WANNA GO PLAY-PALMETTO DUNES AT HILTON HEAD

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BY: RORY SPEARS SR. WRITER & ASSISTANT EDITOR

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The Robert Trent Jones Sr. course at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort on Hilton head Island in South Carolina.

If the early cold snap here in the Chicago area made you put away your clubs before you were ready, it might be time to hit the road.

Southeastern America is home to some of the greatest golf in the country, whether you pick Florida, Georgia or the Carolina’s you can’t go wrong.

But if you want some relaxing time, along with some great golf, and on the oceanfront, maybe it’s time you visit South Carolina and the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head Island.

Palmetto Dunes Resort is a 2,000 acre property on Hilton Head Island, it’s borders include 3 miles of oceanfront beaches and a Intracoastal Waterway and marina on the other. The resort has 54 holes, all created by well known architects and their assistants who carved out names for themselves over the years in golf course design.

In the late 1960’s, the resort brought in Robert Trent Jones Sr. to get the ball rolling, or the golf ball flying around Hilton Head Island. Jones brought along with him an assistant named Roger Rulewich, who end up working for Jones for 34 years. Rulewich went for a job interview with Jones thinking he built buildings and not golf courses. Rulewich took the job anyway and the rest was history.

The Jones Course has been known as one of the “Grand Dames of Golf ” in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. The course opened in 1969, and since Jones passes away in 2000, the 2002 renovation was done by Rulewich. The course has one of the two oceanfront holes on the island, and in 2003 was named South Carolina’s “Golf Course of the Year.”

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The George Fazio Course at Palmetto Dunes, the 16th hole called “Straight”

In 1974 George Fazio built the second course at Palmetto Dunes, brought along his nephew Tom who had entered the golf course design business as well.

Fazio also enlisted the help of Bob Spence a fellow PGA Tour professional who later became the resorts Director of Golf. Spence went on to become a nationally known golf instructor and a lifetime member of the PGA of America.

Spence went on to become friends with Davis Love Jr, and Davis Love III, helping design over and renovate over 30 courses with the later at his golf design firm. These days Spence is helping with the creation and golf operations at Kinderlou Forest GC in Valdosta Georgia.

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Bob Spence the former Director of Golf at Palmetto Dunes, at his current home Kinderlou Forest GC.

In 2014 the Fazio course earned the “South Carolina Golf Course of the Year” award.

With earning the award earlier this year, that made for a “hatrick” at Palmetto Dunes.

In 1988 Arthur Hills created the Hills Course at Palmetto Dunes, alongside of Hills was his assistant who has been with him for over three decades Steve Forrest. The work done by Hills and Forrest helped earn the course the “South Carolina Golf Course of the Year” back in 2009.

The Hills Course soon became home of the Golf World/Palmetto Dunes Intercollegiate Championship, many well known PGA Tour professionals played there in their college days including Phil Mickelson.

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The Arthur Hills Course at Palmetto Dunes on Hilton Head Island

Are ready to take a break from the cold chills of winter creeping into our northern climate. Then whether it’s before or after the holidays, why don’t you visit Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head Island.

If you are looking for more than just golf, then why not visit the award-winning tennis center, an 11-mile inland salt-water lagoon system great for kayaking and fishing. Need more, how about shopping, a charter for the day, or dolphin tours.

For more information on Palmetto Dunes, please call (877)-567-6513, or online visit PalmettoDunes.com.

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both Chicagoland Golf and the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine. Rory has played over 460 courses in 37 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, in the golf industry.