Hilton Head Is A Must
Take it from Tony. Our Traveling Golfer host has been coming here for decades.
In this episode, Tony hits the courses of the Heritage Golf Group, which is a booming golf property and management company that could make your stay and play a repeat tradition.
Tony Goes Royal With A Personal Caddie
Tony first hits Port Royal Golf and Racquet Club. His personal caddie is Jay Rusch, General Manager and Director of Golf at Port Royal.
The resort has three championship golf courses designed by some of golf’s greatest architects. Each course — The Barony, Robber’s Row, and Planter’s Row courses are surrounded by beautiful lagoons, marshes, and majestic trees.
The Barony was on the first courses on the Island of Hilton Head. It is not too long, but you better be ready with your approaches, because Barony, as Tony can attest, is small, really small greens.
Robber’s Row is a muscle course, according to Tony. This long course is designed by Willard Byrd and George Cobb, then redesigned by Pete Dye. Tony’s favorite is the Par-5 14th hole that requires a tee shot over a tidal marsh, followed by your third shot approach to a narrow green.
The courses are open year-round. Plus, Port Royal Golf and Racquet Club also offers tennis enthusiasts the chance to play on six well-maintained clay courts. The tennis program is led by a team of experienced professionals who offer lessons, clinics, and programs to players of all levels.
Tony’s Shipyard Memories
Another Heritage Group gem is Shipyard Golf Club. These 27 holes are an ideal resort style layout; not too difficult with easy greens. But you will want to come back.
The three 9-holes — Clipper, Galleon, and Brigantine — have 6 incredible par-3’s that are very picturesque.
But Brigantine’s 9th hole, a par-5 leaves some scary memories for Tony. Playing in an event in the 1980s, his drive settled just barely in a water hazard. Back then, Tony took off his shoes and socks and hit it back into the fairway, despite the watching eyes of a very large reptile. Tony says it is something he wouldn’t do today.
Fortunately, the publicity at Shipyard has nothing to do with Tony’s wet experience. The course has been named one of the top golf courses in South Carolina by numerous publications.
Oyster Reef Part of the Rees Jones Family
The designs just get more prolific. Tony hits Oyster Reef Golf Club. It is an 18-hole championship golf course designed by renowned golf architect Rees Jones. The layout is stunning with views of the Port Royal Sound.
The key word here is championship. Bring your A-game. The bunkers are everywhere and strategically placed. Also, pay attention to what tee boxes you hit from so you can get a good test of your game. If you get on the right tees for your game, this is a great test for all golfers.
Luxuriate Among the Palmettos
Tony hits another gem — Palmetto Hall Plantation Club.
It has two championship 18-hole golf courses – the Robert Cupp and Arthur Hills courses. The courses are nestled among beautiful oaks, pines, and lagoons and offer stunning views of the island’s natural beauty.
But they differ in their challenges for golfers. Again, pick the right tees for your game to really enjoy this layout as well.
The No 10 hole on the Cupp course is a par-5 has daunting approach over water and bulkhead. Tony cleared it and stayed dry, but he was 30-feet from the pin and just missed the birdie.
What’s fascinating about the course is that Designer Cupp was infatuated with the computer design craze that hit in the 1990s. As Tony points out, he got carried away using geometric designs that he tried to incorporate into the course design. Many of those harsh angles have been toned down.
Meanwhile, the Hills Course at Palmetto Hall is a true test of golf. The18th hole is a beautiful but tough 440 yards from the tips. Wait until you see it. You will understand why Tony says it could be the toughest hole on the island.
In addition to these incredible courses, Palmetto Hall has a fabulous dining room and bar.
And that is very typical for all of the Heritage destinations. Each course has four different restaurants to offer a wide range of culinary delights.
So much more than golf
And it is not just for die-hard golfers. These are great stops for tennis players too. But you can also bring the family. They have foot golf and pickleball. Lisa Dahlstrom, VP of Revenue for Heritage Golf group, who has lived on Hilton Head since 2005, says no matter who you are, Hilton Head will be a perfect vacation spot.
As we have told you before, Hilton Head offers so much:
1. Beaches: Hilton Head Island has some of the most stunning and unspoiled beaches in the United States. The island boasts more than 12 miles of pristine, white sand beaches that are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and watersports.
2. Outdoor activities: Hilton Head Island is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy activities like golf, tennis, biking, kayaking, fishing, and more.
3. Wildlife and natural beauty: Hilton Head Island is home to a diverse range of wildlife and ecosystems, including sea turtles, dolphins, alligators, and diverse bird species. Visitors can explore the island’s various nature reserves, parks, and wildlife refuges to view these animals.
4. Family-friendly attractions: The island is known for its family-friendly atmosphere and attractions. It offers a range of activities and attractions suitable for all ages, including miniature golf, go-karts, water parks, and more.
5. Dining and shopping: Hilton Head Island has a vibrant dining and shopping scene. It features an array of excellent restaurants ranging from casual beachside eateries to fine-dining establishments. Visitors can also explore the island’s upscale shopping districts to find unique boutique stores and major retail brands.
Overall, Hilton Head Island provides visitors with the perfect blend of relaxation, adventure, and natural beauty, making it a popular vacation destination.
And Heritage has taken advantage of that, according to Eric Boberg, VP of Operations for Heritage. He tells Tony that Heritage now has 28 properties across the US, including the six on Hilton Head. Their best pitch to would-be vacationers, they own and manage each facility. No absentee owners here. And that’s what you want to hear.
Susan Anzalone and John Daly are the Co-Creators and Co-Hosts of Undercover Jetsetter, a show on travel, food, wine, mixology and, of course, golf. (John actually played on the Celebrity Players Tour.) They show you how to jet set the world and at home. They also co-authored the book, The TV Studio In Your Hand: How to Shoot, Edit & Deliver the Easy Way on Your iPhone. Join them for lighthearted fun, easy tips and hacks you can use no matter where you are.