Golfing in Paradise
I have been a golfer since I was a teenager inspired by the Big Three (Arnie, Jack, and Gary) to take up the game, play on the college golf team, and ultimately become a Certified Golf Teaching Professional®. My love of the game has also taken me to many beautiful places, such as Hilton Head, South Carolina, where we owned a condo for over a decade.
I love variety, in golf and in life in general. A trip in 2015 to Hilton Head Island reminded me of the many wonderful rounds of golf I played on the multitude of designer courses on the island. I had played great golf courses before, like Pinehurst No. 2, a Donald Ross masterpiece, but until we bought a quarter share in Hilton Head’s Palmetto Dunes Plantation, I have never had such easy access to so many excellent designer golf courses. I was, unabashedly, like a kid in a candy store.
With ample time to sample the golfing fare on each trip to the island, I played as many of the courses as I could, my favorites many times, in the decade during which we owned our condo and visited the island frequently. Courses designed by Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Robert Trent Jones, Pete Dye (who designed the most famous course on Hilton Head Island, Harbour Town Golf Links), Tom Fazio, Arthur Hills, and a myriad of other great designers were my among my choices every day. None of these magnificent courses was ever more than a short ride away (typically under one-half hour on the island, slightly more for courses in surrounding areas). I was in a golfer’s paradise.
Although I much enjoyed playing Harbour Town for its natural beauty and premium it places on accurate shot making, which I have always felt was a mark of a good golfer, my favorite course on or off the island was, and remains, the Arthur Hills course. This somewhat hidden, never crowded gem always presented me with a challenge to all aspects of my game, always satisfied my need to play on a pristine course in a beautiful setting, and always left me looking forward to my next round. As it was a 10-minute ride from our condo in Shelter Cove, it was also one of the easiest courses for me to drive to on the island.
I have had many wonderful experiences learning and playing the great game of golf. I will share some of those with you in future articles.
Until then, I offer you a swing thought based on words that the singer, movie star, and avid golfer Bing Crosby immortalized in a song lyric sung by the crooner at the Pebble Beach PGA Tour event he hosted for many years:
“It went straight down the middle, every time!”