Photo via GolfConversations.com
Among the pantheon of renowned golf course architects, Arthur Hills may not be as well known as some of his contemporaries — names like Robert Trent Jones, Pete Dye or Tom Fazio — but Hills’ body of work during a career spanning six decades ranks up there with anyone.
His work at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is a perfect example. Opened in 1986, the Arthur Hills Course at Palmetto Dunes is 6,651 yards of rolling landscape. Taking full advantage of the natural beauty of this South Carolina sea island, his spectacular layout represents a careful blend of beauty and challenge.
True to the resort’s name, palmettos and dunes are scattered throughout the golf course, along with mature, Spanish-moss-covered live oaks. The tree-lined fairways and an ocean breeze add more teeth, while water hazards also come into play on more than half of the 18 spectacular holes.
When they were in college, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson honed their golfing skills on the Arthur Hills Course at Palmetto Dunes. President Bill Clinton, who annually began visiting Palmetto Dunes during the late 1990s, called the Arthur Hills Course his favorite of the resort's three outstanding golf courses. The Hills Course is a mainstay among the South Carolina "Best You Can Play" and was previously named the Palmetto State’s “Course of the Year.”
Now 87 years young, Hills has designed more than 200 new golf courses around the world and has been called upon to refine or renovate more than 125 others including some of the country’s most renowned clubs such as Congressional, Oakmont, Oakland Hills and Inverness. Twenty-eight Hills-designed courses have been selected as USGA, PGA, LPGA, NCAA and PGA of America tournament venues.
Down-to-earth, personable, friendly and willing to share his wisdom, Hills is a past president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects. He was voted the “Architect of the Year” in 1991 and 1998, and was Boardroom Magazine’s “Architect of the Year” in 2002. A proficient golfer back in his day, Hills was the captain of his Michigan State golf team and won the 1950 Ann Arbor City Championship. He was voted into the Ohio Golf Hall of Fame in 1993.
"My design philosophy comes from a very traditional or historic approach to the game," Hills said. "I’ve always admired the more traditional courses like Pinehurst No. 2, Shinnecock Hills, Cypress Point, Seminole, Prairie Dunes, Inverness and Merion."
Hills' design objectives include the nature of the land that minimizes earth moving. "We also always keep in mind the strategy of the game and the elements that provide beauty in a golf course — textures and colors, shadowing and framing," he says.
Hills has also written about designing golf holes from the green complex back to the tee, not from tee to green. Shot angles, interesting grasses and plants, gently plateaued greens, waters and views also come into the design work.
"All of these subtleties help us build a fair and balanced course which is both aesthetically pleasing and strategically sound," Hills said.
The next time you play the Arthur Hills Course at Palmetto Dunes, enjoy the knowledge that you are playing a design by one of history’s best — and most underrated — golf course architects.
What a fantastic summer it’s been at Palmetto Dunes! From outdoor adventures and family fun to “par”-fect golf rounds and perfect beach days, there really is no place better than Hilton Head Island to enjoy the best summer has to offer.
For the past 12 weeks we’ve been able to see summer at Palmetto Dunes through your eyes with our #PDSummer Instagram Challenge. Stunning sunrises, breathtaking beach waves, water adventures, and so much more! You captured everything that makes a summer vacation on Hilton Head Island so great, and we loved seeing each and every photo.
Congratulations to all of our winners, including our grand prize winner Allyson H., and thank you to every single one of you who entered our Summer Instagram Challenge this year.
Here are some #PDSummer photos that we loved. Which one is your favorite?
Between winding bike paths and safe roads, and the friendly bike rental service at Hilton Head Outfitters, the best way to get around at Palmetto Dunes is on two wheels.
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Hilton Head Island is the perfect place for a family vacation! And by the looks of the photos y’all shared, your families love the beach at Palmetto Dunes.
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Hilton Head Island is filled with stunning wildlife, and you captured some of Palmetto Dunes’ local creatures beautifully.
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Your beautiful photos of Palmetto Dunes beach never ceased to blow us away!
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As we know, the fun doesn’t stop when the fun goes down at Palmetto Dunes! From Harbourfest to starry night skies, you captured it all.
