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Toughest Hilton Head golf holes will have duffers battling for birdie

By S. Adam Cardais,
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A view of the lighthouse from Harbour Town Golf Links' No. 18, one of the toughest holes to birdie on Hilton Head Island. (Courtesy of Harbour Town Golf Links)

As in any sport, it's the occasional moment of greatness, no matter how transitory, that hooks a golfer. For most, that moment is bagging the elusive birdie.

"Those pesky birdies don't ruin too many golfers' rounds," href="http://www.travelgolf.com/departments/authorarchives/tucker.htm">Brandon Tucker joked in a story for WorldGolf.com. "In fact, getting just one 'tweeter' over the course of an entire golf trip may be just fine for most."

But who wants to get that coveted birdie on a pushover course? Where's the excitement in that? The real thrill is going 1-under on a ball-buster of a hole. And though it only has about 20 courses, Hilton Head Island has plenty of those.

So if you're looking to push your skills, and your patience, to the max, check out these tough-to-birdie holes in Hilton Head.

Golden Bear Golf Club, No. 15: This 512-yard par 5 is a dogleg right with a hard-to-see lagoon on the left. A good lay-up is critical, but look out: The lay-up area is narrow, with out of bounds on the right and that water on the left. It's reachable in two for long hitters.

Harbour Town Golf Links, No. 10: It's no surprise that this course, home to a PGA Tour event and consistently rated one of the best tracks in the country, has some frightening holes. At 444 yards, the dogleg-left par-4 10th is a monster. You'll have to judge the wind, stay clear of a lake on the left side and then place your second shot precisely to the long and narrow green.

Hilton Head National, No. 7: Woods narrow both sides of the fairway on this 547-yard par 5. The slight dogleg left makes it unwise to try making it in two. The green is protected by a large oak tree on the left side that will become a factor if you decide to lay up.

The Arthur Hills Course at Palmetto Dunes, No. 17: This par 4 is marked as a No. 4 handicap but plays like a No. 1. The 17th doglegs left around a lagoon to a green sitting just on the edge of the water. Even Tiger Woods had trouble there.

"Legend has it that Tiger Woods attempted to drive the green from the 380-yard blue tees during the Rolex Amateurs, only to have his tee shot roll off the front of the green and into the water," Shane Sharpe wrote in a review for HiltonHeadGolf.com.

Harbour Town Golf Links, No. 18: Yes, Harbour Town is challenging enough to warrant two entries. Not only is No. 18 considered one of the toughest holes in Hilton Head, it's also one of the most picturesque.

"There are few memories you'll have in your golfing lifetime quite like that of reaching the tee box on the 18th hole, with Harbour Town in the distance and the lighthouse pleasantly acting as an aiming rod for your tee ball," Jeffrey A. Rendall wrote in HiltonHeadGolf.com review.

The 452-yard hole finishes along Calibogue Sound, making wind an issue. While the fairway is wide, the approach to the green over wetlands and bunkers makes the second shot a real test.

Country Club of Hilton Head, No. 4: If you want to birdie this 432-yard dogleg left, you'll have to knock it over a wall of tall, stately pines.

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