Heron Point at Sea Pines Resort named a top course for women by Golf Digest
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- One of the great family-friendly golf resorts in the United States boasts one of the country's top golf courses for women, too.
Sea Pines Resort's Heron Point Course by Pete Dye, one of three courses at the resort, was named to Golf Digest's "Top 50 Courses for Women" for 2011. The publication's June issue placed Heron Point at No. 48.
To determine the nation's top woman-friendly golf courses, Golf Digest factored in playability, multiple tees rated for women, a welcoming atmosphere and a golf shop featuring a wide selection of name-brand women's equipment and apparel.
But golf itself comes first. Dye's wife, Alice, once a star amateur player in her own right, advised him on Heron Point to help deliver a standout design from any set of tees.
"Anyone familiar with Pete Dye's amazing body of work knows his wife Alice is intimately involved in the design process," says Cary Corbitt, director of sports division at Sea Pines Resort. "Forced carries, tee placements, approach angles and difficulty are all carefully evaluated to ensure golfers have a fun and fair playing experiences."
For women, the forward set of tees play 5,261 yards. This set, as well as the 5,800-yard Carolina tees and 6,168-yard Sea Pines tees, are rated for women.
Heron Point was known as Sea Marsh until 2007 when Dye redesigned and upgraded the course to modern standards. While the original playing corridors remain, the rest is distinctly Dye: mounding along fairways and around greens, railroad ties, challenging greens, waste bunkers and plenty of visual intimidation.
While Harbour Town Golf Links is known as the island's top championship venue, Heron Point is also a suitable test for low handicappers. The championship tees play 7,103 yards and 75.4/143 slope/rating, while the middle-back blue tees play just more than 6,600 yards. With many small, raised greens, approach shots much be struck properly in order to hold the green. This, along with the option for a 3,700-yard family set of tees, makes Heron Point a favorite pick for anyone in the family.
Both men and women will appreciate the scenery at Heron Point, set within mature live oaks and lagoons. Playing conditions were also factored into the ranking, and Heron Point boasts fast and firm greens and fairways and well-kept sand bunkers. One of the many details noticed by panelists were comfort stations available on five holes throughout the round, as well as cold towels served to golfers when the round is over.
Sea Pines features two other courses, including the PGA Tour's Heritage Classic host, Harbour Town. Located at the same clubhouse as Heron Point is the Ocean Course, which also features two tee boxes rated for women.
June 27, 2011
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