Friday, March 20, 2015

Presidential Power Plays at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort

Arthur Hills, Robert Trent Jones Courses at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head Island named among the state’s most popular public-access golf courses

(HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C.) — President Obama’s love of golf in Hawaii is well documented. When Bill Clinton was president during the late the 1990s, he began annually visiting Hilton Head Island’s Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort. President Clinton’s favorite of the resort’s three outstanding golf courses — the Arthur Hills Course — is once again a mainstay among the South Carolina Top 30 “Best You Can Play.”

The Hills Course was joined by the Robert Trent Jones Course at Palmetto Dunes Ocreanfront Resort among the 30 selected for the 2015 “Best You Can Play” list by the South Carolina Golf Rating Panel. The list was comprised of the panel’s choices for best open to public play in each of the state’s four regions and was announced at the organization’s March 14 spring meeting at Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club.

The Hills Course at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, where collegiate stars like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson honed their talents, takes full advantage of the natural beauty of this South Carolina sea island. A careful blend of beauty and challenge with stands of palmetto trees lining its graceful fairways, the Hills Course was named the 2009 Course of the Year by the South Carolina Golf Course Owners Association.

The Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront Course is consistently rated among the best courses in the Southeast. The Jones Course’s signature hole, the dramatic par-5 10th, is one of only two oceanfront holes on Hilton Head Island. The South Carolina Board of Directors of the National Golf Course Owners Association named the Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront Course the 2003 South Carolina Golf Course of the Year – a feat also achieved by Palmetto Dunes’ George Fazio Course in 2014.

The South Carolina Golf Panel is composed of 125 golf enthusiasts that represent a diverse range of occupations, handicaps, and backgrounds. The group’s objective is to promote excellence in the state’s golf course design and operation through competitive ranking, education and public advocacy.

The “Best 50” courses, public or private, are chosen in even-numbered years and the “Best You Can Play” are announced in odd-numbered years. Criteria used in judging include routing, variety, strategy, equity, memorability, aesthetics and the golfer’s experience.

“There are so many outstanding course that you’re really splitting hairs in the voting,” Michael Whitaker, the panel’s executive director, said in discussing the rankings. “When you think about the number of really good public golf courses in this state and reduce that number to 30, it’s a daunting task. It is our good fortune to live in a state where even some of the finest courses do not make the ‘best’ lists.”

Twenty-five of the 30 courses honored are located in the tourist meccas along the Atlantic Ocean. Twelve are on the Grand Strand between Little River at the North Carolina state line and Pawleys Island, and 13 in the Lowcountry area that includes Charleston and Hilton Head Island.

“That’s no surprise,” Whitaker said. “Given how golf has become such a vital part of the state’s tourism industry, the coastal areas naturally have developed high quality courses for public play. You can play any number of courses in the state and leave with a ‘wow’ impression. Remember, these are courses the public can play. Add the many wonderful private courses in the state and you see how fortunate golfers are in South Carolina.”

Information on previous rankings can be found on the organization’s website For more information about Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort and its many golf packages, call 877-567-6513 or visit

For more information about Greenwood Communities & Resorts, call 843-785-1106 or visit

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