By Shane Sharp
Sea Pines Country Club has approved a two-phase enhancement plan for its Arnold Palmer, Clyde Johnston golf course including a greatly expanded practice facility, new designated short-game area and complete re-grassing of all tees, greens and fairways.
Golf course architect Phil Smith, who recently completed a full masterplan for the 6,383-yard layout, is leading the project alongside Sea Pines Country Club General Manager/Chief Operating Officer Robbie Ames and Golf Course Superintendent Tom Metzger. Jacksonville, Florida-based MacCurrach Golf will oversee shaping and construction.
Work on Phase I, comprising the practice facility, short-game area and re-grassing, will start May 1, 2021 and is scheduled for completion by Oct. 31, 2021. Phase II, slated for development and construction between 2028 and 2030, entails a full-scale renovation of the golf course coinciding with the installation of a new irrigation system.
“This is a significant period in the club’s history that will help create one of the best golf playing surfaces in the region and state-of-the-art practice facilities allowing our members to focus on game improvement.” says Ames. “The Phase II renovation will create a world-class golf experience for the next generation of Sea Pines Country Club members.”
The practice facility expansion will lengthen the range floor by 50 yards, expand the depth and width of the tee area for additional hitting stations and double the size of the practice putting green. New target greens will be placed at various angles with yardage intervals ranging from 70 to 250 yards. The designated short-game area will feature a multi-tiered chipping green and two bunkers for honing sand shots.
Fairways and tees will be fully re-sprigged with Celebration Bermuda grass, the PGA Tour-caliber turf used at neighboring Sea Pines Resort on RBC Heritage host course Harbour Town Golf Links. Greens will be sprigged with TifEagle Bermuda grass and putting surfaces restored to their original size, allowing for additional pin placements and improved approach shot receptivity.
“The leadership team at Sea Pines Country Club is fully committed to providing its members a world-class golf experience,” says Smith. “The 2021 upgrades will enhance the course agronomically while further elevating shot values and strategy. I’m honored to work with this amazing club to help them create a golf course and practice facility that will be maintained at the highest level.”
Sea Pines Country Club is a private, member-owned club within the gates of the famed 5,000-acre Sea Pines community on storied Hilton Head Island. The Club Course, updated in 2001 by Johnston, is an eminently playable, 6383-yard Lowcountry gem routed through Spanish Moss-draped live oaks and towering Carolina pines. Its subtle doglegs and canopied corridors lead to beguiling green complexes flanked by languid lagoons and coastal landscapes.
In addition to golf, members relish the club’s expansive outdoor deck overlooking one of the island’s largest tidal marshes. Here, they soak up the South Carolina sun while cooling off in the waters of the 24-meter lap pool as children play in the fountains of the kids’ splash pool just a few feet away. A wide selection of food and beverage options ranging from smoothies, salads and sandwiches to pizzas, wraps and burgers are available poolside via the Café.
The club’s completely reimagined clubhouse is highlighted by contemporary, casual dining at the Blue Heron Pub & Grille and a 7,300-square-foot fitness center with leading cardio and strength training equipment, classrooms, infrared saunas and indoor saline lap pool. Members enjoy an array of amenities and activities, including tennis, pickleball, bocce and numerous social clubs.
To learn more about Sea Pines Country Club, visit www.seapinescountryclub.com.