Palmetto Dunes

George Fazio Course Named South Carolina Golf Course of the Year for 2014

South Carolina Golf Course of the Year 2014

Three-Ball. Hat Trick. Trifecta. No matter what you call it — if it happens in sports, three of almost anything is reason to celebrate.

We’re excited to share with you that we’ve experienced our own three-peat after the S.C. Board of Directors of the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) named our George Fazio golf course the 2014 South Carolina Golf Course of the Year. It’s the third and final of our three Hilton Head golf courses to receive this prestigious designation.

In 2003, the Robert Trent Jones oceanfront course was named South Carolina Golf Course of the Year, while the Arthur Hills golf course received the honor in 2009. All three have also been rated four stars or more by Fodor’s Golf Digest Places to Play.

“The award-winning George Fazio course embodies the values we cherish at Palmetto Dunes – offering year-round championship golf in the heart of the South Carolina Lowcountry,” says Brad Marra, vice president of resort operations for Palmetto Dunes. “Many golfers regard it as the island’s most challenging championship course.”

The Fazio golf course demands a combination of long play and precise golf shots. From the 432-yard 1st hole to the 462-yard 18th hole, the Fazio course is the only par-70 golf course on Hilton Head Island. Its long par-4s are beset with bunkers and water hazards. The Fazio course plays 6,239 yards from the middle white tees.

In October, the Fazio Course will be in the running for National Golf Course of the Year.

Book a tee time at the Fazio course and try it out for yourself! For more information about Hilton Head golf packages or group golf on Hilton Head Island, visit www.palmettodunes.com

5 Great Ways to Vacation at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head vacation packagesAre you considering a Hilton Head vacation soon? Let us help you plan the perfect getaway that fits your hobbies and interests. At Palmetto Dunes, we offer so many activities from fishing to biking and from tennis to golf that you’ll be hard pressed not to find something you’ll love. Here are 5 great ways to vacation at Palmetto Dunes:

1)      Tennis Getaways – If you “love” tennis, we’ve got all sorts of fun packages and activities for you. With the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center, which sees thousands of visitors every year, you can find clinics, round robins, equipment demonstrations, tennis tournaments and more. We offer tennis vacation packages that include instruction and tennis court time and are even tailored to large groups. If you really love tennis, consider our Extreme Tennis Vacation!

2)      For the Outdoor Lover – There’s so much to do outdoors at Palmetto Dunes and so much beauty to see. The Outdoor Adventure package rolls the best of our outdoor activities all into one with at least three nights of accommodations in one of our Hilton Head vacation rentals, kayak rentals, a dolphin cruise, Hilton Head bike rentals and tennis court time daily.

3)      Romance in Bloom – Looking for a romantic getaway for just the two of you? We offer several romance packages like our Honeymooner’s Escape, Mini Moon and Anniversary Celebration that include spa treatments, bike rentals, kayak rentals and more.

4)      Golfers Delight – Get your best golf buddies together and play all three of our championship golf courses, each uniquely challenging. Our golf vacation packages include instruction time, accommodations and tee times, and be sure to take advantage of our free club fittings and free golf demo on Mondays at 4 p.m. at the Robert Trent Jones course.

5)      Family Fun – Got kids? We love kids here at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort. Our Ultimate Family package and Sun ‘N Fun Island escape are uniquely designed to entertain all ages down to our smallest guests. Kids will find lots to do at the resort like family tees at our golf courses, junior tennis clinics and round robins, fishing, crabbing and summer Surf School just to name a few.

What kind of Hilton Head package sounds like the perfect fit for your vacation? If we can answer any questions or tailor any package to better fit your needs, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 866-650-4130.

Three Hilton Head Golf Courses, Three Varied Experiences

Hilton Head golf courses

One of the best things about Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is the opportunity for golfers to experience three 18-hole championship Hilton Head golf courses all at one resort with first tees no more than 5 minutes apart. Designers Robert Trent Jones, George Fazio and Arthur Hills all have established golf courses at our resort and each offers a unique playing experience for the golf lover.

Robert Trent Jones Golf Course

The Jones course is perhaps best known for its oceanfront setting with one of only two oceanfront holes on the entire island. Its layout is immaculate and stunning in its beauty and the view from the famed 10th green is not one that will soon be forgotten (we’ve even had weddings there!). Jones plays away from the clubhouse until it reaches its famed back-to-back par-5s that play out to the ocean. It’s also known to have the most accommodating fairways of the trio of courses, though keep in mind you might lose a ball or two as the course winds its way over the resort’s inland lagoon system.