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Don’t let the end of our Summer Instagram Challenge stop you
from sharing your Hilton Head vacation photos with us! Tag your photos with
#PalmettoDunes. And if you simply can’t wait until next summer to visit us
again, check out our
vacation packages and start planning your next trip.
If you think Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort offers plenty of fun on land, wait until you experience it on the water. From a leisurely sail to a custom cruise, and everything in between, the perfect day on the water is waiting for you on Hilton Head Island.
Find out what type of boating excursion best suits you:
There’s nothing more relaxing than setting sail on the sea to simply take in Hilton Head Island’s picturesque scenery. Cruising our blue waters surrounded by nature, you can’t help but discover the true definition of low country life on a leisurely catamaran tour.
Making memories with your kids is what family vacations are all about and that’s not hard to do with a family outing on the water. After all, who doesn’t love hitting the high seas for a day of fun in the sun? For a truly memorable family adventure, you can’t go wrong with Shannon Tanner’s Excellent Pirate Expedition!
The beautiful waters of Hilton Head Island are home to a variety of wildlife, making an ocean excursion a must for animal lovers. Off our shores, you’ll have the chance to cross seeing egrets, herons, Osprey, Bald Eagles, pelicans, bottle nose dolphins, and sharks off your bucket list. Aboard the Dolphin Seafari, you may even spot a mermaid!
There’s no better place for a fun-filled fishing adventure than Hilton Head Island, and no better way make it happen than a Palmetto Dunes Fishing Charter. Whether you’re an avid angler or a fishing newbie, you’ll love casting a line for your next big catch—which could be sea bass, mackerel, barracuda, red fish, or even shark!
If you want a more custom adventure on the water, we’ve got you covered! Rent a boat and find your inner sailor as you cruise through Hilton Head Island’s vast waterways in style. Or sit back and relax under the experienced hand of a fully equipped captain and crew on a chartered sailboat.
Running on sand is more challenging than running on pavement, but it can make for a fantastic workout! The beach at Palmetto Dunes is ideal for running in many ways. It’s 3 miles long, which makes for a good 30-minute run, plus it has smooth sand, next to no rocks, and is relatively flat. So take your next jog through Palmetto Dunes off the trails and onto the beach!
The best time for a beach run is when the tide is low. The wet, packed sand the water leaves behind is firm and sturdy—much closer to pavement than its soft, dry neighbor. Check for tide times and weather conditions (or sneak a peek at The Dunes House’s webcam!)
Running on loose sand provides a unique kind of resistance training, and you’ll definitely feel it—particularly in your lower legs. You need more force to run on sand so it can take up to 1.6 times more effort (and consequently burn that many more calories, too). Don’t worry if you’re not running at your usual pace. Remember, you’re working so much harder! A slower pace allows you time to focus on your form.
If you’re new to beach running it’s also best to try your first few runs with your sneakers on. Running barefoot is more challenging than you may think! Your feet are used to support, and to the added cushioning your running shoes provide. You’ll more than likely feel the difference in your ankles, Achilles heel, and the top or arch of your feet should you try running on the beach barefoot. If you do want to try it, take it easy. Build strength in your feet gradually, starting with short 15–20 minute runs and increasing incrementally as your feet and body adapt and strengthen.
Photo credit: Brenda C.
Don’t forget to put on some sunscreen and wear some sunglasses. There’s rarely any shade on the beach and waters of the ocean reflect a lot of sunlight, which can make it quite bright when you’re running next to the waves. Some runners recommend prepping your feet with a bit of Vaseline to avoid and chafing or blisters should you get some sand in your shoes.
calming about running on the beach, especially if you leave your earbuds at
home in your vacation rental. The sound of the waves lapping on the shore
creates a relaxing natural rhythm that’s the perfect background noise to a
If you’re looking for more than a casual jog, an easy way to beef up your beach run is with a zig-zag drill. After a good 10-minute warm up on wet, hard sand, zig up to dry, soft sand for a one-minute sprint, before zagging back to the hard sand for a one–two-minute recovery. See if you can get 10 sprints in before cooling down with another 10-minute jog on the packed, wet sand.
