Sea Pines Plantation Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

There's no doubt that Sea Pines Plantation offers a respite from the hurly-burly of everyday life. For golfers, its 54 holes, scattered among exceptional Lowcountry landscapes, are the answer to a prayer. Long-suffering golf widows and other family members have had their prayers answered, as well-there's so much to do at Sea Pines, they'll hardly miss the golf addicts.

Situated at the southern tip of Hilton Head Island, Sea Pines Resort is a regular stop on the PGA tour, hosting the Verizon Heritage Golf Tournament. Nevertheless, the mix of play is challenging for skilled and casual weekend golfers alike. The Harbour Town Golf Links, ranked as the number one course in South Carolina by Golf Magazine, Golf Digest and Golf Week, combines spectacular views (the 18th green overlooks Calibogue Sound and the lighthouse) with a demanding layout that "sometimes offers an ego-humbling experience." Designed by Pete Dye, in consultation with Jack Nicklaus, Harbour Town is reminiscent of Scottish courses of old. Measuring 6,973 yards from the Heritage tees, the par-71 course is deceptively short by today's standards.

The Ocean Course, the first golf course on Hilton Head Island, was built in 1962 and redesigned by Mark McCumber in 1995. Intertwining bunkers and lagoons are prevalent on the front nine, while fairways widen a bit and large greens undulate in resort fashion on the back. Towering pines and moss-draped oaks set the scene for No. 15-the signature hole-offering spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. The 210-yard, par 3 requires a long uphill shot to reach a green with the beach as its backdrop and an everpresent breeze.

The par-72 Sea Marsh Course is currently closed for redesign but will reopen in September 2007.

With the plethora of golf courses that cover the Lowcountry, why choose Sea Pines? Golf Director Cary Corbitt summed it up this way: "Harbor Town is our fl agship course. But we have three courses-one's being reconstructed right now-and a choice of off-course activities, such as 17 miles of bike trails. Our real appeal, apart from superb course conditions, is variety in golfi ng and other activities. Come play our courses. I promise you won't be sorry."

For more information about golf courses at Sea Pines, call (888) 807-6873.