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January 2023 Golf Trip in Hilton Head


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46 minutes ago, billchao said:

Thanks for the feedback, @Friz. This is pretty much what I'm finding. Most complaints tend to be about pace of play (which may be better in January) or price. All of the "regular" courses down there are good but not memorable golf courses. That's fine - especially since being able to play golf in January is already a pro for me - but if I'm going to travel 800 miles to play golf, I'm going to want to play a few places that are better than just good.

Yea it's a bit of a mixed bag. Some people say Harbour Town is overrated and conditions aren't great outside of a two month window before and after the RBC Heritage Tournament. Others say Harbour Town is a must play course. As of right now I'm more interested in the other two.

Thanks for the recommendation.

I'm going to look into food once I'm done researching courses.

Yea, I saw some on some vlogs.

Gotcha, in that case I think you're on point with Atlantic Dunes at the top of your list.  I think it's still true you can basically play both Atlantic Dunes and Heron Point for the same price as Harbour Town.  You're paying a premium to play where the pros play, but all three are at the top of most lists for the island.

I've generally looked for more budget friendly options on my visits, a lot of the golf there is pricey, and I haven't gone specifically for golf....more abandon the family on the beach to get some golf in one day during our trip....but it does say something that the cheaper options on the island are still great experiences.

And the gators...I expect are well known.  But it's definitely a different experience than my golf in Michigan.  If you look for them you'll find them, and I spent more than one shot feel a little uncomfortable knowing they were lurking nearby in the water....

-Eric

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22 minutes ago, Friz said:

Gotcha, in that case I think you're on point with Atlantic Dunes at the top of your list.  I think it's still true you can basically play both Atlantic Dunes and Heron Point for the same price as Harbour Town.  You're paying a premium to play where the pros play, but all three are at the top of most lists for the island.

It's close, but not quite. Current rate is $335 for Harbour Town and $220 for either of the other two. But Harbour Town requires at least a forecaddie which is an additional $30 and both Atlantic Dunes and Heron Point offer a discounted rate of $160 after 1PM.

Palmetto Dunes courses are currently $189 for RTJ and $162 for the other two. Their discounted rates start at 11:00 and all three courses have reduced rates.

26 minutes ago, Friz said:

I've generally looked for more budget friendly options on my visits, a lot of the golf there is pricey, and I haven't gone specifically for golf....more abandon the family on the beach to get some golf in one day during our trip....but it does say something that the cheaper options on the island are still great experiences.

They're cheaper than the courses at Sea Pines and Palmetto, but yea they're still expensive. Things will be cheaper in January, but right now everything looks to be about $100-$120.

35 minutes ago, Friz said:

And the gators...I expect are well known.  But it's definitely a different experience than my golf in Michigan.  If you look for them you'll find them, and I spent more than one shot feel a little uncomfortable knowing they were lurking nearby in the water....

Yea I've played in FL, so I've seen gators on the course before. Even once hit a shot standing way too close to the water playing with @Vinsk.

I was more concerned about the rafter of turkeys I had to walk through between holes while playing at one of the Disney courses. Those things can be nasty.

Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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2 hours ago, billchao said:

It's close, but not quite. Current rate is $335 for Harbour Town and $220 for either of the other two. But Harbour Town requires at least a forecaddie which is an additional $30 and both Atlantic Dunes and Heron Point offer a discounted rate of $160 after 1PM.

Palmetto Dunes courses are currently $189 for RTJ and $162 for the other two. Their discounted rates start at 11:00 and all three courses have reduced rates.

Guess who plays lots of afternoon golf for discounted rates?  🤚

All the math on pricing i remember basically took that into account I guess. 

I have heard good things about RTJ as well.  You can always throw a dart at the cheaper courses in the area for a morning round, and jump on those discounted rates at the elite courses for the second 18 of the day.

2 hours ago, billchao said:

They're cheaper than the courses at Sea Pines and Palmetto, but yea they're still expensive. Things will be cheaper in January, but right now everything looks to be about $100-$120.

This also is true.  I want to say I paid under $70 for afternoon rounds everywhere I've played down there before.....and thats the cheapest I could find in Hilton Head.  I rarely pay over $50 for most of my rounds in Michigan

Either way, you're in for a great trip.  The "cheap" courses are still great to play, and a couple top tier courses mixed in would be a perfect week of golf.  Makes me want to get back down there for a full island golf tour sometime soon

-Eric

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26 minutes ago, Friz said:

You can always throw a dart at the cheaper courses in the area for a morning round, and jump on those discounted rates at the elite courses for the second 18 of the day.

Time might be a factor. There's only about 10 hours of daylight in January. If the discount is significant I don't see a good reason no to play at a discounted time slot at one of the premier courses though, even if it's the only round planned for the day.

