Fall is a special time for golf in Hilton Head Island

By Lisa Allen, Contributor

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- A lot of people will tell you fall is when Hilton Head Island is at its best. The temperatures are perfect with highs flirting with the 80s and the humidity low. The skies are crystal clear by day, starlit by night. The amount of rain in October as of mid month this year? Not a drop.

Sea Pines Resort (Ocean course) - No. 15
Fall in Hilton Head Island means temperatures are perfect with highs flirting with the 80s and the humidity low.
Sea Pines Resort (Ocean course) - No. 15Plantation Drive - Sea Pines ResortSea Pines - Heron Point golf course - hole 4

The marshes, as their grasses change in color from lush green to amber, golds and yellows, resemble wheat fields. The sunlight on the ocean and rivers is dazzling.

The best part, though, is the golf.

"It's the most beautiful time of the year and the course conditions are the best of the year," said Lisa Dahlstrom, director of revenue for the Heritage Golf Group on Hilton Head Island. The company owns Port Royal Golf Club, Shipyard Golf Club, Palmetto Hall Plantation and Oyster Reef Golf Club.

"We're coming off summer aerations and we haven't done our overseeding yet," she said.

Grounds crews push back overseeding of winter rye to November so turf conditions will match the perfect weather of October.

"We want to create a great experience for the fall golfer," Dahlstrom said.

Rave reviews of October golf in Hilton Head Island are commonplace.

"The weather is just beautiful and there's not a lot of rain," said Claude Thorn, head professional at Palmetto Hall Plantation on Hilton Head Island. "The course is in its best shape of the year right now and again in April."

Golfers there get to choose between ideal conditions on Palmetto Hall Plantation's Arthur Hills course or flawless turf on the Robert Cupp course.

Fall may be "Hilton Head Island's best-kept secret"

"When it comes to hitting the links or the beach, this time of year just may be Hilton Head Island's best-kept secret," said Charlie Clark, vice president of communications for the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce. "The weather is warm, the humidity low. This time of year always brings those days on the course that golfers live for -- great course, great game, perfect weather and great camaraderie. When it comes to playing Hilton Head Island, it doesn't get much better than fall golf."

But there's much more than golf. There's food. Fall is when some of the area's unique delicacies await.

"It's soft-shell crab season and shrimp season, so all of that is fresh and local," said Bryan Kassner, manager of Black Marlin Bayside Grille at Palmetto Bay Marina. Of course, fall also features some great wines, too.

At, Sea Pines Resort, they offer some great enticements to go along with the great weather.

"We offer a ton of fall activities at the resort, featuring Halloween hayrides, Thanksgiving hayrides, a caramel apple festival, Gregg Russell Thanksgiving concert, Thanksgiving Stan Smith Tennis Academy and much more," said Shana Beatty, marketing manager of the resort.

But the great conditions don't end when November arrives. Average temperatures that month range from 50 degrees for the low to 70-degree highs.

"You might start with a light jacket in the morning, but you'll be in shirtsleeves by afternoon," said Bobby Downs, head professional for the Heron Point course and Ocean course at Sea Pines.

Nothing wrong with that.

Lisa AllenLisa Allen, Contributor

Lisa Allen is a golf, travel and business writer based in Beaufort, S.C. She has edited newspapers, magazines and books in Michigan, Indiana and South Carolina. Follow her on Twitter @LAllenSC.

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