If your last visit to Harbour Town was pre-2015, you would be forgiven for not recognizing the clubhouse. Sea Pines Resort’s flagship building is now fit for the stars, having been rebuilt to cater to the PGA Tour players who visit each April.
A grand entrance with a spiral staircase greets golfers entering the building. The men’s locker room could be a clubhouse in itself, with a full staff, food service, and bar with views of the famed links, which was also treated to a renovation.
Beginning last May, the course was taken down to dirt and given a new irrigation system, new drainage, and new grass. As for Pete Dye’s iconic design, changes were subtle, primarily intended to give the course a more natural look.
At the 5th hole, the green was moved well left and away from trees, out of bounds, and an invading root system. This makes the hole easier and the green healthier, but the old greensite is now a devilish collection area. On 16, church-pew bunkers added in the left-side waste area might look pretty but are there to penalize golfers who don’t take advantage of the ample room on the right.
As for one of golf’s most famous finishes—framed by the striped lighthouse and Calibogue Sound—while it may remain unchanged on the surface, come tournament week or your own visit, you know what to look for.