And don’t forget: There’s no better way to reward yourself for a jog well done than refueling at The Dunes House! Carb-load with a tantalizing plate of nachos, or keep it light with a sandwich wrap. See you on the beach!
Many couples dream of a island wedding (rain or shine!) or a wedding on a beach with the sound of the rolling waves in the background as they make their vows. The wedding events & catering team at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort help brides and grooms make their dreams come true every year. Here's what some of them recently said:
I couldn't be happier with my wedding at Palmetto Dunes. We had originally booked the Dunes House for the ceremony and reception but due to rain had to switch the Center Court at the last minute. The rain was touch and go all day and our coordinator Courtney was wonderful with communicating our options and ensuring us that everything would be perfect either way we went. The set up at center court was beautiful! I gave Courtney a lot of decor and she and the staff laid everything out to perfection! The food was delicious- all of our guests raved about it! We had a very long engagement and Courtney was responsive and helpful through every step of the process. I had such a wonderful experience and would recommend Palmetto Dunes to everyone looking for a beautiful place to have a wedding!
As the mother of the groom for a destination wedding, I would HIGHLY recommend Courtney Daley and her staff at Palmetto Dunes! We were able to easily plan the entire wedding from Ohio because of Courtney and Lindsay. They were always prompt and professional in their replies. They were always able to answer questions and to make suggestions regarding vendors. The venue itself was absolutely beautiful as the happy couple was married on the beach and the food for the reception was delicious. Courtney and her crew handled all of the details and made it so that the bride and groom (and the rest of us!) could enjoy the big day.
A happy bride and groom from Ohio said...
Courtney and Palmetto Dunes Dunes House made the wedding of our dreams possible! We are from Ohio and we're planning a destination wedding, and Courtney made it as easy and stress free as possible. I would highly recommend this location for your wedding!
For more information about Weddings at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort call 843-686-9142 to speak with a wedding planner. Or submit a request for proposal and discover the possibilities!
Taking the kids with you on vacation to Palmetto Dunes Resort? Making dinner a family affair doesn’t have to limit you to fast-food standbys. Dine at these family-friendly and kid-approved Hilton Head Island restaurants, and the whole gang can enjoy the experience.
10. A Lowcountry Backyard
True to its name, this eatery has a big beautiful backyard filled with swings, plants, fire pits, and plenty of seating. Lowcountry Backyard serves up all your favorite southern classics, including their famous Shrimp & Grits, Lowcountry Pimento Cheese, and homemade Banana Puddin’.
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9. Big Jim’s BBQ, Burgers and Pizza
Named after the founder of Palmetto Dunes, you’ll find this popular joint on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course. Just like the name says, this restaurant serves up hearty burgers, pizza, and BBQ. You can’t go wrong with any menu item that comes smothered in Jim’s barbecue sauce, and his Tennessee coleslaw is legendary. On the kid’s menu, besides the usual fries, you can switch up their sides to mac n’ cheese, apple slices, or corn on the cob.
8. Carolina Crab Company
Dine dockside with the family at Palmetto Bay’s Carolina Crab Company. Tell your kids to keep an eye out for dolphins in the water—they are known to swim by. There’s lot of choice on the kid’s menu and for the adults? Consider starting your meal with some spicy Fried Crab Bites, or chow down on some Carolina Crab Chowder. The Jack Pot is a popular Boil, filled with Maine lobster, crab legs, clams, shrimp, and oysters. A true feast for any seafood lover.
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7. Fishcamp on Broad Creek
On beautiful Broad Creek you’ll find the family-friendly Fishcamp restaurant. Grab a seat out on the pet-friendly patio if you can, where there are games and outdoor activities to keep the kids entertained. There’s often live music, too. On the menu, you’ll find lots of seafood, from a Shellfish Tower to Daufuskie Island Blue Crab Cakes. And for the kids? The menu’s got basics like Chicken Fingers and plain Kids Pasta for pickier palates, and Petite Filet Mignon and Snow Crab Legs for the more adventurous young adults.
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6. Hilton Head Ice Cream
When you and the family need to cool down, head to Hilton Head Ice Cream. At the Fountain Center you’ll find homemade ice cream in so many flavors, there’s bound to be something for everyone. The kids will especially love options like Cookie Monster and Superman, while grown-ups will want to dig into flavors like Kaluha Chip and Cayenne Chocolate.
