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Heading to Charlton, Hilton Head, Savanna area this December


Hi TT,

My better half and myself are heading down to SC for a quick trip this December.  While I know it's not exactly peak season, I'm going to try to sneak in a round while I'm there.  I know all of these places have amazing courses, but I also know December can get a bit chilly (Like October/November in New England I'm guessing).  I'd really like to play Kiawah Island or Harbor Town, but I doubt I'll get to play both.  

What course would you pick?  Is it worth it in December?  Has anyone here played both?  Is there something better out there?

Thanks in advance TT!

19 Replies

  1. Speedy

    I've seen Harbour Town but never played it and it does look really nice however if i had to pick one i would choose Kiawah Island.  Just b/c the PGA Championship was held there and I love holes that are along the ocean.  One of my neighbors actually went down to the PGA Championship when it was held there and said the course was amazing.

    There's something about Kiawah Island that seems more appealing than Harbour Town...

    Good luck choosing and i don't think you can go wrong with either one of them. 

  2. Tyler H

    Both are great courses. Played Harbour Towne twice this past spring. I would go with Kiawah Island though as Habour Towne really didn't do too much for me from a course architecture and views perspective.


  3. tdogg21

    I've been to Kiawah but didn't play and I've never been to Harbor Town.  But from what I've seen, Kiawah is the hands down winner between those two.  I would expect a round at Kiawah in December could be a lot of fun.  Potentially expect British Open type conditions.

    When are you going?  My wife and I are thinking about going to Myrtle Beach after Christmas.

  4. Mike C

    I have played both Harbor Town and the Kiawah Ocean Course and enjoyed playing both.  They are both excellent courses, but different.  If you only have time for one round on the trip, I would go with the Kiawah Ocean Course.  I have never played in December but I can imagine that it could get a little interesting with the winter weather at Kiawah.  Make sure you take your FJ rain gear for sure and bundle up!

  5. Hotsauce

    We're going early in December so hopefully it'll feel like fall down there.  Either way I'll be layered up in FJ gear.  

    It sounds like Kiawah is the favorite.  I can't wait!

    Now if anyone has food or activity suggestions I'm all ears.

  6. Gordon B

    Been to HT, and played Kaiwah Island. Go for the island!
  7. ToddL

    Josh - I am not a fan of Harbour Town.  Overpriced and most of the holes are not very exciting.  I do like #9 and #17.  The rest of the course is OK, but the price is pretty steep.  If you are in Hilton Head, there are many other options including one of my favorite resorts, Palmetto Dunes.  Port Royal and Shipyard are also good tracks.

    Have a fun trip!

  8. Hotsauce

    It's official! I've talked my better half into Kiawah.  Tee time is booked!  I may get one more round in, but it'll be a game time decision if we do.

    Has anyone on here played The Ocean Course before?

    Any idea what the conditions/weather is like down there right now?  I know we've been getting storms from that area in Boston.

    Also, I'll be walking with a caddy, which will be new to me.  I've only had a four caddy with carts before, so this should be a cool experience. 

  9. joe t

    Enjoy the trip, sounds like fun. Post some photo's if you can.
  10. Hotsauce

    Hi TT,

    Kiawah Island was ridiculous!  I can't think of a more challenging test of golf.  The course was beautiful and vicious all at the same time.

    The clubhouse is stunning.  I'd drive our there again just to get more she-crab soup and ocean vistas.

    The course isn't long on the card, but it plays significantly longer.  This is the tree RM plugged with his tee shot.  Surprisingly, I didn't have the distance to reach it.  Must have been the... um... wind or something...

    The bunkers here are more like waste areas.  In fact, local rules allow you to ground your club in them.  Which is necessary, because It would be next to impossible to play a splash shout out of some of these bunkers.  The sand is really dense and hard.  While grounding your club is nice, it didn't make this shot any easier...  This bunker was about 8 feet tall.  If you ended up near the lip, I honestly don't know what you'd have to do to escape.

    No. 13 was my favorite hole on the course.  The tee shot is wildly intimidating, but like a lot of things on The Ocean Course, it's "wider than it looks".  The target is right of the 3 bunkers.  It looks like you're trying to land the tee shot on a matchbook, but there's more room than you think.

    I've never walked with a caddy before, but I plan to do it again someday.  It was an awesome experience.  Not only do you feel like you're on Tour, but it's incredibly helpful.  He saved me 7 shots at least.  The angles and sight lines are really tricky out here.  Not to mention that the greens aren't really predominant, so you have almost no depth perception.  I trusted his numbers, and by the back 9, he wasn't even giving me distances, he'd just hand me a club.  It was impressive.

    Of course it wouldn't be a Pete Dye track without railroad ties, water and an intimidating Par 3 17th.  I was excited to walk away with a dry Pro V and a two putt here.  The last two par 3's are insane.

    I've been very fortunate in life, and I have been able to play a lot of big name tracks, but this one really takes the cake.  I don't know if it's my favorite course, but it's an experience every golf nerd should have.  It really puts the game, and the PGA skill level, in perspective.

  11. andy r

    Josh  those are some awesome shots. 

    The course looks tremendous, and those bunkers look challenging to say the least. Hope to get down there someday and have the great experience you had.

    Well done  and thanks for sharing the photos !

  12. Speedy

    Great pictures bud and nice write up about the course..   This is definitely on my bucket list now... 

  13. Patrick C

    Sounds like a good trip, i lived in Hilton Head for a few years so Harbour Towne holds a special place in my heart and is a lot of fun to play.  But i do agree with everyone that Island is definitley the better course of the two.   But if you have a chance try to get out to Harbour Towne, small greens and tight tee shots, alot of fun and obviously 2 great finishing holes.

  14. Dan H

    Great stuff Josh and thanks for sharing!!  Also on my course bucket list and Pete Dye's designs are sick but I love the challenge.  

  15. Will P

    Definitely get the Ocean Course on the schedule. A phenomenal track (although a resort golf type of day) with a lot of history with the PGA and the Ryder Cup (war on the shore) both being played there- and several other big time events. Great caddies and a beautiful setting. Just know two things: it will be a long round (tee off early) and if the wind blows, look out!

    Turtle/Osprey Point at Kiawah are other options that are very close and would prevent you from needing to go to Hilton Head. All three of these will be a great day with a solid challenge.


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