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The Robert Trent Jones Course at Palmetto Dunes

Discover the Mesmerizing Golf Courses at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort in Hilton Head Island

By Sean Petersen

Located at the heart of Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort offers three miles of picturesque Atlantic Ocean beachfront, which is also the perfect venue for three world-class golf courses. The resort has a well-earned reputation for creating memorable vacation experiences for the entire family. With a rich history, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort has over five decades of premier service and natural beauty. It may have begun as a golfing destination, but over the last decades, it has become so much more, so in addition to golf, you can enjoy many amenities and experiences at this South Carolina resort, such as cruises and boat tours, bike rides, tennis and pickleball, fishing, charters, and watersports.

Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort features comfortable vacation rentals, a full-service marina, and a splendid lagoon system. If you choose this resort as your next golf vacation destination, you'll undoubtedly return home with fond memories. The resort offers a variety of restaurant choices, from fine dining to casual favorites the entire island raves about. Whether you're in the mood to relish a steak or sample a sandwich, dining at the Palmetto Dunes restaurants, cafes, and grills will provide just what you're hungry for. The golfing experience at the resort won't disappoint you either - on the contrary! Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is home to three golf courses built by renowned architects, which we invite you to discover.

The Robert Trent Jones Course, Both Challenging and Rewarding

This golf course offers fantastic views and challenging play for golfers at every skill level. The Robert Trent Jones Course is an excellent choice for your usual rounds of golf or a new destination for you and your friends when visiting Hilton Head Island. When walking out the back of the pro shop, you'll see the practice green between the first and tenth tees. As a very good practice green, it accurately replicates the speed of the greens on the golf course and has enough size to hold several foursomes. The Robert Trent Jones Course is one of the most scenic golf courses in Hilton Head Island. For most of the front nine, the golf course is heavily tree-lined.

The golf course feels wider open as you get to the back nine. Still, the tee shots are actually more difficult. Despite the width, there's a lot of visual trickery with fairway bunkers and water. The fairways snake around hazards, making you question not only what line to take but also how far to hit it. Furthermore, the hazards on the back - specifically all the water - are more penal. Palmetto Dunes offers golfers a wide range of yardages at the Robert Trent Jones Course. The gold tees stretch to over 7,000 yards and the red tees play to under 5,000. There's a set of black tees at 2,625 yards that are good for juniors or those seeking an executive course experience. Accurate drives at the course will set up favorable approach shots. The fairways have more movement than any of the other Hilton Head courses, but the undulations are still relatively modest.

Finally, the greens are pushed up like the Arthur Hills Course, but there are avenues to play the ground game. The greens offer narrow runways between the bunkers for those committed to running the ball up. However, this is a dicey approach, so it's best to stick to the high-flying route. The Robert Trent Jones Course balances the challenge across all elements of the game. The large greens feature a lot of undulations. Since the movements are spread out on larger canvases, you won't get the wild rollercoaster putts, but you have to read every green very carefully. There are only a few straight putts, and your speed consideration has to incorporate more than just your distance. No matter your strengths as a golfer, you'll find a place to shine at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course.

The George Fazio Course, Tough to Beat, Impossible Not to Enjoy

As a par-70 layout, the George Fazio Course at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is a tough test. Nevertheless, it's a slicer-friendly course, with plenty of the out-of-bounds trouble off the tee coming on the left side, away from a usual slicer's miss. Unlike the sibling Arthur Hills layout, which has very few fairway bunkers, there are many large bunkers in play off the tee on this course, though with shallow lips, they aren't too penal. Still, encroaching trees, angled water hazards, and a variety of tricky green shapes make the George Fazio Course arguably the most challenging of the three courses at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort. Here's a hole-by-hole rundown of the golf course:

• Hole 1 (par 4): Long but forgiving off the tee, the first hole favors a drive down the right side. The approach to this long green can play even longer into the wind.
• Hole 2 (par 5): Water short right, a tall tree guard this green, and a bunker short left. The smartest play is to lay up to 150-100 yards out.
• Hole 3 (par 4): This elevated green is guarded by two deep bunkers. A back-pin placement may need an additional 2-3 clubs on your approach.
• Hole 4 (par 3): This hole requires a precise shot to an elevated green with two bunkers short left. Make sure you have enough clubs, and be wary of a back-left pin placement.
• Hole 5 (par 4): You should stay to the right and leave yourself an open shot to the green. Protected on the right by a large bunker, this hole can be challenging to hit.
• Hole 6 (par 3): Check the wind, as being short is not an option. Long or anything left are good bailouts here.
• Hole 7 (par 4): Don't miss this long green to the left. Pin placement on this green can make a 2-3 club difference on your approach shot.
• Hole 8 (par 4): A well-bunkered, elevated green makes the approach play long. Take plenty of clubs and check the wind.
• Hole 9 (par 4): Getting past the fairway bunkers opens up the left side. The 45-yard green is only 20 paces wide.
• Hole 10 (par 5): A lay-up to 100 yards leaves a wedge to a wide green. Don't miss a front left pin long, as out-of-bounds lurks just beyond the left side of the green.
• Hole 11 (par 4): This green has a valley running through the middle that also runs off the back. With a long approach here, you can find water... and alligators.
• Hole 12 (par 4): Another elevated green, guarded by two large bunkers, runs very close to out-of-bounds long and left.
• Hole 13 (par 4): If you stay straight, you'll have less than 150 yards for your approach. This hole requires accurate iron play.
• Hole 14 (par 3): Attention to wind direction is vital for adequate club selection here. The tree on the right can come into play.
• Hole 15 (par 4): A good approach shot must clear the front bunkers to find this green. While a back-right pin placement can be tough to find, you should play to the middle of the green.
• Hole 16 (par 4): This is the Fazio signature hole. It's flanked by large bunkers, making accuracy a must.
• Hole 17 (par 3): Wind is important here because a short shot will find the water. The smart play is to the middle of the green.
• Hole 18 (par 4): If you cut the corner on the right, you may get blocked by trees. The elevated green is guarded by two large bunkers, one right and one left, with out-of-bounds long and left.

The Arthur Hills Course, Equally Impressive for Sharpshooters and Nature Lovers

The Arthur Hills Course provides a fun, challenging round of golf. It's not overly penal, but you need to be on your game to score well. Big hitters will like that you can hit it as far as you want, and there's plenty of width as well. After you've warmed up, you'll take a drive to the first tee. There, you'll find a superb practice green. The green imitates the speed on the course and is large enough to hold two foursomes. The Arthur Hills Course is a consistently attractive track with a strong sense of place. What this golf course lacks in dramatic natural features, it makes up for with engaging design. Strategically placed bunkers keep your eyes and mind busy throughout the round.

At par 72, the Arthur Hills Course can play from 4,291 to 6,918 yards with a total of six sets of tees. On each tee shot, there's water, a bunker, or a tree creeping into your field of vision to make you think twice. Usually, these distractions are purely visual and mental, not really affecting a well-struck drive, but they give the character of the shot. Well-struck tee shots will be rewarded with favorable approach shots. Movement in the fairways is moderate, which is why you're likely to draw a flat lie. The rough isn't tall or thick, but it is patchy. This golf course allows you to make your memories by enabling you to hit challenging shots and make some birdies.

Premier golf has always been the cornerstone of the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort vacation experience and will always be. If you're looking for challenging yet rewarding golf rounds, this resort is the perfect place for you and your family or friends.

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Revised: 12/09/2023 - Article Viewed 1,983 Times

About: Sean Petersen

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