Renowned as the first resort on Hilton Head Island, Sea Pines has experienced recent upgrades including the addition of the new Plantation Club, the Sea Pines Beach Club, dredging and deepening of Harbour Town's Yacht Basin and, most recently, a new, 26,000-square-foot Harbour Town Golf Links clubhouse.
Currently, one final project remains to make the picture complete. Starting May 4, after the annual RBC Heritage in April, the 1969 Pete Dye-designed Harbour Town course will close for the summer for a major facelift. Tee boxes, fairways and rough will be resurfaced with Celebration Bermuda grass, which is considered a technologically advanced turf for warm-weather courses, while greens will get new Tif-Eagle Bermuda updates.
Sea Pines recently re-grassed one of its other courses, the Dye-designed Heron Point by Pete Dye. Harbour Town's greens have used Tif-Eagle since 2001. Additionally, a new state-of-the-art irrigation system will help maintenance staff to monitor water usage.
The updating of the course's surfaces is the first since a 2001 restoration and will be overseen by McCurrach Golf Construction - the same company that oversaw the 2001 work and last year's Heron Point renovations. Work is expected to be complete and the course reopened by September.
The course enhancements, and the new clubhouse, should keep Harbour Town among the nation's top-ranked golf courses. While Golf Digest recently dropped the course just outside its Top 100 rankings, Golf Magazine rated Harbour Town No. 9 among its "Top 100 Courses You Can Play." Golf also awarded Sea Pines with its Gold Medal ranking in its 2014-15 edition of its "Premier Resorts."
Cary Corbitt, Sea Pines' vice president of sports and operations, said the course upgrades are being made to keep up with the resort's other improvements since 2014. "The year-round playability of the course is going to be greatly enhanced and enjoyed by PGA Tour players (at the RBC Heritage), members, resort owners and resort guests."
PGA Tour players rated the short but demanding Harbour Town course as their No. 2 favorite annual venue, trailing only Augusta National, home of the Masters. Corbitt said the course enhancements, combined with recent construction projects, should keep Sea Pines on the cutting edge of golf and resort business for the foreseeable future.