Photo Credit: @hiltonheadicecream
5. Kenny B’s French Quarter Café
Oh la la! Add a little French Cajun flair to your trip with a visit to Kenny B’s French Quarter Café. On the menu, you’ll find lots of Creole classics like Jambalaya, Red Beans & Rice, and Muffulettas. Kids will get a kick out of their meals being served in dog bowls. The real draw here though, are the Beignets. These French-inspired donuts are made fresh, daily and are served to you piping hot out of the oil, with a liberal dusting of powdered sugar. Kids of all ages go crazy for ‘em.
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4. Palmetto Bay Sunrise Café
Located near the Palmetto Bay Marina, this is a great spot to bring the kids for breakfast or lunch. The lunch menu includes lots of soup and sandwich options, but the all-day breakfast menu is where it’s at. You’ll find all of the classics like Eggs Benedict multiple ways, pancakes, and omelets. For the little ones, with little appetites, there’s an extensive side dish section, where kids can build their own breakfast.
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3. Palmetto Dunes General Store
Going out to eat is great, but sometimes, even on vacation you just want a night in. Villas in Palmetto Dunes come with fully equipped kitchens, so if you feel like making your own meals, head on over to the Palmetto Dunes General Store. With their supplies, you can grab everything you need to make a meal at home. Kids love to help! Ask them for their input in-store, then have them get their hands dirty helping out. Don’t feel like going out, but also don’t feel like cooking? The General Store also offers take-out breakfast and lunch options, including their famous Fried Chicken.
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2. Salty Dog Café
This perennial favorite can be found on the waterfront in Sea Pines. You can’t go wrong with their Salty Dog Po’Boy, and for those over 21, a frozen margarita. On the kid’s menu, you’ll find a wide selection of favorites, liked Fried Fish Nuggets, made from fresh fish. Kids who clean their plate earn a special sticker! It’s a popular spot, but if there’s a wait, you’ll get a buzzer, so you and the kids can keep busy with a stroll or a peruse through the gift shop.
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1. Skull Creek Boathouse Situated right on the waterfront, the comings and goings of the boats will keep your kiddos entertained through the meal, while you can indulge in a seafood feast. If it comes from the sea, chances are the Skull Creek Boathouse serves it, from classic Lowcountry Boils to Salt & Vinegar Crab Cakes, and even sushi. Does dining with the kids mean you’re eating early? Take advantage of their Sunset Supper specials, available daily from 4:00-5:30pm.
Photo Credit: @skullcreekboathouse
And, while dining with kids can be delightful, if you’re in the mood for an adults-only date night, order in pizza for the kids and a sitter, and enjoy the best places in Palmetto Dunes to grab a drink.
On Monday, August 21st, a rare event that hasn’t happened in this country since 1979 will take place when the moon will entirely cover the sun in a total solar eclipse. Only a narrow swath of destinations across the United States will be in a position to view the full phenomenon.
South Carolina will be the final state in the viewing path of the eclipse, which will cross Charleston starting at 2:40 p.m. Beat the sky-gazing crowds and head to Hilton Head Island which is just outside the complete viewing path. The moon will not entirely cover the sun from our vantage point but it will cover over 97% of it! View the video below to see exactly how much.
The eclipse will peak at 2:46:32 pm EDT, when the moon obscures 97.8% of the sun.
Join us at Palmetto Dunes Resort, where we’ll be celebrating the Great American Eclipse with a variety of activities and specials. Where better to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence than from the beach?
Join us for the BEST seat in the house at The Dunes House, the perfect place to watch the 2017 eclipse. while enjoying live music and themed drink and lunch specials. We'll be serving Eclipse Cookies, our Dark & Sunny frozen cocktail & Southbound Brewing's Scattered Sun on draft. Unicorn Meat will be playing from 1 - 4 p.m. with a secret song during totality.
Or, head to Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina for another unobstructed view. We'll have a special Solar Eclipse Cruise aboard the Holiday from noon to 2 p.m. Call the marina at 843-842-7002 to learn more or book.
