As always, we were reminded in April of just how fortunate we are, here in Spicebush at Sea Pines, when the Heritage Classic returned, and a worldwide TV audience tuned in for six hours of postcard perfection. As up to the minute as the enjoyment we saw around us, there was also a long history behind the presence of paradise that was built here. The 55th Heritage was once again a classic example of the planning and patience, the energy and urgency, that goes into creating this neighborhood for your enjoyment. All this relaxation and celebration was precede by a tale of genius, good fortune, and hard work.
Because Spicebush at Sea Pines is described as a neighborhood wrapped in a resort – a place with the comforts of home and the diversions of America’s favorite vacation island are all put together – it should come as no surprise that folks want to come for a visit. Still, each April, when the Heritage Classic takes place right down the road from here, we remember how lucky we are to own a piece of Spicebush. The story began a while ago.
Nicklaus and the Nick of Time
Pete Dye and consultant Jack Nicklaus predicted that “only players of championship quality” would win at Harbour Town Golf Links, when they completed it just in time for the first Heritage Classic tournament. Indeed, only four of the 53 Heritage winners thus far found their first championship here. This year’s tournament chairman, Davis Love, III, is a rare Heritage favorite who began as the youngest pro to win here and went on to become the champion who has won five times.
When Harbour Town Golf Links was completed – in just 18 months – for that first Heritage in 1969, Sports Illustrated called it “nothing short of a work of art.” Even when they reached into history for the inspiration, course designer Pete Dye, course consultant Jack Nicklaus, and Sea Pines founder Charles Fraser were ahead of their time. The links design at Harbour Town anticipated by more than four decades the restoration of Pinehurst No. 2 to its original design.
Designed like the links of Scotland, it can’t be won with power alone, or even power primarily. Harbour Town Golf Links calls for skill with every club – and a bit of cunning, they say.
Just the Beginning
And this historic course right down the road from Spicebush is just one of three that surround us, so whether you are visiting or moving in, you can take your pick.
Heron Point, a 7,035-yard course from the back tees, offers an excellent round for the heavy hitter. With seven sets of tees, including tees for junior golfers, this Pete Dye course can be played a variety of ways, including shorter. Regardless of the approach you choose the experience is dramatic, with four holes guarded by water, fairways bounded by dense, green bulkheads and walls of wooded groves, and Dye’s sculptural way of using mounds and swales to both frame and guard the target areas. The course achieves this in the nature-friendly way pioneered by Sea Pines, such that it has won the designation of Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. It’s welcome and challenge to golfers made Heron Point the 2015 Golf Course of the Year for South Carolina, and one of Golf Digest’s “Best Places to Play.”
Atlantic Dunes, designed by Davis Love, III, is a complete reconstruction of Sea Pines’ original golf course, the historic Ocean Course. Love is a Heritage Classic favorite as a player, and so he brought special insights about the character of Harbour Town Golf to his new design. One result? Atlantic Dunes was named National Course of the Year by the National Golf Course Owner’s Association (NCGOA). The course sometimes flirts with the shoreline and sometimes embraces it, blending that beachfront with the stately pines that gave this resort.
Even though Hilton Head Island is rightfully known as one of the finest places to golf, that represents just one of the ways we enjoy “the neighborhood wrapped in a resort.” Come join us at Spicebush and discover your own favorite way to celebrate.