Category: Hilton Head

April 18, 2013

Harbour Town offers stay-and-play package for $303 per weekday night

Posted at 12:36 PM by


If watching a few minutes of this week’s PGA Tour action from Hilton Head inspires you to plan a golf trip, then go right where the pros play. The Inn at Harbour Town is offering a golf package through 2013. The package starts at $303 per weekday night, per person, and includes accommodations for three nights, one round per day at Sea Pines resort’s Harbour Town Golf Links (the annual PGA Tour venue that is ranked second on Golf Magazine’s Best Public Golf Courses in South Carolina), Heron Point by Pete Dye (ranked 11th on Golf Magazine’s Best Public Golf Courses in the state) or the Ocean Course. The boutique, upscale Inn is adjacent to Harbour Town’s first tee. The package is also offered for weekends with a two-night minimum stay. For more information go to

Photo: 18th hole at Harbour Town (Rob Tipton/Boomkin Productions)

April 28, 2011

Ask Travelin' Joe: Hilton Head, Scottsdale and The Greenbrier

Posted at 1:04 PM by Joe Passov

If you want to ask Travelin' Joe a question, e-mail him at

Seapines Hi Joe,
We subscribe to GOLF Magazine and we have a book called "Golf's Best New Destinations" by Brian McCallen. After looking through that book, I was surprised not to see a course in South Carolina! We are planning a trip in June (hubby, wife, 11-year-old, 3-year-old, 1-year-old and a grandparent). We assumed South Carolina would be the best place in the U.S. to go for an awesome family resort, great beach, amenities, and of course amazing golf! We recently moved from SoCal and are in Ohio now. We figured somewhere on the East Coast would be best to avoid long flights and time changes withy the kids. Can you recommend a destination for us? Thank you!
Christina Mavrakis
Via email

Wow — a lot to cover! First, I have Brian McCallen's excellent book in my own collection. In Brian's defense, he devoted the text to new and emerging destinations, rather than established venues. I would lump South Carolina's prime three golf destinations, Myrtle Beach, Charleston and Hilton Head as "established," rather than new.

A fistful of quality golf and family retreats await as you work your way down the coast. Charleston is one of my favorite cities, and its golf resort offerings, from Kiawah to Wild Dunes, are marvelous — and very family-friendly. That said, I might wait until the kids are a wee bit older so that you can all appreciate the historical, cultural and culinary charms for which Charleston is famous.

As destinations go for families and serious golfers, it's impossible to beat Myrtle Beach for quality and value. There's something for every taste and price range along the Grand Strand — and it's closest to Ohio, so you'll save on travel time as well.

That said, many prefer the more low-key atmosphere of Hilton Head Island. I'm really fond of two plantation resorts, Palmetto Dunes (866-380-1778, and Sea Pines (866-561-8802, As a kid, I vacationed at Sea Pines with my parents, little brother and two little sisters, and we were all smitten. As an adult, I've enjoyed both properties immensely. Both Palmetto Dunes and Sea Pines feature villas which are perfect for your brood, but traditional hotels are available, too. You can understand why the PGA Tour pros are so fond of Sea Pines, where they play the Heritage event. Sea Pines is safe, clean and quiet (except for the rockin' Quarterdeck next to the iconic lighthouse), with terrific beaches, restaurants and family activities from bicycling to horseback riding. Toss in one of the most beautiful, well-respected courses on Tour, Harbour Town, and Sea Pines soars. Palmetto Dunes boasts an all-star lineup as well, including its Robert Trent Jones course, which features one of Hilton Head's only oceanfront holes, as well as a set of kids' tees measuring a sensible 2,625 yards.

Dear Joe,
Eight of us are headed out to Scottsdale this year for our annual Memorial Day Weekend Golf Trip (we usually head to Myrtle). Four days, six rounds. We were thinking the following lineup: Troon North Pinnacle, Grayhawk Talon & Raptor, Southern Dunes and We-Ko-Pa Cholla & Saguaro. Thoughts?
John Creed
Via email

Sensational slate! Bring plenty of sunscreen.

Hi Joe,
I want to say I love your column in GOLF Magazine. My question to you is regarding the Greenbrier Resort. If I have two rounds to play, which of the three courses would you recommend to play? Thanks!
Eli Hassif
Rockville, MD

Take the service and amenities of Manhattan's finest hotels, blend them with equal parts of historic West Virginia and rural mountain charm, then toss in a remarkable golf complex and you have The Greenbrier (800-453-4858, Kudos to native son Jim Justice for bringing back The Greenbrier to the Platinum status it deserves among American resorts.

Without question, start with the Old White course. Newly re-branded as The Old White TPC, this C.B. Macdonald/Seth Raynor classic was restored to its 1914 roots by Lester George in 2006, and proved a retro hit for the PGA Tour in 2010, when Stuart Appleby captured the Greenbrier Classic. From the elevated tee at the 1st, to the tranquil, wooded terrain that greets you thereafter, it's a round of pure pleasure, with many holes patterned after legendary British designs. The Old White TPC may lack modern drama, but it's good fun no matter what your skill level.

Your second choice depends on your playing ability. If you can comfortably handle forced carries on approaches to the greens, definitely do the Greenbrier course. This 1977 Jack Nicklaus redesign played host to the 1979 Ryder Cup and the 1994 Solheim Cup. Narrow, tree-lined fairways and greens perched above the fairway, often protected by bunkers or water, characterize this short layout that seems to play much longer.