George Fazio Golf Course

We hear a lot that the Fazio course is the most challenging of our courses. It offers the island’s only par-70 layout, whose long par-4s, elevated greens and deep bunkers will test all facets of your game. Known as a great course for “faders” of the golf ball, the Fazio course features a unique double green at 11 and 16 that gives you a peek at what many experts believe is the toughest finishing stretch of holes on the island. These are a Fantastic Four featuring three par-4s over 400 yards from the white tees and a par-3 just a step less than 190.

Arthur Hills Golf Course

Lastly, you’ll find our Hills course, which is as much a tour of a wildlife sanctuary (keep your eye out for waterfowl and an alligator here or there) as a round of golf with its natural beauty. There are those who say they could play the Hills Course every day and never play it the same way twice with the diversity of strategies presented. PGA Tour star Bryce Molder shot a course-record 60 here while in college, while Tiger Woods took an 8 at the signature 17th, a par-4 that requires a drive and an approach over and around one of the many lagoons on the layout.

At all three courses, you’ll find five sets of tees, including family tees, to create an enjoyable, yet challenging round to players of all skill levels. You’ll also find three different putting surfaces: Champion Bermuda on the Jones Course, shade-tolerant Diamond Zoysia on the Fazio and TifDwarf Bermuda on the Hills Course.

Which of the courses will you take on? Do you dare try all three and 54 holes on one visit?! Let us know if you take the challenge and how you did!

For more information about Hilton Head golf packages or to get a quote on group golf, visit our website at www.palmettodunes.com or give us a call at 866-650-4130.

97-year-old Starter Retires After 33 Years at Robert Trent Jones Course

Hilton Head golf courses

If you’ve ever played golf at our Robert Trent Jones golf course, then you probably know Sammy Mulrain. This 97-year-old lover of golf served as the course starter every Thursday for the last 33 years, never missing a shift! How’s that for dedication? Sammy has finally put down his golf clubs, at least as a career, and retired as our starter ranger at 97 years young.

He’s truly beloved by the staff at Palmetto Dunes and by all the golfers who come through our doors year after year. “You don’t come across people like Sammy every day,” says Brad Marra, vice president of Palmetto Dunes. “He was a great guy to have at Palmetto Dunes and an even greater person to know. His is a wonderful story of service and dedication with a lasting impression on all of us.”

South Carolina golf resortSammy, who was named the 2009 Employee of the Year by the Lowcountry Golf Course Owners Association and recently featured in an article in the Hilton Head Island Packet, is known for his attention to detail, making sure golfers get off on time. A veteran who stormed Normandy in World War II, he’s known for his meticulous efficiency.

He also has a heart for charity and even searches for lost golf balls on his own time, donating them to a local church for their use in fundraising events. Sammy retired to Hilton Head Island in 1978 after a career working for the American Can Company. 

When asked about his favorite part of his years at Palmetto Dunes, Sammy says it’s the people and the chance to stay active. In an Island Packet article featuring him several years ago, he said, “That's why I do it at my age, just to talk to people…I try to get them laughing. The Jones course has a hole on the ocean, so I tell them, ‘When you get to the 10th green, don't go swimming or nothing.’”

The Importance of Club Fittings to Your Golf Game

Hilton Head golf club fittingsAccording to Palmetto Dunes professional club fitter Rod Thompson, going through a club fitting is a “no brainer.”“It’s like a custom suit,” he says.  “A $1,000 suit from Brooks Brothers will fit different than a $100 suit off the rack from Joseph A. Banks.” 

Thompson is actually one of an elite group of Plane Truth instructors throughout the nation, meaning that he had to serve an apprenticeship under Jim Hardy of the Plane Truth Golf Institute in Houston, Texas. Thompson has been certified for 10 years and he’s up to a level 2 out of 3. 

 “I do the fitting and always start with the irons because the ground is going to give me a lot of information,” says Thompson. “Also my eyes will show me the ball flight and my ears are going to tell me how it sounds. A lot of information comes out of a club fitting.”

 Thompson feels it’s better to get a person’s swing a little oriented before starting a fitting. He also prefers doing it outside where true ball flight analysis can be calculated. “The tall and short golfers are very likely going to need something,” he says. “Golf clubs right off the rack probably won’t work for them because their bodies aren’t normal in proportion, regardless of their swing shape.” 

Thompson, a native of Orchard Lake, Mich., turned professional at the age of 18 and eventually became a head pro at Burning Tree Country Club in Michigan. He started making golf clubs in 1986 while at Kenwood Country Club in Maryland, which is where he honed in on ball flight. 

“If I saw that a swing was working but the ball flight told me something different, then that threw up a red flag,” Thompson says. “That’s what got me into fitting. Golf clubs are expensive so it’s important that they fit. I like to say, ‘clubs that fit better hit better,’ and they really do. Women, juniors and seniors in particular usually need fittings and I do the fitting complimentary.”

According to Thompson, it’s all about ball flight and impact. “It’s fun for me,” he says.  “But I also know it’s especially fun when you are the person who is getting properly fit!”

