Dye)
35. Surf Golf and Beach Club, Myrtle Beach (George Cobb)
36. East Course at Belfair Golf Club, Bluffton (Tom Fazio)
37. Camden Country Club, Camden (Walter Travis, Donald Ross)
38. Dye Course at Colleton River, Bluffton (Pete Dye)
39. Prestwick Country Club, Surfside Beach (Pete and P.B. Dye)
40. Haig Point Club, Daufuskie Island (Rees Jones)
41. Florence Country Club, Florence (John LaFoy)
42. True Blue Plantation, Pawleys Island (Mike Strantz)
43. Ocean Creek Course, Fripp Island Resort (Davis Love III)
44. Links Course at Wild Dunes, Isle of Palms (George Fazio, Tom Fazio)
45. Dye Course at Barefoot Resort, North Myrtle Beach (Pete Dye)
46. Hampton Hall, Bluffton (Pete Dye)
47. Grand Dunes Members Club, Myrtle Beach (Craig Schreiner, Nick Price)
48. Oldfield Golf Club, Okatie (Greg Norman)
49. Thornblade Golf Club, Greer (Tom Fazio)
50. Pawleys Plantation Golf Club, Pawleys Island (Jack Nicklaus)

• Bold indicates a Hilton Head Island area course

 

 

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