Palmetto Dunes

Play Golf like Rory McIlroy at Hilton Head’s Palmetto Dunes

Everyone’s talking about Rory McIlroy right now with his big win at the British Open. He even got the coveted Sports Illustrated cover, which is rare for any golfer other than Tiger Woods. Here at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy, we like to teach golfers how to improve their game and love to take a look at some of the pros’ best techniques.

According to our Director of Golf Instruction Doug Weaver, Rory McIlroy is known for his rotating swing. When you look at the completion of his swing, his right shoulder is over the left leg and past the left shoulder rather than stopping the rotation.

How can you learn that technique? Weaver suggests naturally tossing a ball toward to the left of the target line almost at a right angle to get the feel of it. He says it translates into better compression of the ball, which you’ll hit clean and far. Watch this video of Weaver demonstrating:

In a recent article, Golf Digest also noted McIlroy’s outstanding putting at the British Open where he made 20 birdies and two eagles and one-putted 34 out of 72 greens. The article notes that his putting coach Dave Stockton teaches players to “begin to set their stance while looking out at the line -- not at the ball.” At the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy, we offer eight hours of putting instruction every week to help you work on that aspect of your game.

The Daily Mail’s Tony Jacklin says, “Rory’s technique is fabulous, showing that golf is nothing to do with size but all about speed and balance and rhythm and skill. It’s magical to watch.”

Weaver offers some tips for putting like McIlroy in this video filmed at the oceanfront 10th hole at the Robert Trent Jones course at Palmetto Dunes:

Of course, if you want to be like Rory, it doesn’t hurt to use Nike clubs and wear Nike apparel, too. The Palmetto Dunes golf pro shop at the Robert Trent Jones golf course is one of only six Nike Golf TTC Concept shops across the U.S. where you can find plenty of Nike gear.

If you want to learn to play like Rory, look no farther than the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy. Call us at 866-650-4130 to schedule your private lesson today!

Drivers, Golf Balls, Shoes and More at the PGA Golf Show in Orlando

Several members of the  Palmetto Dunes golf staff recently attended the 61st annual PGA Golf Show in Orlando to check out the latest and greatest in golf gear, apparel, accessories and services. More than 1,000 companies demonstrated their wares to some 41,000 people who attended from 80 different countries. Our team learned a lot and wanted to share their findings and favorites with all the golf lovers  who visit Palmetto Dunes!

Doug Weaver, director of golf instruction at the resort, made the rounds at the show, interviewing many of the company reps on the details of their new equipment. He particularly spent time with Nike Golf on their shoes, drivers and balls.

The Lunar Control II shoe, which will be highlighted at this year’s Masters(no apostrophe) by Rory McIlroy, is known for being very lightweight while providing full support using the latest in Nike technology. More from Doug:

Doug also got up to speed on the new Nike Covert 2.0 driver, whose technology is designed to provide more stability, less resistance, straighter ball flights and faster ball speeds. Here is the full interview with Nike:

All of the Nike products from the show will be available at the Robert Trent Jones course pro shop, one of only six Nike Golf Concept Shops in the country.

While at the PGA Show, Doug logged over 30 hours of training with the inspirational Peter Jacobson! Classes focused on one plane and two plane swings, exercise, mental, junior golf and club fitting. Peter is a friend, Ryder Cup Player, Senior Tour Champion and TV commentator. At the age of 48, with his game falling apart, Peter took to a program that revived his game so much so that he became a Ryder Cup Player.

Get these and more tips from Doug with a private lesson, clinic or golf school at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy this spring!

Doug also caught up with the Golf Channel’s Michael Breed, host of “The Fix.” He and Doug were PGA tour players together and Doug encouraged Michael to go into modeling. He took Doug’s advice and later combined his love of golf with modeling to become a TV show host.

PGA Show Orlando 2014

View all of our videos from the PGA Golf Show on our YouTube playlist and let us know if we can schedule a tee time for you at one of our three beautiful championship Hilton Head golf courses by calling 866-744-7558 or booking online

Palmetto Dunes Tops Among Family Resorts Across the World

South Carolina family resortFamilies know what a wonderful place Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is for all ages and once again the resort has been recognized for its family-friendly atmosphere. The readers of Travel + Leisure magazine ranked the resort No. 23 in their list of World’s Best Family Resort Getaways in the November issue on newsstands now. Palmetto Dunes was the highest ranking South Carolina resort on the list.