Palmetto Dunes offers free club fittings based on availability at the Robert Trent Jones Hilton Head golf course. To schedule your fitting with Thompson or for more information, call 866-650-4130.

Heritage Week on Hilton Head Island Sends Matt Kuchar Home a Winner

It’s hard to believe the much-awaited annual RBC Heritage golf tournament is here and gone once again! We had a great week, despite it being a bit soggy, hosting lots of events at our Robert Trent Jones golf course and enjoying a variety of media coverage associated with the tournament. Mutt Kuchar ended up taking home the Tartan jacket after a thrilling conclusion to the golf tournament!

Hilton Head golf resort

On Monday, April 14, we had lots of fun with John Maginnes when he hosted his Maginnes on Tap radio show live from the Jones course. Here he is with Brad Marra of Palmetto Dunes:

On Tuesday, April 15, NFL pro-bowler and golf lover Sterling Sharpe visited the Jones course. Sharpe, who was great with fans, especially the kids, signed autographs and in between the rain headed out on the course for some golf demonstrations.

South Carolina golf resort

During the week, we also had record apparel sales. It seems everyone was ready for some new spring duds to wear on the green! The ECCO Golf Van really helped spur the sales with their amazing golf footwear.

We were so excited that Matt Ginella, host of Morning Drive on the Golf Channel, mentioned our Robert Trent Jones golf course as one of the best Hilton Head golf courses to play. Watch the segment on Hilton Head here:

To see more photos from the 2014 RBC Heritage follow our Pinterest board below:

Follow Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort's board RBC Heritage Golf Tournament on Pinterest.

Want to come enjoy Hilton Head Island golf yourself? Book your tee time or your golf getaway online or give us a call at 866-650-4130.

Stay with Palmetto Dunes during Hilton Head’s RBC Heritage Golf Tournament

Hilton Head golf packagesComing to the island for the popular RBC Heritage Golf Tournament? Make Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort your home base with access to 3 miles of beach, three outstanding golf courses, 25 tennis courts, an 11-mile inland lagoon, beachfront dining and more!

Our RBC Heritage Golf Tournament Package is designed specifically for those attending this annual tournament, which fills the island every April. By staying at Palmetto Dunes, you can enjoy the tournament by day and escape the chaos in the evenings for a relaxing retreat at our beautiful resort.

The package provides you with 4 days and 3 nights in a Hilton Head vacation villa located within the resort, three rounds of golf and                your tournament tickets. The 2014 Heritage Family Fun Pack gets you 2 adult any day clubhouse tickets with children 15 and younger admitted free, as well as 4 lunch concession stand vouchers.

Plus, you don’t just get to watch golf; you can experience it yourself at our three championship Hilton Head golf courses – the Robert Trent Jones course, the Arthur Hills course and the George Fazio course – each with their own unique challenges.

Guests who book accommodations through Palmetto Dunes also receive two hours of tennis court time daily at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center, as well as a special discount card that affords them the best rates on all resort activities and dining. Your family can choose from a variety of activities besides golf like riding bikes around the island, renting kayaks to paddle through our peaceful lagoon, nature cruises, fishing charters and more.

Dining at the resort includes the kid-friendly Big Jim’s BBQ, Burgers & Pizza restaurant that overlooks the Robert Trent Jones golf course, as well as the beachfront Dunes House. Also within the resort are the Palmetto Dunes General Store (delicious cinnamon rolls and fried chicken!), our golf course grilles, Alexander’s seafood, and HHO Prime and the XO Lounge both located at the at the Omni Hotel.

Book your RBC Heritage package soon, because the island fills up fast during this busy week! Give us a call at 866-744-7558 and we’ll get you all set up.

Spend the Super Bowl in Hilton Head at Palmetto Dunes

Hilton Head sports bar

Whether you’re rooting for the Broncos, the Seahawks or just want to watch the commercials, there’s no doubt that watching the Super Bowl at the beach is a win-win: football AND beautiful views. You can even make all those people freezing cold in New Jersey jealous!

We’ve planned several activities around this game of all games, including a fun golf tournament in the morning, as well as day-long specials on Super Bowl Sunday at Big Jim’s BBQ, Burgers and Pizza restaurant and a special golf deal the day after.

To start, we’ll host a Super Bowl Sunday Golf Tournament at the George Fazio golf course beginning at 9 a.m., because after all, you need something to do before the Big Game! In scramble format with a shotgun start, the tournament will offer multiple prizes and contests, as well as beer and snacks throughout the event. Sign up to play here by January 31.

Then when you’re ready to get into game mode, head over to Big Jim’s restaurant at the Robert Trent Jones golf course for a day full of Super Bowl specials while you watch the game on one of eight big screen TVs. Enjoy $2.50 Bud Light Pints, craft beers 2 for 1, and beer buckets starting at only $12. You’re going to need to eat too, of course, so fill up on our all-you-can-eat BBQ Buffet served from 5 p.m. through the third quarter.

