The recovery continues at Harbour Town Golf Links in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, but officials are confident the iconic layout will re-open before the end of the year.
Harbour Town, site of the PGA Tour’s annual spring tournament since 1969, was hit particularly hard by the storm and according to RBC Heritage tournament director Steve Wilmot, the layout lost about 800 trees.
Wilmot said he toured the course last weekend and that the staff had already cleared away many of the fallen trees. A press release issued by Sea Pines Resort this week said officials hope to reopen the course by Nov. 21.
“There might be a few less trees, and a couple of holes might play a little easier, but it is amazing how much progress has been made,” Wilmot said. “From tee to green it’s spotless right now, they’ve gone hole by hole with a tree company.”
Nos. 2, 9, 10 and 16 suffered the brunt of the tree damage, and Wilmot said there is still concern how the salt/brackish water storm surge, which left parts of the 16th, 17th and 18th holes underwater, could impact the grass.
Wilmot said he expects the course to be in tournament shape for next April’s Heritage and said his foundation was devising a plan to help the Hilton Head community recover from the storm.