IF THE FIELD FOR THIS YEAR'S PLAYERS AMATEUR SEEMS ESPECIALLY TOUGH, THAT'S BECAUSE IT TENDS TO HAPPEN IN ODD YEARS — BETTER KNOWN IN AMATEUR GOLF CIRCLES AS WALKER CUP YEARS.

The world's best amateurs will tee up in the Lowcountry for the 16th consecutive year when the Players Amateur moves to Berkeley Hall Club’s North Course for the first time from July 9-12, and with Walker Cup invitations likely hanging in the balance, the competition should be as steamy as a South Carolina summer.

One take on the greatest holes Hilton Head and Bluffton have to offer

This list isn’t right. It isn’t wrong. It’s just an opinion, and you know what they say about opinions. Everyone has one.

At the very least, here are 18 fantastic holes to play in the area, either for their design or the views from them. There are another 18 in the area that are equally good, and another and another. With more than 30 public and private courses lining one of the most beautiful places on earth, that’s 540 holes of golf and not a bad one among them. Really. Not one.

The Lowcountry has a well-deserved reputation as a premier golf destination with stunningly beautiful courses and talented local players. With the help of golf programs at area high schools, Hilton Head Island and the surrounding communities are sure to maintain that reputation for years to come.

Chris Cuneo has been around the University of South Carolina Beaufort golf programs long enough to see the ups and downs, though, to be fair, the downs hardly qualify as such.

LOWCOUNTRY GOLF HALL OF FAME RECOGNIZES THOSE WHO PUT — AND KEEP — HILTON HEAD ATOP GOLFERS’ FAVORITE DESTINATIONS

For decades, Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and the rest of Beaufort County have been golf destinations, drawing thousands of players a year to private and public courses and communities made famous by the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, movies such as “The Legend of Bagger Vance” and poll results that list Hilton Head as the favorite location for PGA Tour players. 

Since 1969, when swashbuckling Arnold Palmer mesmerized television viewers with one of his patented final-round charges on Harbour Town Golf Links to win the inaugural Heritage Classic (as it was then called), the Sea Pines Resort has topped the charts as a must-play golf destination. Myriad honors from top golf publications have followed year after year, but no one would ever accuse the Lowcountry legend of resting on its laurels.

NO MATTER HOW OTHERS MIGHT UP THE GAME, THE AREA STAYS ON TOP

Ask anyone about Hilton Head Island, and the first or second thing out of his or her mouth likely will be our outstanding golf opportunities.

It has been that way for nearly 50 years, thanks to a gutsy move from a brilliant developer.

Hilton Head Island and the Lowcountry have become a golf mecca for a variety of players, from PGA Tour stars to the weekend warrior looking to play a round in a sun-drenched, world-class setting. As much as adults flock to area golf courses, the island has also become a center for a thriving junior golf industry.

From locals looking to raise their games in hopes of earning golf-based college scholarships to international families sending their children to the U.S. to master the game in hopes of PGA fame, Hilton Head has quickly earned a reputation as one of the top training grounds in the world.

3015-Golf-DariusRuckerCountry music icon Darius Rucker returns to Hilton Head Island this month to once again support the collegiate golf tournament that bears his name. Yet with all due respect to the former Hootie and the Blowfish frontman, the true stars of the week will again be the talented women golfers walking the fairways and stalking the greens of the famed Long Cove Club.

3015-Golf-AudubonFrom the turf to the register, making it green is the primary concern of golf course operators across the country, including those here in the nature-rich South Carolina Lowcountry. Yet for many right-minded pros, superintendents and owners in Hilton Head and Bluffton, going “green” is equally important to growing and succeeding when it comes to managing a responsible golf course operation.

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