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Harbour Town Golf Links Lighthouse

Course Spotlight: The Harbour Town Golf Links

Tucked away in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, the Harbour Town Golf Links provide a unique, must-have experience for any visitor. Famed designer Pete Dye and golf legend Jack Nicklaus have come together to create one of the most celebrated courses that the PGA Tour has to offer. Let’s take a closer look at the course’s style, features, famous holes, PGA Tournament history and public accessibility.

Course Style and Features

When we hear the word “links”, we tend to imagine a golf course with all sorts of wide open spaces. Harbour Town offers a completely different experience, though. Since this course was shaped from 300 acres of oak, pine and magnolia trees, there is no shortage of trees dominating the landscape. This leaves precious little margin for error, as any wayward shot off the tee will make its way into the trees.


There is no natural water to worry about until the 17th hole, the ground is flat and there are some pot bunkers for golfers to be concerned with. The course is comprised of seven different types of grass. Four of these types are Bermudas, which are instrumental to withstand the summer heat. Two of the other grass types are over-seeded once the calendar flips to winter, as the rye grass keeps the course green during the colder months. It dies off once the weather warms back up.

The Final Two Holes

Once a golfer has made it through the first 16 holes, they may think that they are home free. However, the final two holes present one of the most unique challenges that any course in the region has to offer. The trees no longer serve as the main problem on the 17th hole. The new issue is a simple one: the winds that are whipping off the lagoon.

As for the 18th hole? There is a marsh jutting into the fairway, as well as a tree line on the right side. This keeps players from having any safe tee shot. The Harbour Town Lighthouse provides a landmark to “aim at” but that is much easier said than done. Water surrounds the green on the left and right sides, so bold players will have their chance to shoot for glory. Others may decide to aim to the right, as a miss provides extra dry land.

Jack Nicklaus and Peter Dye’s Influence

Back in 1968, Charles E. Fraser (the man who is responsible for the resort where this course is based) went to then 28 year old Jack Nicklaus. His goal was a simple one: constructing a championship-level golf course. While Nicklaus did not have the necessary experience at the time, he knew the perfect man for the job. Peter Dye would soon design a course that is far more challenging than most PGA Tour courses, serving as his defining achievement. “Harbour Town made my career,” he said.

Tournament History

Harbour Town Golf Links serves as the site of what is currently known as the RBC Heritage tournament and the inaugural Heritage Golf Classic was won by Arnold Palmer back in 1969. Since then, the tournament has been won by a host of golfing luminaries. Nicklaus himself took home the title in 1975 and recent winners include Jordan Spieth and Stewart Cink.

Public Play

This course is open for public play and 38,000 rounds of golf are played on Harbour Town Golf Links each year. The green fees for public play are also highly affordable, making this course a common destination for locals and visitors alike. Golf packages, inn/golf packages and villa packages are all available. Give us a call to find out more about pricing and availability.