South Carolina Tourism - Hole 18

Hole 18, Dream 18

No., 18, Harbour Town Golf Links
– By Ben Hoover, PGA Professional

To be the closing hole of one of the great golf courses in America, you have to be special. To be the finishing spot for a best of the best list like "The Dream 18 of South Carolina," you have to be amazing. It's a good thing that so many people - from the world's top PGA Tour players to our resort guests to just tourists who walk or ride by - recognize our 18th hole as nothing short of spectacular.

Obviously, everyone here at the Sea Pines Resort is honored and thrilled to be a part of "The Dream 18." It is an incredibly impressive collection, the Palmetto State has always been a top destination for golfers around the world, this list is vivid proof why.

So what makes the 18th hole at Harbour Town a "dream" hole?

It could be the challenge: Playing up to 452 yards from the tips, with a wind that is almost always coming in from the left and in your face, it can be a long hole. In fact, it can be a very long hole. Many amateurs, even from the white tees (still a healthy 414 yards) will find themselves hitting a driver and 3 wood or hybrid, to a very small green with water, marsh and sand in front and to the left. There is a generous bailout area to the right. For the Tour players, getting up and down from the bailout area isn't too daunting. However, for the vast majority of amateurs, as they stare at the water just on the other side of the green, it's a reason to celebrate after the round if they can pull it off. The course, a Pete Dye gem, was designed to offer a good test to the world's best players and yet still be fair to our resort guests. There is no better representation of that than the 18th hole.

It could be the scenery: With the Calibogue Sound playing all the way down the left side of the hole, the abundant wildlife - including birds, dolphins, manatees, etc. - and the impressive boats that sail through, as well as the scenic marshland and islands that are within view; the 18th hole is visually one of the most striking holes in golf. Let's not forget our most famous feature of the hole - the Harbour Town Lighthouse. The iconic red and white striped lighthouse is 90 feet tall and can be seen throughout the entirety of the hole; making it a great visual aiming point from the tee.

It could be the history: Since 1969, Harbour Town has hosted the world's best players for The Heritage tournament on the PGA Tour. The Heritage's list of champions starts with Arnold Palmer and includes many other fine players like Nicklaus, Miller, and 5-time champion Davis Love III. In 2010, Jim Furyk won The Heritage on his way to claiming the FedEx Cup. All of golf's greats have walked these same fairways and greens that you'd be walking when you visit.

It could be the fun: The one constant you almost always see as people leave the 18th hole here, regardless of whether they've made a par or birdie, or if they've lost their last ball into the Sound, is a big smile. Harbour Town Golf Links prides itself on being an enjoyable experience as much, if not more, than we do a challenging venue. From the families you see crabbing on the beach to the tourists climbing the lighthouse to the dolphin watchers sailing around the sound, the entire setting here is family-friendly, entertaining, and memorable. And that's exactly what the golf course and this golf hole is as well. Regardless of your score, you'll remember your time here because you enjoyed it.

I've really enjoyed reading and watching a tour of the best 18 holes in our state as part of "The Dream 18 of South Carolina" series. I'm making plans to go try as many of them as I can myself. But we certainly invite everyone to come visit us here at Harbour Town. We are confident you'll agree this is a worthy and appropriate way to cap off this collection.