The Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links is one of the PGA Tour's favorite spots for good reason: It's a relaxed setting on a course that many players love, in a beautiful part of the country. Hilton Head Island and the South Carolina Lowcountry are known for their beauty, hospitality, great food and terrific golf.
The beauty of Harbour Town, a Jack Nicklaus-Pete Dye collaboration, is that it's open to the public. Harbour Town is part of Sea Pines Resort, which also offers the Ocean Course and the wonderful Heron Point by Pete Dye. After or before the Tour comes to town, you can play Harbour Town, which has one of the great finishing stretches in golf. Or you can play dozens of other golf courses in the area, including multi course resorts like Palmetto Dunes, Palmetto Hall and Colleton River Plantation.
And while the usual suspects are always great choices, there are a few other venues you might want to consider.
Hilton Head National, for example, is a hybrid of Gary Player and Bobby Weed. Located in nearby Bluffton, there are no houses on this layout, which features a front nine designed by Weed and a back nine by Player. As you might expect, the two nines are noticeably different in style, yet enjoyable.
Another interesting layout is Lady's Island, which opened in 1970. A typical southern-style beach course, it's flat and fairly long at 7,200 yards and has fantastic Mini Verde greens. The course has a links feel.
You could also head over to the Sanctuary Golf Club at Cat Island. As its name implies, you'll commune with nature on this nature-lovers' delight. Originally designed by George W. Cobb, Jeff Brauer stepped in and reworked it in 2008, crafting a collection of memorable holes.
And finally, there's Rose Hill Golf Club, which used to be 27 holes and underwent some tough times. Located in Bluffton, the course closed for three years, but was resurrected by Signature Golf Group of Myrtle Beach. It reopened as an 18-hole course in 2008. It's basic solid golf with an excellent practice facility that not only includes a driving range and short-game area, but two practice holes as well. And if you need a lesson, Rose Hill has one of the best women teachers in America, Dr. Jean Harris, which may be reason enough to visit.