“We see the joy in families’ faces as they experience all the fun activities we have to offer here at Palmetto Dunes, so we are incredibly pleased that the readers of Travel + Leisure have ranked us as one of their favorite family resorts in the world,” says Brad Marra, assistant vice president of resort operations for Greenwood Communities and Resorts, the owner of Palmetto Dunes. “Whether it’s reeling in a trophy redfish, learning how to properly swing a golf club or riding the waves on a surfboard, Palmetto Dunes has so much to offer families year round.”

What makes Palmetto Dunes such an ideal getaway for families? Well, let us give you a few reasons…

1)      Junior Golf - Kids can learn to play golf at one of the resort’s three championship golf courses through the Little Swingers program for ages 4-7. The Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy also offers a variety of junior instructional programs for ages 6-18, and families can learn the sport of golf together as part of Family Golf School. Additionally, kids younger than 10 play golf free after 4 p.m. when accompanied by a parent paying regular rate at all three courses. The Robert Trent Jones course also offers permanent junior tees, and the George Fazio course has markings of 150 yards or less.

2)      Junior Tennis - The Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center offers shortened tennis courts for players 10 and younger per new regulations from the U.S. Tennis Association. They have 27 junior tennis programs each week between March and Labor Day and during holidays. Popular clinics include the Short Shots Clinic, which combines tennis fun with motor skills development for ages 4 and 5, and the Super Shots Clinic, which incorporates in-depth instruction on each stroke with fun activities for ages 5 through 8.

3)      Unlimited Activities – Kids can learn to fish or crab with Hilton Head Outfitters, enjoy our summertime Surf School, rent and ride bikes around the resort’s 5 miles of paved paths, attend HarbourFest at Shelter Cove Harbour during the summer months for fireworks and kid-friendly performer Shannon Tanner and more.

4)      Family-Friendly Dining -  Big Jim’s BBQ, Burgers & Pizza at the Robert Trent Jones golf course and the oceanfront Dunes House, open to resort guests and property owners, both welcome children and offer specials kids menus.

5)      Top-notch accommodations - Families can choose to stay at one of the many homes and villas located within the resort during their Hilton Head vacation. We have a vacation rental program and offer a variety of options from 1-bedroom villas to 6-bedroom homes for multi-family travel. We also offer special packages designed just for families that include the best of the resort’s activities.

Additionally, families who book through the resort enjoy special discounts on resort activities, including two hours of free tennis court time daily.

Thanks to the readers of Travel + Leisure for voting for our resort. We hope to see your family for generations to come! For more information about the resort or to book an upcoming vacation, give us a call at 866-744-7558.

Hilton Head Golfer Shoots His Age for 1000th Time at George Fazio Course


South Carolina golf resortShooting your age is a coveted accomplishment for any golfer, because it not only means you’ve lived a relatively long life, but that you’re still a pretty good golfer. Leo Luken, 95, a longtime player at the Hilton Head golf courses at Palmetto Dunes, where he lives, recently reached that feat for an incredible 1000th time. On Tuesday, September 24, Luken shot 47-45 for 92 at the George Fazio golf course.

Luken didn’t start playing golf until the age of 45 and shot his age for the first time at 71. He plays golf several times a week and usually shoots his age – or better – two out of three rounds. Formerly a pitcher for the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Zollner Pistons, he holds a spot in the Kentucky and Indiana sports halls of fame.

Luken participated in the Shoot Your Age Championship in Florida 2005, which aired nationally on CBS, shooting his age for the 530th time and bettering his age by six shots. He ended up winning the tournament, besting even Arnold Palmer.

Hilton Head golfer “Yeah, [one of the players] thought I was lying,” says Luken. “Before we teed off the first day down at the championship, he was walking around introducing himself and asking guys how many times they’d shot their age. One guy said 12, and another said 30. When he got to me, I said, ‘529,’ which was the number at that time. [He] threw up arms and said, ‘Get outta here.’ The next day I made it 530 and won the tournament.”

Have you ever shot your age? Do you think you could do it 1000 times? Here’s hoping you can, just like Leo Luken!

