Golf 2010

Robert Gilbert



Palmetto Dunes, Litchfield offer great family golf

Posted 6/3/2010 12:52:00 PM
For golf lovers, planning a family vacation can be a bit of a challenge. Make no mistake about it, it’s not easy to find that ultimate destination that makes the golfers and the non-golfers in the family happy.

Fortunately, South Carolina boasts golf resorts that do both. Two along the coast fit the bill perfectly — Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head Island and Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort in Pawleys Island.

Palmetto Dunes

Imagine if the Lowcountry of South Carolina rather than New England had influenced Norman Rockwell. Imagine him focusing his artistic eye not on snowy Christmas scenes in small town Vermont but on sun-splashed summers at Hilton Head Island.

The grandfather watching proudly as his grandson sinks his first long putt. The little girl smiling excitedly after discovering the perfect seashell. Families hurriedly finishing their sandcastle before the tide rushes in.

That’s Palmetto Dunes, where picture perfect family vacation scenes are seemingly at every turn. It’s no wonder they were ranked the No. 1 family resort in the United States and Canada by Travel + Leisure Family magazine. Featuring designs by three of the most prominent names in golf — Robert Trent Jones, George Fazio and Arthur Hills — it also is no wonder that Palmetto Dunes is consistently named as one of the top golf destinations in the world.

The combination of the stunningly beautiful natural setting and three legendary golf architects provides an unforgettable experience for golfers at all levels. Most impressive is the distinctively different feel of the courses, despite their proximity.

The Trent Jones course, with its ever-shifting winds, features a sweeping view of the Atlantic on one of only two oceanfront holes on the island. Requiring distance and accuracy, George Fazio’s design is considered one of the toughest courses on the island. Arthur Hills did such a masterful job at blending design and environment, golfers are left in awe by the natural beauty throughout the course.

“Providing a stimulating and challenging golf environment has been a tradition at Palmetto Dunes for decades,” said Bret Martin, vice president of resort operations at Palmetto Dunes. “That tradition encourages us to pay very close attention detail.”

That close attention to detail is not only evident in the quality of the courses, but also in the variety of golf offerings, such as the Junior Golf Academy. This five-day program is good for all skill levels and covers everything from on-course instruction to etiquette.

Aside from golf, Palmetto Dunes is the epitome of an all-in-one family resort. An 11-mile inland salt-water lagoon, three miles of pristine beaches, a world-class tennis center and a host of other amenities make the resort an annual tradition for many families.

“The return rate for vacationing families is definitely one of the highest in the industry,” Martin said.

It only takes one visit to realize why families return to this special place, not only year after year, but generation after generation.

Litchfield Beach

Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort’s location on Pawleys Island truly provides the best of both worlds — the tranquil feel of a secluded beach resort combined with convenient access to all of Myrtle Beach’s famous attractions, from the world-class golf and dining to the vibrant nightlife. The variety of accommodations at the resort also makes it easy for families of all sizes to plan the perfect vacation.

For the golfers in the family, it’s tough to beat the quality and selection surrounding Litchfield. There are countless rankings and accolades for the Myrtle Beach area’s collection of golf courses, but perhaps the most impressive is this: in a state known for fantastic golf, the Grand Strand is home to seven of the state’s Top 10 courses, as ranked in Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play.

Dunes, Caledonia, True Blue, Barefoot, Tidewater…the list of nationally known courses is staggering, but that’s not all the area has to offer for golfing families. Willbrook Plantation, with its unparalleled natural beauty, was nationally recognized as one of the “Top 50 for Women” by Golf For Women Magazine. And for the younger members of the family, several courses (including some of the best), offer free rounds for junior golfers accompanied by at least on paying adult.

While the golfers make their way around the courses of the Grand Strand, the rest of the family has just as many options to keep busy. Litchfield Resort guests need only step out their front door to find several great options to pass the day—biking along miles of safe trails, playing tennis at one of the finest facilities on the east coast, or simply relaxing on the beautiful white sandy beaches. And then there’s Myrtle Beach, a mecca of family entertainment where the only challenge is finding the time to fit in all of the enticing options.

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Golf or no golf, Litchfield and Palmetto Dunes are just two of the many amazing vacation destinations on the South Carolina coast that will provide the whole family with a vacation they’ll remember for years to come.

For More Information

Palmetto Dunes: (866) 380-1778; Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, Hilton Head;

Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort: (888) 766-4633; 14276 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island;