To make sure you’re prepared for this incredible natural event, we’ve collected six facts about the 2017 solar eclipse:
1. A solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, blocking the sun’s light for a period of time. A total solar eclipse hasn’t happened over the United States in close to 40 years, and won’t happen again until 2024.
2. The totality, when the moon completely covers the sun, will be visible in parts of 14 states across the United States, including South Carolina where the totality will occur over Columbia from 2:41–2:44 p.m.
3. When the eclipse passes over Charleston it’s estimated that it will be at a speed of 1,502 miles per hour.
4. It is harmful to look directly at the sun. You will need special eclipse glasses, or a protective device such as a sun funnel or solar filter.
5. NASA will be very busy on August 21st! A solar eclipse allows the space association to gather all sorts of data that they would not otherwise be able to, such as observations of the sun’s outermost atmosphere–the corona, and maps of the moon.
6. During a solar eclipse, not only does the sky turn dark, but the temperature drops.
Learn more about the Great American Eclipse from NASA with this NASA Eclipse Fact sheet.
What are you waiting for? Book your Palmetto Dunes trip before it’s too late and get ready to gaze upon an awesome phenomenon from our beautiful shores.
Sure, at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort we know that when you take a vacation, your main goal is to relax and have fun. We also know that relaxing and having fun does not necessarily translate into staying fit.
However, when you are visiting Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, enjoying your vacation and staying fit do not have to be mutually exclusive. We offer plenty of ways you can relax, enjoy your vacation AND stay fit at the same time! Condé Nast Traveler named Palmetto Dunes one of the country’s top 50 mainland resorts, which is why vacationers never run out of things to do at this beautiful, 2,000-acre locale.
From biking and fishing to surfing and paddleboarding, plus kayaking and canoeing the Palmetto Dunes lagoon, if you want to explore the island while engaging in some fun physical fitness, Hilton Head Outfitters is the place to go. They offer free delivery and pick-up for bikes rented for three days or more and they offer the largest bike fleet on the island. If you’re feeling particularly motivated, Hilton Head Outfitters can also teach you how to surf.
Of course, Palmetto Dunes is probably best known for its world-class golf. A trio of outstanding courses to choose from designed by three legends of the game: Robert Trent Jones, Arthur Hills and George Fazio. The Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy is a leader in providing quality golf lessons, instruction and support, offering nine distinct programs for golfers of all ages. Fifteen teaching pros, including some former PGA Tour professionals, provide hands-on instruction for all skill levels.
Want to run around and swing the racket, instead? Well, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is also the ultimate tennis vacation destination for anyone who wants to improve his or her court skills. The resort has been ranked among “The 50 Greatest U.S. Tennis Resorts” by Tennis Magazine, ranked No. 4 in the world for instruction and programming, ranked No. 3 in the world for overall children’s programs, ranked No. 2 in the world for best tennis pro shop and ranked in Top 25 in the world overall by Tennis Resorts Online. We also now offer Pickleball and POP Tennis, which are rapidly growing racket sports that can be enjoyed by all ages.
So, when you visit Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, plan on relaxing and having fun… but don’t plan on getting soft while you’re here!
Travel & Leisure Magazine has released its annual World’s Best Awards, and guests voted Hilton Head the Best Island in the Continental U.S. Not only that, our Lowcountry slice of paradise was listed as the second best island in the world! We’re thrilled, and not surprised. If you’ve ever been to Hilton Head Island you know just how spectacular a destination it is! We hear it from guests all the time! To celebrate this incredible accolade, we’re listing off 10 reasons why Hilton Head is the best island.
10. The Convenience
With two airports servicing Hilton Head Island, plenty of non-stop flights, and easy land access, getting to Hilton Head is as easy as a South Carolina breeze! This year Air Canada launched non-stop service from Toronto, Canada so even our neighbors to the north can hop on a plane to our slice of paradise!
9. The Adventure
Hilton Head Island offers the perfect setting for outdoor adventure. Hit the open water on a sailboat, kayak, or fishing charter, or enjoy the quiet calm of the Palmetto Dunes Lagoon. Bike trails, pillage like pirates, zip-line across the sky, or zoom full speed ahead on a catamaran built for two! There’s no end to thrilling outdoor activities on Hilton Head.