If you want to give it a shot, our 30-day Hilton Head golf membership is a good place to start. It gives you plenty of chances to hit the mark!

Hilton Head Golf Instructor Doug Weaver a Part of PGA History

Hilton Head golf proWhen it comes to the PGA Championship this weekend at Oak Hill, all eyes may be on Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, but there’s something special that happened at this same course 14 years ago that left our own Director of Golf Instruction Doug Weaver with a record-setting moment in history.

Weaver, then 29, was one of four players at the 1989 US Open at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y., to hit a hole-in-one in less than two hours, a record for a PGA event. He was the first to hit the ace. It happened on the 156-yard sixth hole where Weaver used a 7-iron to make the shot. The ball went into a ridge to the right of the cup and then rolled back into the cup for the famous shot.

“The decibel level in the grandstand went up and up and up,” said Weaver at the time in the New York Times, and, he said, when the ball disappeared into the cup, “it sounded like a clap of lightning.”

Three subsequent players made a hole-in-one on the very same hole and using the same 7-iron club after Weaver. “The best part for me was that I was on the 12th tee, less than 100 yards from the sixth green when Mark got his hole-in-one,” Weaver said. “I was in the middle of the 13th fairway when I heard the roar for Jerry, and I was on the 14th hole when I heard the roar for Nick’s. I was able to relive it every time.”

According to the New York Times, the odds of such an event happening all on the same day are 332,000 to 1. Even for a professional to hit a hole-in-one on the PGA tour in any given round is calculated at 3,708 to 1.

Weaver has been featured in articles and several media outlets across the country as we head into the PGA Championship at the same New York course this weekend. Mentions of Weaver’s famous shot have run in the New York Times, Chicago Times, been discussed on the Golf Channel and more.

Should you hope for a hole-in-one at this year’s Championship? We’re not betting on it. The sixth hole has been changed since then and the slope softened. Of course maybe if Doug Weaver was there…

If you would like to take a lesson or clinic from our very own PGA pro, Weaver himself, give us a call at 866-744-7558. He offers instructional programs every day of the week at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy for players of every skill level. 

Enjoy Family Golf Activities at Hilton Head’s Palmetto Dunes During July’s Family Golf Month

Hilton Head family golf lessons We love kids here at Palmetto Dunes and we like to keep them busy with our many kid-friendly activities like surfing, tennis, kayaking, swimming and fishing. But golf is especially near and dear to our heart since we have three amazing and varied Hilton Head golf courses all inside our beautiful resort.

PGA America and the National Golf Course Owners’ Association have declared July Family Golf Month in an effort to promote golf as a fun, family recreational activity that lets you spend uninterrupted quality time together.

"Getting the family together for a round of golf, whether it’s nine or 18 holes, is a great outdoor activity that gives parents the opportunity to have uninterrupted conversations and quality time with their children," says PGA of America President Ted Bishop. "It's also a great way for the entire family to enjoy golf's health and wellness benefits while creating memories for a lifetime."

So how can your family enjoy golf at our South Carolina golf resort? Ah, let us count the ways!

Family Golf School
We offer three-day, two-hour private golf lessons designed specifically for your family at our Hilton Head Family Golf School. We’ll meet everyone at exactly their skill level and help them improve their game. We love this video showing a mom and her daughters during their Family Golf School lesson!

Kids Play Free
To encourage our golfers to teach the game to their kids, we let 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. This is a great opportunity to expose your kids to the game and enjoy some one-on-one time with each other!

Junior Tees
We’ve also installed permanent junior tees on our Robert Trent Jones golf course, and the George Fazio course caters to juniors with markings of 150 yards or less. This makes it easier and more fun for junior golfers!

Junior Golf Lessons
We also have a variety of Hilton Head golf lessons for juniors, including our Little Swingers program designed for ages 3-7. Director of Instruction Doug Weaver teaches the game of golf while singing songs with the kids.

Our Junior Golf Clinics for ages 6-18 focus on golf fundamentals like golf shots, etiquette and rules. Weaver covers three different shots every day, and four-time attendees are rewarded with a Junior Golf School Manual.

Lastly, if you have a junior gofer who’s top of the class, enroll him or her in the Advanced Juniors Classes for ages 8-18. These kids get to play with a pro and get instruction as they go!