31 minutes ago, Friz said:

Either way, you're in for a great trip.  The "cheap" courses are still great to play, and a couple top tier courses mixed in would be a perfect week of golf.

Yea, I think it's going to be fun. Mixing in a selection of courses is probably the plan.

Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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More courses off the island:

Crescent Pointe Golf Club - An Arnold Palmer design. It's the only Arnold Palmer public course in the area. Interesting looking green complexes and some great views of the marshland. This one looked promising, except the reviews on the course seem to indicate that the course seems to have neglected the upkeep and maintenance in recent times. I was interested in the course but if it's really as bad as people say it is, I'll pass.

Eagle's Pointe Golf Club - Another DLIII design. This one is more inland than Crescent Pointe, so the views aren't as spectacular. Looks more like Hilton Head National from what I'm seeing. Seeing a lot of negative reviews about maintenance, too. I think the same company owns both these courses and if I'm going to roll the dice on course conditions being rough, I'll choose Crescent Pointe over Eagle's Pointe.

The Golf Club at Hilton Head Lakes - This course is much more wide open than most of the courses on the island with some interesting holes. Could be a nice departure from playing the others.

Hidden Cypress Golf Club - It's a housing development course and looks exactly as you'd expect it too. Well technically most if not all of the courses in the area are housing development courses, but I'm talking about tee boxes right next to people's backyards and unobstructed views into their living rooms, that sort of thing. Looks like decent course though, and it's half the price of the standard HHI courses.

Okatie Creek Golf Club - Similar to Hidden Cypress except with more trees lining holes to obscure the houses.

Island West Golf Course - This one claims to be designed by Fuzzy Zoeller, but I found a local article about the course that said he was just a consultant on the project and not the principal designer. The course was almost sold to a developer that wanted to turn it into mixed residential and commercial properties, but the residents fought it and it ended up being purchased by the homeowner's association. The course actually reopened earlier this summer after being closed since April 2020 due to Covid and course renovations. It's supposed to be a fun course but still challenging, but I have not found any recent reviews. Oh and there's a double green that two par 3s share. It's really two greens connected by a tail but I guess it technically counts.

Back on the island (because I missed this the first time around but thanks to @Friz for bringing it up):

Palmetto Hall Golf and Country Club -  Two courses here, the Arthur Hills Course and the Robert Cupp Course. The Arthur Hills Course is currently going through some renovation work on greens and bunkers and won't be open until October. It's the Robert Cupp Course here that looks interesting. Apparently it was designed in the early 1990's on a computer and as a result there are a lot of straight lines and geometric shapes on the course. There are greens and bunkers that are rectangular or square shaped, water hazards with straight edges, and there's even a bunker that's a triangle. It's pretty unique looking and I kind of want to check it out. It's actually supposed to be a pretty good and challenging golf course, too, so it's not just a novelty act. I'll post a drone video of the course in a spoiler below so you can get an idea of what I'm talking about. It's not a hole-by-hole flyover.

Spoiler

 

I think that's pretty much it. There are a couple of other courses in the area that looked good, but they're stay and play so they're out. I'll narrow down the list to courses I'm interested in sometime and go from there.

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Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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  • 4 weeks later...
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I reserved two rooms. Check-in is after 4:00 PM on 1/9 and check-out at 11:00 AM on 1/15. So depending on people's travel plans, that gives us a minimum of four full days for golf, Tuesday-Friday, plus possibly Saturday morning before traveling home. I looked at flights for myself and I can arrive in Savannah on Monday 1/9 around 11:00 AM, so that gets me in town in plenty of time to check into the rooms without having to worry about people waiting around for me to show up. I can take a return flight at 7:00 PM Saturday so that gives me the option of playing in the morning. I still have to pare down the course selection.

It's still early yet, but I'll bring up the list again:

In:

  1. @billchao
  2. @DaveP043
  3. Mary Anne (Dave's better half)
  4. @Hardspoon

Highly Interested:

  1. @iacas
  2. @Carl3

Waiting to see which way the wind blows:

  1. @boogielicious
  2. @saevel25

Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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I’m going to have to pass on this @billchao. My wife is targeting the end of January to retire. A road trip may follow that.

Scott

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boogielicious - Adjective describing the perfect surf wave

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1 hour ago, boogielicious said:

I’m going to have to pass on this @billchao. My wife is targeting the end of January to retire. A road trip may follow that.

Winter isn’t Miata road trip weather 😃

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Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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Sounds great.  Mary Anne and I are thinking about driving, maybe making a stop in each direction to make each drive easier, and maybe visit some friends on the way.  Thanks for doing the hard work setting this up.

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