Bunker ShotThe rumors are most certainly true, folks. Our beloved Hilton Head has long been praised as one of the best places to play golf in all of the world. Personally, all bias aside, I believe that it tops that list. Yes. Bias aside. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Are there other wonderful areas to fly your Titleist? Sure there are. But none also spoil you with the luxuries and charms of the Hilton Head Island area. Golfing here is the equivalent of driving 200 yards off the tee on (you guessed it) a 200 yard Par 3 while the others provide you with 160. 

To be honest, the 160 yards is very impressive, however, the extra 40 yards matter. It can easily be the difference between a birdie and a hole in one. No matter what your palette is, ‘bragging rights’ is always a tasty dish. It’s almost as good as ribs from the SC BBQ Trail. Almost.

Hi, I’m REALTOR Rick Turner, and I am proud to present to you the ace of the golf community: Hilton Head Island and neighboring Bluffton, SC.

The Fore-word

The area of Hilton Head has a huge variety of breathtaking (and afternoon-stealing) golf courses that range from the casual to the PGA-driven. They usually fall into three categories: private, private residential, or resort. It helps to know what the definition of each is. 

  • Private Golf Club Community - A gated golf community where all the owners are members of that club. 
  • Private Residential Community - A gated community with one or more courses where owners can choose to become members of a golf club. 
  • Resort Community - A gated golf community where it’s truly come one, come all. Tourists are welcome to play through here.

That was my best ‘Webster’s Dictionary’ impression. Now on to what truly matters: the courses. There are more of them in the Hilton Head area than you can shake a stick at. I know because I’ve tried shaking a stick at them and my arm got tired. I wouldn’t advise it. Save that energy for tee time.

A Novel ‘Approach’

What I’ve found in my years as a REALTOR and resident of the Hilton Head area is that whether you’re a low-handicapper or one that simply plays to glean free drinks out of your buddies, you’ll find all manner of  challenge here. It’s that diversity mixed with the world-famous course designs and tremendous amenities that keep folks coming back time and time again. Here are the local courses broken down by category (hold on to your Caddyshack hats!):

Private Golf Club Communities

Private Residential Communities

Resort Communities 

The thing that makes this even more impressive is this list isn’t all inclusive. There are others that stand out even more like, say, Harbour Town. Sound familiar? Well, it definitely should! Harbour Town is the renowned private PGA course designed by the Pete Dye and the legend himself, Jack Nicklaus (some 30 years ago). Along with Long Cove, Harbour Town will cause your heart to backspin. And then there is the Private Golf Club Community of Colleton River.

“One of Jack’s best!” - Golf Digest’s review of Colleton River

The Nicklaus Course at Colleton River is an extremely challenging course that plays from 6,700 to 7000 yards depending upon tee position and spoils your visually with vistas of salt marshes and deep-water. Playing the entire 18 holes at this course feels more like a Manifest Destiny excursion than a trip to the corner store. And Colleton River also comes equipped with TWO clubhouses: The Nicklaus Clubhouse “village” and the Dye Clubhouse where the Dye Course is. Simply put, they're magnificent.

Putt-entially the Best Around

There’s just no way to articulate into words the feeling of playing on the Hilton Head area golf courses. I’ve traveled to others outside of our Palmetto State and, although impressive, there’s just something about these courses that make you fall in love. Please don’t propose to the greens, though. I’m pretty sure that’s not permitted and I think the bunkers have been courting them for awhile now.

So what are you waiting for? Grab those clubs, force your 16-year-old to be your caddy for the afternoon (call it a debt repaid for the video games) and come join me for an afternoon of beautiful landscapes and challenging play. Just promise me one free mulligan. See you on the links!

Until we meet,

Posted by Rick Turner on


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