If you’d prefer to take the party back to your Hilton Head vacation villa or home, we’ll have a variety of take-out specials from $25 and up, including a rib platter, wing platter, slider burger platter, BBQ Party Pack or Party Spread.

Finally, when it’s all said and done, whether your team won or lost, celebrate or drown your sorrows with a Hilton Head tee time at the George Fazio golf course on Monday, February 3. All you have to pay is the winning team’s score! Call 843-785-1138 to book your tee time and mention the Super Bowl Score Special.

If we can help you reserve the perfect Hilton Head vacation rental for your Super Bowl party, give us a call at 866-744-7558.

Let us know in the comments which team you’re rooting for!

Get to Know Palmetto Dunes at our Annual Owner/Guest Tournament Weekend

Hilton Head golf resortAlready an owner at Palmetto Dunes or considering a primary or second home at our beautiful Hilton Head resort? Then, come enjoy our annual celebration of homeownership by celebrating the very best of the resort: the ocean, golf, tennis, biking and more. We invite you to the Owner/Guest Tournament Weekend Feb. 7-9.

What’s on tap for this weekend of fun? On Friday, enjoy tee times at all three of our championship South Carolina golf courses throughout the day. Each course offers a different playing experience and beautiful views to boot.  Dunes Marketing Group will also host a tour of open houses of Hilton Head properties for sale within the resort. Be prepared, you just might fall in love!

A tennis round robin will take place from 3-5 p.m. at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center, which has earned us the designation of top tennis resort in the Carolinas from Tennis Magazine, and then attend a complimentary reception and dinner with cash bar at Centre Court Pavilion.

On Saturday, we’ll host a special golf tournament for our owners and guests at the famed oceanfront Robert Trent Jones golf course. There will be a shotgun start at 9 a.m. with scramble format with tee gifts before and prizes afterward. After the tournament, enjoy a BBQ lunch buffet at Big Jim’s BBQ, Burgers & Pizza restaurant at the Jones Clubhouse and then head out on Dunes Marketing Group’s complimentary open house tour from 3-5 p.m.

On Sunday, enjoy your favorite activities. If you love tennis, head over for some time on one of our 25 Hilton Head tennis courts or, if you’re a golfer, enjoy one more Hilton Head tee time. Guests can also feel free to bike around the resort, enjoy local shopping, kayak or canoe our 11-mile inland lagoon or enjoy a dolphin cruise or fishing charter. We’re never short of something to do here at Palmetto Dunes!

Be sure to RSVP for this amazing offering by Feb. 1. Contact Ross Javornik at 843-686-9624 or by email at rjavornik@PalmettoDunes.com

Good at Baseball or Tennis? Try Golf!

Hilton Head golf lessonsOn first glance, it may not look like the sports of baseball or tennis have much in common with golf – aside from hitting a ball – but according to Palmetto Dunes’ Director of Golf Instruction Doug Weaver, the sports actually do have several things in common.

After attending an Atlanta Braves baseball game recently, Weaver noticed that the way a baseball player hits the ball with the bat is not so different than the impact of a golfer hitting a ball on the PGA tour.

In imitation of baseball players, he offers these tips to keep in mind for hitting a golf ball effectively:

  1. An outside observer can see the belt buckle moving to the target, creating centrifugal force.
  2. Centrifugal force straightens and extends your left arm.
  3. A good 80% of your weight is on your left foot.
  4. Your head remains to the right of the ball.
  5. The right heel is coming off the ground.
  6. The right knee is pivoting toward the target.



Weaver also says that tennis players tend to make great golfers, because tennis players develop the same muscles stroking a forehand that are required for a proper golf swing. These are the oblique muscles, the same ones used for laughing and coughing.

Says Weaver, tennis superstar Rafael Nadal emphasized building his obliques to increase his racket speed. He also notes that other tennis greats who’ve pursued golf include Ivan Lendl, Leyton Hewitt and Stan Smith. Golfer Jack Nicklaus was also known for playing tennis and even built a tennis court in his backyard. Weaver has seen plenty of visitors to Palmetto Dunes play one sport in the morning and the other in the afternoon.

Says Weaver, “the bottom line is you’ll play better tennis if you play golf and vice versa.” So we invite golfers to give tennis a try and tennis players to give golf a try. In fact, wouldn’t that make a great New Year’s resolution?

Here at Palmetto Dunes, we have outstanding facilities for both, making it easy to enjoy both sports on your Hilton Head vacation. Let us know if we can help you select the right golf or tennis clinic to help you get started or if we can set you up with private lessons at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center or with Doug Weaver at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy.

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