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|Palmetto Dunes's Robert Trent Jones course has been lauded as women friendly by Top Fairways and Golf for Women magazine. (Brandon Tucker/TravelGolf)|
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - From Hilton Head National to the Golden Bear Golf Club, which was designed by Jack Nicklaus, there are golf courses in Hilton Head that could intimidate even the most seasoned golfer.
Yet, it also has something for everyone, including women and seniors, who usually look for similar features in a course, including well-planned forward tees, greens with open fronts, few forced carries and multiple tee boxes.
"In a world of male-designed courses, [women] usually look for certain factors that will make it pleasurable," wrote Tim McDonald in a story for HiltonHeadGolf.com. "In the Hilton Head area, there are several golf courses that fit that description."
Golden Bear Golf Club at Indigo Run - Awarded one of America's Top 100 Courses by Travel and Leisure Magazine, this course has forward tees at 4,974 yards. It also has diagrams and descriptions on the tee markers and more detailed graphics on the GPS, making it easy to know where you're going even if you're new to the course. And every Tuesday morning is Ladies' Day.
Harbour Town Golf Links at Sea Pines Resort - As far as women-friendly courses go, this one has a lot going for it because it was designed by Pete Dye. Dye's wife Alice, an amateur golfer and designer, makes sure her husband's designs are fair and challenging from the women's tees. Harbour Town, where the forward tees are 5019 yards, makes the grade.
It is also one of the most sought after courses on the island. It hosts the PGA Tour's Verizon Heritage tournament every year, and Golf Magazine has ranked it the top golf course in South Carolina.
Palmetto Dunes, Robert Trent Jones course - This scenic course with views of the Atlantic Ocean on the 10th hole made an appearance in the Top Fairways list of the country's 100 "Most women-friendly courses." It's also been written about twice in Golf for Women magazine.
The forward tees are 5,035 yards, and golf carts with air conditioning are available for rent. Women-only instruction programs are offered at Palmetto Dunes' Arthur Hills golf course on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8:30-10:30 a.m.
Okatie Creek Golf Club at Sun City Hilton Head - Designed by PGA Tour player Mark McCumber, this course with 15 lakes has five tee boxes on every hole, making it accessible to golfers of all skill levels. The forward tees are 4,763 yards.
Hilton Head National - Designed by Gary Player to be challenging but not unnecessarily punishing, this course has four separate sets of tee boxes, and women's tees are 4,682 yards.
The greens are spacious but not severely undulating, and the course is known for its friendly service. There are no homes on Hilton Head National.
Country Club of Beaufort at Pleasant Point - The forward tees are 4,753 yards at this course, located on Lady's Island not far from historic Beaufort. It is known for having an unhurried pace of play.
July 6, 2006
It might be a great time to be a golfer, but few would claim it is the best time to own a golf course. Competition is stiff, and the time, cost and difficulty of the sport make it a tough sell in today's fast-paced world. Therefore, course operators are being challenged to think "outside the cup." Here's case study on one course that's doing it right.
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