(HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C.) — Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head has long served as one of the island’s most popular golfing destinations. Now, a record collection of amateur golfers will be tested by two of Palmetto Dunes’ trio of award-winning layouts — along with several of its Hilton Head compatriots — during the Golfweek Amateur Tour National Championship presented by Edwin Watts Golf.
Returning to the Palmetto State for its eighth consecutive year, the Golfweek Amateur Tour National Championship is set to become the largest competitive stroke-play event ever held on Hilton Head Island, with more than 820 golfers gathering Oct. 18-20 for the exciting 54-hole tournament.
In 2013, the Golfweek Amateur Tour hosted more than 700 qualifying tournaments in 44 regions across 30 states to build this record-breaking field. Now, the best from each of five flights will compete in this three-day tournament to be crowned the Golfweek Amateur Tour Champion.
“We expect another competitive tournament throughout all five flights. Golfers are grinding throughout the season to earn enough points to qualify for the National Championship,” said Tour President Dennis McCormac. “The players who came the first seven years really enjoyed Hilton Head Island not just because of its world-class golf, but also thanks to its great beaches, restaurants and family activities.”
The participants will get the full Hilton Head Island golf experience as they battle it out for more than $19,500 in gift certificates atop nine area courses: The Arthur Hills and Robert Trent Jones Courses at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, the Ocean Course at The Sea Pines Resort, Robber's Row at Port Royal Golf Club, Oyster Reef Golf Club, Country Club of Hilton Head, Shipyard Golf Club, Hampton Hall and the Arthur Hills course at Palmetto Hall Plantation Club.
Last year’s event drew 690 golfers and encompassed seven courses. “The National Championship is a big event both for our tour members and their families,” McCormac said. “It’s really evolved into a family event over the last decade with more and more spectators coming out each year to show their support for these dedicated players.”
A 2,000-acre resort stretching across three miles of Atlantic Ocean beach, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort features three world-class golf courses and an award-winning tennis center, plus 11 miles of lagoons, an Outfitters Shop and one of the best beaches on the eastern seaboard. In addition, the resort’s Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina provides some of the island’s finest waterfront shopping and dining, along with seasonal entertainment and activities for the entire family.
In the past, the world’s best collegiate players flocked to Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort in droves, including a young Stanford player named Tiger Woods, who played the Arthur Hills Course at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort in 1995 and 1996. A few years before that, Arizona State’s Phil Mickelson drove the green at the dogleg-left, 380-yard, par-4 17th, a hole crisscrossed by a lagoon left of the fairway and short of the green. Woods, on the other hand, made a quadruple bogey eight on 17 — one of the toughest golf holes on Hilton Head Island — in one of the few lowlights in his illustrious two-year college career.
The Hills Course takes full advantage of the natural beauty of this South Carolina sea island. Named the 2009 Course of the Year by the South Carolina Golf Course Owners Association, this spectacular layout represents a careful blend of beauty and challenge. Stands of palmetto trees line the graceful fairway. Built on a series of rolling dunes, the Arthur Hills Course presents many opportunities for off-balance lies, while ocean breezes add to the challenge. Ten holes on the water further encourage precision play. Additionally, Arthur Hills was named a selected course by Golf Digest in its ranking of Hilton Head as No. 9 on the list of America’s Best Buddies Trip Destinations for 2013. The course plays 6,651 yards from the back tees.
The Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront Course has been rated by readers of Golfweek magazine among the best courses in the Southeast. Its signature hole, the dramatic par-five 10th, offers sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and is widely considered one of the most spectacular holes in the United States. One of only two oceanfront holes on Hilton Head Island, the course’s legendary 10th delights golfers of every skill level. In addition, the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, an Audubon International program, has designated the Jones course a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” for its commitment to providing a sanctuary for wildlife.
Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort caters to golfers of all level, having installed permanent junior tees on its Robert Trent Jones golf course, while the George Fazio course caters to juniors with markings of 150 yards or less. In addition, kids play free at the Robert Trent Jones Hilton Head golf course and the Arthur Hills golf course after 4 p.m. with an adult paying regular rate. There are free club fittings performed by Rod Thompson and golfers can play the latest demo clubs from TaylorMade, Nike or Cobra.
For more information about Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort and its many different golf packages, call 877-567-6513 or visit www.PalmettoDunes.com. Three-round stay-and-play packages start at $131 per person per night (quad occupancy) and drop to $109 for two rounds over the three nights. Visit AmateurGolfTour.net to learn more about the Golfweek Amateur Tour National Championship.