There’s a reason why the PGA Tour calls The Sea Pines Resort home each April for the RBC Heritage Classic (the 2012 installment will be played April 12-15) — simply put, this stretch of South Carolina should be on everyone’s year-after-year list.
First, there’s the famed Harbour Town Golf Links, home to the Heritage and one of Pete Dye’s greatest creations, challenging the best shotmakers in the world while also catering nicely to resort players who make the Hilton Head Island pilgrimage in search of a true Bucket List experience.
Next, there’s the exquisite Inn at Harbour Town, a hotel that invites you to exhale in luxury. From spacious rooms (some of which include views of Harbor Town Golf Links’ No. 1 tee) with simple, elegant décor to personal butler service (one of those amenities you never realize you need until you’ve experienced it), the Inn at Harbour Town is one of those pamper-yourself-by-letting-them-pamper-you getaways — all within walking distance of Harbour Town’s boutiques, galleries, dining and more.
Finally, there’s the weather. Average highs in December are still in the low 60s, and although the offseason on Hilton Head might seem a little scaled back (after all, the area “population” during peak summer vacation months can swell to more than 200,000), there’s still plenty of fun to be had, both on and off the golf courses. Sea Pines also offers Pete Dye’s Heron Point, opened in 2007, along with the Ocean Course, rebuilt by Mark McCumber in 1995. And events such as the Fourth Annual Chamber Restaurant Week — which highlights the area’s best dining Jan. 21-28 — and the Gullah Celebration — a festival of arts, crafts, food and history of the native island people during the month of February — are perfect tie-ins for your wintertime vacation plans.
In the end, though, The Sea Pines Resort revolves around Harbour Town Golf Links, where a par on the rousing final hole, with a stiff breeze blowing off the Calibogue Sound and the famed lighthouse standing sentry, is an achievement any golfer will remember. Just ask Brandt Snedeker, who pocketed $1,026,000 in 2011 when he two-putted at No. 18 to outlast Luke Donald in a playoff.