Make your love of golf a family affair at Palmetto Dunes! To sign up for any of the above golf lessons, schools or clinics or for any questions, please call us at 866-744-7558.

Palmetto Dunes’ Hilton Head Bucket List

Hilton Head Bucket ListThere are just certain things you MUST do on any vacation and of course, here on Hilton Head Island, we think there are a few items that should be on every visitor’s bucket list. Here is the Palmetto Dunes’ Hilton Head Bucket List for every island vacationer:

1)      Get your picture taken at King Neptune Statue at Shelter Cove Harbour – This iconic statue at Shelter Cove Harbour, just across from the resort, is actually a sundial. But a pic with this guy is a favorite of vacationers, so add it to your list and post it on Facebook (while you’re there, post it on our Facebook, too)! 

2)      Eat at the Dunes House – Open only to resort guests and property owners, the Dunes House is a perk you can’t pass up. It’s a restaurant and bar situated right on the beach with delicious fish tacos and yummy frozen cocktails.

3)      Catch a fish – Head out in our 11-mile inland lagoon with Captain Trent and see if you can catch a “big red” (reddrum or red fish). Kids, try for a flounder!

4)      Get a beanie hat and have it signed by Shannon Tanner – If you visit during the summer, head over to HarbourFest at Shelter Cove Harbour Monday-Thursday at 6:30 or 8 p.m. and catch the famous family performer Shannon Tanner. You must hear him sing “Your Hair Had a Party Last Night” and then you have to get your very own beanie hat (like his) and have him sign it with an inspirational message.

5)      Eat the cinnamon rolls at the General Store – There’s no better way to start your morning in Hilton Head than with these sweet pastries from the Palmetto Dunes General Store. Ride your bike over and eat up! Just get plenty of napkins…

6)      Try stand up paddleboarding – This is one of our most popular water sports that we offer at Hilton Head Outfitters, located inside the resort. Get lessons from our paddleboard instructor or let him take you out on a group tour of our lagoon. You’ll work your abs, burn lots of calories and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.

7)      Spot a dolphin – Keep your eye out when at the beach for our favorite friendly mammals. You’ll likely see their fins pop up out of the water. They also often swim up into inlets and tidal creeks, which may be a quieter place to find them during the busier months.

8)      Try for a hole in one – Head to one of our three championship Hilton Head golf courses and see if you can hit a hole in one. You may improve your odds with a golf lesson from our super fun director of golf instruction Doug Weaver.

9)      Try your hand at tennis – All guests of the resort enjoy two hours of free tennis court time daily with each night’s accommodation, so there’s no reason not to see if you and tennis are a “match.” We also offer tennis clinics and lessons every day, along with private instruction.

10)   Take a nighttime beach walk – Grab a flashlight and take a moonlit beach walk. You’ll enjoy seeing another side of Hilton Head by night. Just keep watch for sea turtle nests, mamas or babies and stay out of their way. Light can disorient them so keep flashlights off if you spot them.

What’s on your Hilton Head bucket list? What did we miss? For more information about tennis, golf, accommodations or other activities, visit us at www.palmettodunes.com or give us a call at 866-744-7558.

Learn Golf as a Family in Hilton Head

Hilton Head Golf School for FamiliesWhen you vacation to Hilton Head as a family, there are lots of activities you can do together from swimming and riding bikes to hanging out at the beach and seeing the sights. But here at Palmetto Dunes, we like to see families get active together and we offer a variety of ways to do that, including our Hilton Head Family Golf School.

Perhaps Mom and Dad could use a few tips to improve their golf game while the kids may just be getting started on their golfing career. Whatever level your family, we’ll tailor our golf school to your needs and skill level. Our own head of golf instruction, Doug Weaver, is great with kids and teaches them moves like “closing the car door” and “alligator arms” to help them learn golf in a fun and engaging way.

Watch Doug teach golf to kids in this fun video:



Our Family Golf School spans three days with two hours of private lessons daily. That gives you plenty of time to do lots of other fun Hilton Head activities in addition to learning golf.