If the hard, but handsome Greenbrier course sounds like too much golf to take on, sample the underrated third track at the resort, called the Meadows. Crafted by Dick Wilson in the early 1960s, then redesigned by Bob Cupp in 1999, the Meadows measures a sturdy 6,795 yards from the tips, but is only sloped at 129, with more width and fewer hazards than the other two layouts. Still, it's a legitimate entry in the Greenbrier golf family and starts and finishes at the same clubhouse that serves the other two courses. Meadows lacks the excitement and tournament pedigree of the Old White TPC and Greenbrier spreads, but if your goal is for a relaxing round with lost balls at a minimum, the Meadows is as soothing as it sounds.

(Photo: The Sea Pines Resort)


April 02, 2009

Ask Travelin Joe: Hilton Head and San Jose

Posted at 10:12 AM by Joe Passov

If you want to ask Travelin' Joe a question, e-mail him at

Dear Travelin' Joe,
We have traded our timeshare to Hilton Head during April 18-25. I'd like to get in two rounds while there but don't want to spend our vacation savings to play. Can you recommend three or four public courses that would run around $75 per round?

Mike Payson
Via email

Watch out for a massive Hilton Head hangover the week you're in, as the PGA Tour's Verizon Heritage event at Harbour Town ends on the 19th. From start to finish, it's one giant party. Understand, too, that you're visiting during prime time, so genuine bargains are scarce. That said, there's plenty of good golf on- and off-island for under $100.

For a true Lowcountry test, set your compass to Old South Golf Links ($80-$95; 843-785-5353, This 1991 Clyde Johnston design sports outstanding variety, with some holes that skirt the broad waters of the May River and others that play through live oak forests and next to saltwater lagoons. After 12 p.m., the $80 rate is worth every penny.

Hilton Head National ($86-$96; 843-842-5900, is another solid value. The National and Player nines form the handsome, original 20-year-old Gary Player creation, but the 10-year-old Bobby Weed-designed nine is different -- and equally fun -- with more run-up and shotmaking options.

For real savings, check out Eagle's Point Golf Club ($65-$79; 843-757-5900,, a 1998 Davis Love III product that's tucked into a modest real estate development, but which features a set attractive holes bordered by oaks and pines, plus a collection of sprawling greens guarded by surprisingly large, deep bunkers. It's a good test at a good price.

Continue reading "Ask Travelin Joe: Hilton Head and San Jose " »

December 18, 2008

Ask Travelin' Joe: Cabo San Lucas, Hilton Head and Fresno

Posted at 10:32 AM by Joe Passov

If you want to ask Travelin' Joe a question, e-mail him at

Dear Joe,
My wife and I are going to Cabo San Lucas this winter and I'm looking for a course to sneak out on while she's getting spa treatments. Any courses you can recommend that are worth playing but won't break the bank?

E.J. Costello, via email

Finding value-priced courses in Mexico's high-end Los Cabos area is like trying to find an honest politician -- they do exist, but they're not plentiful. In Cabo there are few bargains, but now at least there's a new quality option: Club Campestre San Jose ($160-$220; 01152-624-1425327, This Nicklaus Design product is located between the airport and the main resort area. Afternoon rates start at $160. Fees drop if you arrange to play multiple rounds. Sea of Cortez views are free.

Dear Joe,
I am going to Hilton Head Island and I am on a tight budget. What courses do you recommend for a 16 to 18 handicap?

Ed Meyer, via email

My value pick is Hilton Head National ($58-$64; 843-842-5900,, an engaging 27-holer that successfully merges mounds and marshland. For a more dramatic Lowcountry romp, try Old South ($55-$70; 843-785-5353,, but expect to surrender a few extra spheres to this salt marsh -- and lagoon -- laced track.

What's New This Month?
Ridge Creek Dinuba Golf Club
Dinuba, CA
Green fees: $51-$75
For tee times call 877-465-3891 or visit

Fresno is the raisin capital of the U.S., so it's no surprise that the newest wrinkle to its golf scene is pretty sweet. Located 30 miles south of downtown in the heart of the Central Valley, Ridge Creek Dinuba Golf Club offers a taste of English heathland. From flat, boring terrain architect John Fought crafted a vast, gently rippling layout with roomy fairways and gigantic, subtly contoured greens. Given the ever-present winds, Fought provided ample space for any class of golfer to blast away with his driver and still find his ball. Admittedly, that ball might be resting in one of the many steep-lipped bunkers scattered across the layout, but at least it's playable.

The strategic bunkering constitutes much of the challenge and variety in the course, but it's pretty clear you're in for a fun day when you compare the daunting yardage from the tips (7,482 yards) with the gentle slope rating (just 126). With a back nine that dishes out two par-4s checking in at 500 yards and a par-5 that runs 648 yards, your driver is sure to get a workout. But there's something to be said for a course that allows the rest of us to bash away with impunity and still walk off No. 18 smiling.

Ask Travelin' Joe

Our traveling correspondent has been where you're going. Heading out of town on vacation? Business trip? Travelin' Joe can suggest the best places for you to tee it up. If you want to ask Travelin' Joe a question, e-mail him at


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