Beaufort News

Harbour Town draws rave reviews from PGA Tour pros

It's an annual occurrence for PGA Tour golfers to rave about Harbour Town Golf Links, which many players consider one of their favorite stops on tour.

But the accolades seemed even more abundant during this year's Heritage, with several players saying the course was in the best condition ever.

"The golf course is just in immaculate condition, perfect condition," Duncan resident Matt Bettencourt said after the first round.

The rave reviews continued into the weekend, when Harbour Town's signature swirling winds made scoring more difficult and the wind and sun dried out the greens to make for a real test.

"This course is one of the best we play all year, if not the best," Ben Crane said after Saturday's third round. "It's in great shape. The greens are pure."

Those greens were the focus of much of the adulation. Arjun Atwal, who was tied for second after the first round, called them "the best greens we've played all year, on any course," and players who are annual visitors to Harbour Town said they've never seen the greens in better shape.

"The greens are as fast as they've ever been here," Scott Verplank said. "They're better than I've ever seen here in 20-some years."

Cary Corbitt, director of sports for Sea Pines Resort, said that didn't happen by accident. Corbitt lives on the course, and he often sees superintendent Jon Wright riding the course late in the evening to make sure everything looks right -- sometimes as long as 15 or 16 hours after he started his day.

"We feel every year that the golf course is as good as we can get it, and we're extremely happy that the golf course is kept in such great condition year-round now," Corbitt said. "Jon certainly has a passion and a love for Harbour Town."


May River Golf Club at Palmetto Bluff and Harbour Town Golf Links are among 64 tracks Golf Digest magazine has pitted against one another in a contest to allow readers to pick their favorite public golf course in America.

The 64 courses have been seeded and placed into an NCAA tournament style bracket, and readers can vote on each matchup on the magazine's Facebook page.

Harbour Town is the No. 6 seed in the A.W. Tillinghast bracket and takes on Black Lake in the opening round. Voting for that matchup is slated for May 9.

May River is the No. 6 seed in the Alister Mackenzie bracket and faces Torrey Pines South Course in the first round. Voting for that matchup is set for June 6.


The Hilton Head Island team of George Hirsch, Phillip North, Kevin Bruderer, Wesley Long, Charlie Spencer-White, Kyle Eichelsbacher, J.D. Lehman and Russell Freed claimed 39 1/2 points to Royal Dornoch's 8 1/2 to reclaim the Morcott Challenge cup on its home turf last week.

The Morcott Challenge is an annual Ryder Cup style match play event between a select team of high school golfers from Hilton Head Island and a select team of junior golfers from the Royal Dornoch Golf Club in Scotland.

The event was started in 2004 by Hilton Head Island resident Jim Ferree, Dornoch resident Jim Campbell and part-time Dornoch resident Woody Morcott. The venue alternates between Hilton Head Island and Dornoch each year.

This year's event was played at Colleton River Golf Club, Chechessee Creek Golf Club and Long Cove Club.