The Palmetto Hall Plantation Club features two 18-hole championship golf courses designed by two very recognizable names: Robert Cupp and Arthur Hills.
When it opened in 1993, the Robert Cupp Course at Palmetto Hall on Hilton Head Island had the highest slope rating from the back tees (152) of any course in the state. Although that honor has since bestowed upon Pete Dye and the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort – which comes in at the USGA max of 155 – the Cupp Course will still challenge all comers. It is a must play for all golfers who visit the Hilton Head area.
The Palmetto Hall Plantation Club in Bluffton, SC features 36 holes of pristine championship golf from two of the game’s top designers: Robert Cupp and Arthur Hills and is a must-play for every golfer. Palmetto Hall Plantation Club is now a part of the Brown Golf portfolio which has expanded to a total of 6 facilities in the Bluffton/Hilton Head area.
The Arthur Hills Course opened in 1991 to rave reviews and was almost instantly named to Golf Digest’s list as one of America’s Top 10 New Courses. In 2008-09, the magazine awarded the course 4-stars as one of “Best Places to Play.” The Arthur Hills course plays 6,918 yards from the back tees with a course rating of 73.8 and a slope of 139. At 6,257 yards (70.6/128), the White Tees will prove to be a formidable foe for most golfers, while ladies will find the course enjoyable from the Red Tees (5,006/70.3/119).
The Pinecrest Golf Club in Bluffton SC opened for play in 2004 and was designed by Rocky Roquemore, best known for his designs at Cannongate Golf Club in GA and several of the Disney courses in Orlando, FL.
From the back tees, Pinecrest plays 7,089 yards with a course rating of 74.7 and a slope of 139. Most golfers will be challenged from the White Tees at 6,079 yards (70.0/127). The ladies play from either 5,539 yards (72.8/132) or the Red Tees (5,062/70.8/120)
As a player on the PGA Tour, Fuzzy Zoeller always seemed to have a smile on his face. Whether he was in the lead or missing the cut he was always having fun. So, it makes sense that in creating a golf course, a Fuzzy Zoeller design is going to be fun to play.
That’s what you get at Island West Golf Club in Bluffton, SC, a fun yet challenging golf course that plays 6,803 yards from the back tees. Back here, the course rating is 73.2 with a slope rating of 140 and a par of 72. The White Tees (6,208/70.3/128) offer the majority of golfers a good challenge. Ladies will enjoy the course from 4,856 yards (67.8/123). Clyde Johnson, who has done many courses in the Lowcountry area, co-designed Island West
Grey Fox Course Review Foxfire Golf & Resort just outside Pinehurst, NC exemplifies what Sandhills golf is all about. Tree-lined fairways, large elevation changes and lots of sand is what you’ll find on either of the Gene Hamm designed 18-hole championship courses. Golf Digest has awarded Foxfire Golf and Resort 3.5 stars in their Places to Play Guide.
The fairways on both the Grey Fox and the Red Fox courses follow the natural contours of the land and play through natural rolling hills, sandy soil and multiple lakes. Players must avoid numerous strategically placed bunkers and natural hazards as they make their way up – or many times down – to large, elevated greens.
The Country Club of Whispering Pines is a 36-hole facility owned and managed by Brown Golf Management who also owns nearby Foxfire Golf Club. This gives local Brown Golf members access to 72 holes of championship golf in the Pinehurst Area of North Carolina! More on that in a minute.
The original 18 holes at the Country Club of Whispering Pines opened for play in 1962. An additional 9 holes were added in 1965, and the club operated as a 27-hole facility for about 4 years until 1969 when the final 9 holes were added. Since then, changes have been made and some hole rerouting has taken place and the Country Club of Whispering Pines is now a 36-hole facility. The courses have been renamed the River (formerly the West) Course, and the Pines (formerly the East) Course. Both courses were designed by Donald Ross protégé Ellis Maples way back in 1959 and 1965 respectively and share one thing in common – variety. One example of this is the types of grass used on the greens – The Pines features Champion Bermuda and The River, Bent grass.
At long last, the public can play Dolphin Head Golf Club in Hilton Head Plantation, the only course in the area designed by Gary Player. In building the course, Player’s main goal was to leave intact as much of the terrain and to move as little dirt as possible, keeping a natural look to the golf course.
The success he achieved is amazing, as is the golf course. It’s one of the most visually stunning and best maintained courses in the area. The surrounding natural preserves and local wildlife were not interrupted and harmony between man and nature has been achieved.
Since its opening in 1963, the mission of Gainesville Country Club has always been the same: To offer its members a lifestyle that includes high quality recreational facilities, member services and social opportunities in an open, friendly and family-oriented environment.
The first part – high quality recreational facilities – has easily been accomplished. Since taking over management of the facility in March 2016, Brown Golf has made capital improvements to the golf course, tennis center and pool, including a new filtration system. As country club pools go, this Olympic size pools at the top of the list for swimming events and a separate diving area. There’s also a spacious sun deck that affords members ma modicum of privacy.
Windsor Parke Golf Club is a semi-private, 18-Hole championship golf course designed by Arthur Hills and has been recognized as one of Florida’s top 100 courses. Over the years, Windsor Parke has hosted more USGA qualifying events than any other course in the city of Jacksonville; qualifiers for such tournaments as the US Open, US Amateur, US Publinks and US Senior Amateur. It’s also recognized by the NGCOA as a “Beginner Friendly” golf course.
The Julington Creek Golf Club in Jacksonville is managed by Brown Golf, who, according to members I spoke with, have done an outstanding job of returning the club to its former glory. The course originally opened as a 9-hole course in 1989 and was designed by Robert C. Walker. New ownership took over in 1991, led by former PGA Tour Professional Steve Melnyk, who designed 9 new holes and developed the course to what it is today. Over the years, Julington Creek has played host to several events including the Hooters Tour, North Florida Junior Tour and USGA Qualifiers.
From the back tees, Julington Creek plays 6,908 yards, with a course rating of 72.4 and a slope of 127. Most golfers will find a formidable challenge from the White Tees (5,888/67.6/114). Ladies typically play from the Green Tees, which at 5,059 yards (69.6/115) will prove to be a good test. The bottom line is that, no matter how good or bad you are, Julington Creek has a set of tees to match your skill level.
The Del Webb community of Spruce Creek is an active adult community located between Gainesville and Orlando, just 15 miles south of Ocala. This gated community sits on over 1,600 acres of land and has over 3,250 homes within its gates. At Spruce Creek, you’ll find the best modern amenities any community can offer, including 36 holes of some of the best golf in the area at Eagle Ridge Golf Club.
It’s not unusual for Eagle Ridge to host over 500 golfers on any given day and, even with 36 holes, that’s a lot of play! But you’d never know it looking at the course; it’s in great shape. As much play as the courses receive daily, you would expect the greens to be chewed up, but that is not the case. All things considered, they are in great shape; and fast. Best to leave yourself as many uphill putts as possible. Each course offers six sets of tees, so finding a suitable yardage will never be a problem. And each course has its fair share of elevation changes, not typical of Florida.