The world’s best players try to match wits with Pete Dye’s masterpiece — Harbour Town Golf Links — at the RBC Heritage this week. One of the great aspects of this PGA Tour event is that daily ticket sales are limited to 25,000, which allows spectators to follow the action with ease.
Not long by today’s standards at just under 7,000 yards against a par of 71, Harbour Town is the epitome of strategic golf. Thinking caps must be tied-tight. For success, a player must not only find the fairway but land on the proper quadrant in order to safely reach the green as sturdy oaks draped with Spanish moss must be negotiated.
Dye’s genius is fully evident on Harbour Town’s quartet of 3-pars — two menaced by water, one surrounded by sand, and the last, the magnificent 185-yard No. 17, as fine a penultimate hole as any in the game. With water seemingly everywhere and beguiling winds off the Calibogue Sound, disaster often seems more likely than triumph.
Then there’s the glorious finish of the acclaimed No. 18. With the eminent red- and white-striped Harbour Town Lighthouse standing sentinel and an armada of pleasure boats bobbing in the tranquil harbor, the 472-yard final hole cements Harbour Town as Dye’s seminal design. The course is simply splendid.
Fairways + Greens Managing Editor Darin Bunch had a chance to experience Harbour Town for the first time late in 2011, calling it “perhaps one of the finest tests of golf in all the Carolinas and a perfect fit for the PGA Tour — Dye’s tree-lined artistry comforts your soul and combats your psyche.”
And one great aspect of Harbour Town is that golfers can tee it up there just like the pros. Sea Pines Resort offers its RBC Heritage Experience Package, featuring the conditions and atmosphere of the Tour event. The special includes two nights’ accommodations at the Inn at Harbour Town, one round of golf on Harbour Town Golf Links with walking caddie, breakfast each morning, lunch during the round, practice area with customized name plate / complimentary range balls, one-hour of professional instruction prior to the round, first-tee introduction and VIP locker room privileges.
The RBC Heritage Experience Package and several other Sea Pines Resort golf packages can be found at www.seapinesgolf.com.