The Arthur Hills Course at Palmetto Hall Plantation Club is a Hilton Head Island favorite

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - One of a handful of Arthur Hills-designed golf courses in the Carolina lowcountry is the Arthur Hills Course at Palmetto Hall Plantation Club, located on Hilton Head.

Hills is a popular name around these parts, with designs ranging from Charleston to Dataw Island. His two designs on Hilton Head, the other being his Arthur Hills at Palmetto Dunes, are among the most highly regarded courses in one of the Southeast's top golf hotspots.

The Hills Course at Palmetto Hall opened in 1991 and is the original of two courses at Palmetto Hall, which welcomed the Robert Cupp Course two years later.

Although it's Palmetto Hall's Cupp Course that has received area recognition for having the highest championship slope/rating in Hilton Head (75.2/149), the Hills Course is no slouch itself. It plays a manageable 6,900 yards from the championship tees, though its tight fairways and hazards still pose as a formidable challenge. Hills especially incorporates trees that not only frame holes but require strategic placement around them at times.

The golf course winds through a sleepy residential community, tucked behind shady mossy oaks and Carolina Pines. At two times during the course, you pass through an automatic-fenced gate and dirt road to continue your round.

"It's a fun course to play," said Bob Hunter, a 12 handicapper on a Hilton Head golf vacation from Boston. "It's tough because a lot of holes have out-of-bounds on them, but once your drive is in the fairway, you've got a good chance at par.

"I liked the par 5s especially."

Like many Arthur Hills golf courses, reaching these par 5s in two shots demands bravado and precision. The shortest of the bunch is the fifth hole, 472-490 yards from the mens/championship tees. But a large pond comes into play on the second and approach shot, playing to a green perched on the edge of the water. Even if you choose to lay your second shot up, it's a very delicate wedge shot into the green.

On the par-5 11th, the fairway bottlenecks drastically towards the green, so placement on your second shot is crucial. The most straightforward par-5 of the bunch is the 15th, 500-521 yards and straight, but the green is elevated and guarded by bunkers and heavy rough in front of the green.

The golf course certainly finishes on a high note, perhaps the most penal hole on the golf course. The 18th is a long par-4 with water all down the right-hand side. The approach shot is over water to a two-tiered, sloping green with little bailout room.

The Hills Course at Palmetto Hall: The verdict

Palmetto Hall is your quintessential Lowcountry golf course on Hilton Head Island. It's a solid mid-level course on the island. The woodland scenery won't knock your socks off, but it's still a very laid-back, forested course and presents solid shot values.

"I like Palmetto Dunes just a little better," said Hunter, referring to Hills' other Hilton Head Island design nearby. "It has a few more memorable holes."

Though a little easier than the infamous Cupp Course next door, the Hills Course still offers plenty of challenge, with four sets of tees stretching to over 6,900 yards and a 74.1/142 slope from the championship tees.

Brandon Tucker is the Sr. Managing Editor for GolfPass and was the founding editor of Golf Advisor in 2014, he was the managing editor for Golf Channel Digital's Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and nearly 600 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at @btuck34.
0 Comments
Related Links
Golfers at Palmetto Dunes love to talk about Tiger Woods' infamous mishap on the Arthur Hills golf course, one of three layouts at the resort Woods played at a collegiate tournament during his days at Stanford. Woods scored a quadruple bogey eight on the diabolical par-4 17th hole - one of the toughest golf holes on Hilton Head Island - in one of the few lowlights in his illustrious two-year college career.
2 Min Read
More from the author
4 Min Read
November 23, 2021
We scoured the web of golf and found holiday savings up to 50% off
12 Min Read
November 18, 2021
Golfers can choose from a wide variety of portable launch monitor price points and user experiences. Here is what's new and the best ones to consider to improve your golf.
7 Min Read
November 9, 2021
Our community loves the value and experience at these popular and affordable military facilities and even book online.
5 Min Read
November 2, 2021
Some U.S. cities have frighteningly few public-access courses for its residents. If you like variety, you may not want to live in these metros.
6 Min Read
October 27, 2021
Kick up the jams and drop some putts with the best portable speakers for the golf course.
4 Min Read
October 21, 2021
What began with just a par-3 course and learning center, this 2,000-acre sporting ranch between Austin and Houston is finally going all-in with an ambitious championship course.
Popular
6 Min Read
November 20, 2021
Help the golfer in your life shoot lower scores, look and feel better than ever this holiday season with these eight golf gifts.
5 Min Read
November 3, 2021
Playing golf at night is a fun experience everyone should try.
2 Min Read
November 15, 2021
Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and world-class instructors help you get up-and-down more often.
4 Min Read
November 22, 2021
Anyone can play Tom Fazio's Wynn Golf Club, which sits in the heart of the Las Vegas strip.
Load More
Now Reading
The Arthur Hills Course at Palmetto Hall Plantation Club is a Hilton Head Island favorite