The golf school includes a video analysis sent by email, on-course instruction, rules and etiquette lessons, use of the school’s video lending library, take home materials, lunch daily, free range privileges plus 9 holes of golf daily on a space-available basis, and 25% discount on all rentals, such as bikes, kayaks and canoes, from Hilton Head Outfitters.

Our golf school is limited to five participants and immediate family members only.

We can’t wait to see how your family looks on the course after Family Golf School! To sign up for our program, please give us a call at 866-744-7558.

Add More South Carolina Golf to Your Masters or RBC Heritage Tournament Trip

RBC Heritage Golf TournamentHere in the south we are blessed to play host to two of the best golf tournaments, and Palmetto Dunes is either just a few minutes or just a few hours’ drive from both!

The Masters, held at Augusta National in Augusta, Ga., every year, is April 11-14, and the RBC Heritage, on Hilton Head Island, follows April 18-21. We think these make for great opportunities to extend your trip with a few extra days of golf at the beach.

Our South Carolina golf resort is offering a special package for those traveling down for either tournament. The Ultimate PGA Tour Stay and Play Package offers accommodations (three-night minimum) plus three rounds of golf at our three championship Hilton Head golf courses starting at $184/night for stays through April 27, 2013.

As if that’s not good enough, we’re throwing in one more perk to sweeten the deal! If you book this package online or by phone using code PGA, for every night you stay with us, we’ll enter you to win a pair of 4-day RBC Heritage tickets with VIP passes to our SkyBox. The winner will be announced April 2.

When you play golf on Hilton Head Island with Palmetto Dunes, you get three different but amazing award-winning courses to choose from, including the oceanfront Robert Trent Jones course with one of only two oceanfront holes on the entire island.

We also have a new Palmetto Dunes smartphone golf application to help you maximize your game downloadable on iTunes or Android phones. With a live leaderboard, hole information, GPS yardage and one-click call dining reservations, you’re set to have your best game ever followed by a cold beer and BBQ ribs at the new Big Jim’s BBQ, Burgers & Pizza Hilton Head restaurant at the Jones course.

Plus, Golf Digest recently named Hilton Head Island as a top Best Buddies getaway. So grab a group of friends, head to the Master’s or the RBC Heritage and then stop off at Palmetto Dunes before or after for a perfect South Carolina golf getaway. Request golf rates here or call us at 866-744-7558 to get started.

Hilton Head Named a Top 10 Best Buddies Trip Destination

Hilton Head guys golf tripWhere do you go when you want to have fun with your best buds? Golf Digest says Hilton Head, and we agree, of course! Lucky for you, Palmetto Dunes is located on Hilton Head and home to the finest golf courses on Hilton Head Island! There’s no better choice than Palmetto Dunes for your group golf trip, where we specialize in providing a top-notch, first-class golf experience!

In their December 2012 issue, Golf Digest ranked their top 36 destinations for a “Best Buddies” getaway. Hilton Head came in at No. 9, with our Arthur Hills course named as a key golf course. Golf Digest editors created the list by surveying panelists of more than 1000 avid golfers who rank their biennial
America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.

To add to Hilton Head’s impressive list of awards, the island was named No. 8 for Best Value, No. 8 for Best Courses, No. 9 for best weather, No. 10 for best food and drink, No. 10 for best lodging, and No. 7 as best for couples (Palmetto Dunes offers great romance packages for you and your special someone).

Throughout March, we’re giving you even more incentive to come play golf with your buddies at Palmetto Dunes and see if you agree with Golf Digest! When you book a golf group, you’ll get your fourth round free AND free replays based on availability. When your group plays golf at Palmetto Dunes, we also provide a dedicated on-site group coordinator, as well as complimentary range balls and yardage books plus resort discounts and free tennis court time!

Another great thing about a Hilton Head guys getaway (or girls!) to Palmetto Dunes is all the OTHER activities we offer to keep you busy. Get everyone together for a deep sea fishing charter or kayak through our peaceful inland lagoon. Run on the beach or bike some of Hilton Head’s 50 miles of paved bike paths.  We also offer two hours of free tennis daily for each night you stay in one of our Hilton Head vacation villas. We’ll keep you as busy as you want to be!

Request a group golf rate proposal here and be sure to check out all our great Hilton Head golf packages, some of which include lessons and other activities. We promise you’ll love your stay and our championship golf courses!

Read More Posts