Harbour Town a short, demanding layout


HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Harbour Town Golf Links is an anomaly on the PGA Tour, a 7,101-yard, tree-lined gem that rewards precision over power.

“Target golf,” said Boo Weekley, who would know having won the Heritage twice and finishing outside the top 15 just once in six trips to Hilton Head. “You can’t hit it too far, but you have to hit it far enough.”

Got that?

Put another way, Harbour Town is dissected more so than played.

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Consider that the par-71 layout has a par 5 (the 502-yard second) which is 3 yards shorter than the 11th at Augusta National, which is a par 4, and just one par 3 that is more than 195 yards (the fourth, which is listed at 200 yards).

Not that the Lowcountry layout is a pushover, however. Last year, Harbour Town was the fifth-toughest non-major championship course on Tour and regularly ranks near the top of the circuit’s most-demanding layouts.

In this case, it turns out shorter is better.