Three Hilton Head Island Golf Holes You Must Play This Summer

It’s not much of an exaggeration to say that Hilton Head Island was built on the golf course.

Before Charles Fraser, before Sea Pines and the magnificent golf courses that call it home, this was a quiet barrier island serviced by a ferry.

It was the game that brought people here, the chance to play on some of the most spectacular courses in the country set against a backdrop of natural splendor. These days, there’s still plenty to Hilton Head Island outside the golf courses, but the game of golf still reigns.

As such, the island is home to some pretty mind-blowing holes. Whether it’s the scenery, the course design or a little bit of both, these holes are our three favorites.


Photo courtesy of Oyster Reef Golf Club

Oyster Reef Golf Club No. 6

Par 3, 192 yards off the championship tees

Oyster Reef Golf Club is one of those sleeper courses that racks up accolades and recommendations from locals, but you don’t really hear much about. This, despite being voted on of the top 20 courses in the Carolinas.

Designer Rees Jones did a spectacular job using the terrain to his advantage, creating a course that blends seamlessly with the Lowcountry splendor around it. You’ll even find a bird sanctuary on 14 and 15.

But the signature hole is No. 6, with its green flanked by unforgiving bunkers and a sharp drop to the right that matches the winds blowing off Port Royal Sound. Even if the winds catch your approach shot, you still have that glorious view as a consolation prize.


Photo courtesy of Palmetto Dunes

Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront Course No. 10

Par 5, 191 yards

There’s just something about this signature hole that captures the essence of golf on Hilton Head Island.

Maybe it’s the challenging fairways, a seemingly endless field that will require no less than three damn-near-perfect shots just to make it to the green without shanking off the ocean breezes. Maybe it’s the minefield of deep curly bunkers scattered around the greens.

Maybe it’s the ocean view when you finally do land on the green – a panorama of waves that you won’t find anywhere else on Hilton Head Island.

Then again, maybe it’s the gap in the chain link fence that lets you sneak out and grab a quick drink at Cocos on The Beach next door. Yeah, that’s probably it.


Photo by Dan Perry

Harbour Town Golf Links No. 18

Par 4, 472 yards

OK, so maybe it’s the obvious choice. The safe choice.

But come ON. This is the 18th at Harbour Town we’re talking about. It’s an icon. Everything about the way that lighthouse is framed as you stand on the tees, from the pencil-thin fairway to Calibogue Sound’s punishing winds and jaw-dropping scenery, serves as visual shorthand for everything Hilton Head Island golf is.

So yeah, the 18th is the obvious choice for a reason. It’s not only a crazy difficult hole on a course that PGA players consistently rank among their favorites, it soaks in some absolutely stunning scenery.


To discover more of what makes the Lowcountry such a great place to live and explore, subscribe now or pick up the April/May issue of South magazine.