Palmetto Hall Cupp Course in Forbes’ Top 10

By:Bob Gillespie


Cupp course Palmetto Hall
Palmetto Hall's Cupp Course 8th Hole

There are a lot of ways to make a golf course unique – design, water features, location – and then there are architects who go in search of ways to make their designs stand out among the rest even more. In 2013, Forbes magazine decided to highlight such courses, and one South Carolina favorite – the Cupp Course at Hilton Head Island’s Palmetto Hall Resort – is included in that lineup.

Larry Olmsted, a Forbes contributor for golf, searched far and wide to pick his top 10. Among those considered most “unique” are Brickyard Crossing in Indianapolis, with four of its holes situated inside the track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, site of the Indy 500; Furnace Creek Golf Course in Death Valley, Calif. (for apparently obvious reasons); and Tobacco Road in Sanford, N.C., by the late Mike Strantz, a Mount Pleasant resident.

Then there’s the Cupp Course at Palmetto Hall, which defies conventional golf “wisdom” that stresses following natural contours of the terrain and gentle curving features. Bob Cupp, who built his Palmetto Hall course in 1993, instead decided to “recast the game in a geometric image with bunkers, tees and greens that formed squares, triangles and rectangles and fairway mounds of near perfect pyramids,” writes Olmsted.

“This geometric design never caught on and has never been repeated, but it lives today on Hilton Head, America’s first master-planned resort,” he concludes.

The look at Palmetto Hall is, well, arresting. But players will quickly come to appreciate the outside-the-box concept. After all, there are plenty of more conventional courses to play, including the rest of Hilton Head’s stellar lineup. Why not sample something … unique?

For information on the Cupp Course at Palmetto Hall, click here. To see the complete Forbes Top 10 list, click here.

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