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By Design


hen the Goodwin family

purchased The Sea Pines

Resort in 2005, they were

thrilled to have stewardship over the

historic property they knew so well.

However, the challenge to improve their

facilities was daunting. “It was blatantly

obvious that our assets were tired and

needed a lot of work,” said Matthew

Goodwin, chairman of the resort.

In the years since they built two new

clubhouses and a beach club, and

renovated two of the three golf courses

at the resort. Their attention then turned

to the Ocean Course, the first golf course

ever built on Hilton Head Island. The

old course was choked with trees, its

infrastructure was dated, conditions were

marginal and the layout did not fit well

into its native Lowcountry surroundings.

The Sea Pines team selected Love Golf

Design to assess the Ocean Course and

specifically address the agronomic,

infrastructure, playability, strategic

and aesthetic shortcomings evident

on the property. The obvious solution

was to take advantage of plentiful land

available and build a completely new

course in place of the old layout. So,

the resort worked with Scot Sherman,

ASGCA, Davis Love III and Mark Love to

formulate a plan which was only limited

by the course’s property boundaries.

“As the first eco-planned destination in

the U.S., Sea Pines has become known

for its respect of the surrounding

environment. However, because the

owners wanted to build a strategic

course that was also player friendly,

creating width was imperative,” explains

Sherman. During an extended permit

process, the team worked with various

agencies to remove more than 500

trees, reposition lagoons, and re-route

several holes while also infusing a

native landscape into the property.

The resulting course, renamed Atlantic

Dunes, includes all new greens, tees

(including a new ‘family course’),

bunkers, irrigation, drainage, turfgrass,

cart paths and bridges, all thoughtfully

designed to evoke a seaside ambience.

The golf course style is distinctly timeless

and blends with the Lowcountry feel

accented by restored dunes, 50,000 new

seaside grasses, coquina shells, and the

area’s native pines and oaks.

“Sea Pines is one of my all-time favorite

places to play and visit, so we’re excited

Atlantic Dunes will be in line with the

great golf offered by Harbour Town and

Heron Point,” says Davis Love III.

At one with nature

Hilton Head Island’s first golf course has been completely

renovated, and now sits in harmony with its Lowcountry setting


Hilton Head Island,

South Carolina

Golf course architect:

Scot Sherman, ASGCA with

Davis Love III and Mark Love of

Love Golf Design

Project summary:

The owners of

The Sea Pines Resort felt it was

time to reconstruct the Ocean

Course, the first course ever

built on Hilton Head Island. The

new course, renamed Atlantic

Dunes, incorporates elements of

the beachfront and the island’s

native vegetation.


MacCurrah Golf

Construction, Inc. (construction);

A.S. Altum & Associates

(irrigation design); Toro

(irrigation); Alpha Marine

(bridges, retaining walls);

Thomas & Hutton (engineering)

The Sea Pines Resort

Photos: Larry Lambrecht