October 2007

Palmetto Dunes Golf: So Much More than 54 Holes

Author: Paul deVere

When golfers say that playing at Palmetto Dunes is “cool,” they mean it both figuratively and literally. While the resort’s three courses—Fazio, Jones and Hills—offer a great challenge to golfers at every level of play, it’s the air conditioned golf carts that have really made a hit. Introduced last summer, the Coolwell G2 Climate Control Systems that have been added to the carts are a great treat while playing on a sultry summer day in the Lowcountry.

Another attention-getting feature for golfers at Palmetto Dunes is the “Segway Personal Golf Transporter,” also introduced in 2006. Scooting around the fairways on these two-wheel scientific marvels is not only fun, but play is faster and golfers are eight inches taller, making it that much easier to see down the fairway. There is no more dropping off your partner in a golf cart and saying, “Wait here while I go look for my ball in the trees.” You just quietly roll on over and start looking while your partner hits another one down the middle.

While these two innovations definitely suggest golf at Palmetto Dunes has something different and exciting to offer, that would miss the much bigger picture: the entire golf program.

Probably the most visible person on the large golf staff is director of instruction, Doug Weaver. His weekly, local television show is very well-received by islanders and visitors alike. The list of instruction programs he and his staff offer is one of the most comprehensive in the Southeast. Along with the traditional private lessons and one-, two-, and three-day golf schools, Weaver and the teaching staff offer specialty clinics for virtually every golf shot, family golf schools, women’s golf schools and a variety of junior programs. Palmetto Dunes’ commitment to junior golf is so strong that junior tees were added when the Robert Trent Jones course was renovated in 2002. In 2003, the Jones course was named South Carolina Golf Course of the Year by the South Carolina chapter of the National Golf Course Owners Association. There are even free golf tips on the Palmetto Dunes website, including several short video clips, featuring Weaver giving pointers on the golf swing.

Palmetto Dunes is a popular pick for a variety of tournaments, from the Celebrity Golf Tournament to NCAA college golf. This year marks the second time in a row the Amateur Golf Tour (AGT) chose Palmetto Dunes for its major championship. The Arthur Hills course will be the host for the two-day event to be held October 27-28. The AGT is the largest amateur network of its kind. Over 600 golfers are expected to play in the 13th AGT Championship. All three courses at Palmetto Dunes will be involved, plus courses at Port Royal and Oyster Reef.

At one time or another, virtually every major golf publication, from Golf Magazine to Travel & Leisure Golf, has named Palmetto Dunes to its “best of …” lists. A variety of websites, where golfers’ rank their playing experiences, always seem to rank the Palmetto Dunes program close to a perfect five stars, whether it’s course condition or service. A typical comment from GolfInsider.com: “Golf couldn’t have been better. Great people. It felt more like a club than a resort course.”

But maybe one of the best recommendations came from Tom Marshall, a visitor from Trenton, NJ. He and three friends have made what he calls his “September golf pilgrimage” to Hilton Head Island and Palmetto Dunes for 12 straight years. After complimenting Director of Golf Chip Pellerin and his staff for another “great week of golf” Marshall said, “I’ve met so many Hilton Head residents playing here. I think that’s about the best compliment you can give a golf course. If the locals like it so much, you know you’re doing something right.”

For a complete look at Palmetto Dunes golf program or to check out Doug Weaver’s tips, call 843.785.1138 or visit www.palmettodunes.com.

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