8. The Wildlife
Our scenic natural surroundings provide more than just stunning photo opportunities—they’re home to a vibrant and varied array of wildlife, too! You could see dolphins, sharks, fish, oysters, birds, deer, even gators on your Hilton Head Island vacation.
7. The Weather
We’re fortunate, on Hilton Head Island, to have some of the best weather around! Not only can we golf year round, we enjoy comfortable temperatures regardless of the season. During the summer months, temperatures soar as high as 89 degrees and even in winter the temperature hovers around 60.
6. The Laidback Lifestyle
There’s something incredibly relaxing about the laidback way of life in Lowcountry. We’re never in a rush down here! Taking the time to enjoy the sunshine, beautiful surroundings, and each other’s company is part of Hilton Head’s charm.
5. The Family-Friendly Atmosphere
Whether it’s the vacation rentals appointed with every convenience and comfort of home, the kids’ camps, family-friendly restaurants, or simply our quiet atmosphere, Hilton Head offers something for the entire family to enjoy! We have guests who have been visiting with their families for years, and kids who have grown up reveling in the fun of a Hilton Head Island vacation.
4. The Food
There’s nothing quite like good old-fashioned Southern cookin’, and no shortage of it on Hilton Head Island. From local staples like oyster roasts and Lowcountry boils to Southern classics like shrimp n’ grits and fried chicken, your taste buds are in for a treat when you’re dining in Hilton Head.
3. The People
Over and over, we hear from guests who just can’t get over how friendly and helpful everyone is on Hilton Head Island! We think you’ll find that locals are courteous and kind—and up for a good time! Join us at Harbourfest or down at Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina for happy hour and you’ll see just what we mean.
2. The Golfing
Hilton Head Island is practically synonymous with good golfing, and it’s no wonder! With over 20 championship golf courses, including our three award-winning golf courses at Palmetto Dunes! There are courses for every experience level and playing style, and some of the best PGA-certified instructors to help you improve all aspects of your game.
1. The Beaches
If there’s one thing on Hilton Head Island that will take your breath away, it’s our beautiful beaches! Year round our guests are wowed by Hilton Head’s white sand, calm surf, stunning sunrises and beautiful water. Whether you’re biking along the water’s edge, taking a surf lesson, or simply enjoying the view, we think you’ll agree that spending the day at the beach on Hilton Head Island is top notch.
At Palmetto Dunes, we love tennis! With 26 incredible clay courts, top-notch instructors, daily round robins and clinics, and the largest tennis pro shop on Hilton Head Island, can you blame us? Our tennis pros can help you improve your game during your stay, and so can these tips from some of the tennis world’s most famous players.
The key to mastering tennis fundamentals and swinging like the pros not only involves a lot of practice, it involves practice without a racket. Don’t believe us? Check out these tips from tennis’ most famous sisters:
“The key to a serve is your left hand.” – Serena Williams
“Work on your toss.” – Venus Williams
Andre Agassi, who won eight Grand Slams put it bluntly: “If you don’t practice you don’t deserve to win.” (Luckily for you, our Tennis Center is open daily, and even has lights so you can play into the evening.)
More than perhaps any other sport, tennis is as mental as it is physical, as any Grand Slam Champion will tell you.
“Emotional strength in the game of tennis is everything.” – Billie Jean King
When asked what advice he’d give to players looking to improve their tennis game, Novac Djokovic said, "Passion, believing in yourself, in your abilities."
“You’ve just got to get over that mental hurdle and those battles in your own head during matches when things aren’t going so well.” – Samantha Stosur
When it comes down to it, it’s just you, your opponent, and the tennis court. Professional tennis players know that focus and attention are essential to coming out with a win.
“The next point? That’s all you must think about.” – Rod Laver
“Previously I always thought it was just tactical and technique, but every match has become almost mental and physical—I try to push myself to move well. I try to push myself not to get upset and stay positive, and that's what my biggest improvement is over all those years. Under pressure I can see things very clear.” – Roger Federer
Do these professional tennis tips have you feeling inspired to hit the courts? Let us help you plan the perfect tennis trip!