The rating team was very impressed with Dolphin Head G.C. The course was in fantastic shape and had some of the best fairways and greens we have played in the past two years. Dolphin Head received a 97 rating.
Dolphin Head is the second oldest golf course on Hilton Head. It is located in Hilton Head Plantation. Dolphin Head is a Gary Player design and was formally opened in 1974 with Gary playing an 18 hole exhibition. He demonstrated ways to play the course and even showed trick shots skipping a ball to the 18th green over the water. Thirty six years later Gary Player would still be proud of his design.
The two nines are different in character. The front-side is tree-lined with tall pines and oaks. It is well bunkered with marshland coming into play on many of the holes. Hole #6, the number one handicap hole, is long dogleg to an elevated well bunkered green. Hole #8, also a dogleg, is challenging with water along the left side of the fairway. The par 3’s on both sides are long and scenic. The back nine is more wide open and has more opportunities to score. #13 is a double dogleg with a tight entrance to the green between the oaks and pines. #17 has an amazing green that is over 135 feet deep. The final hole is the signature hole with an alternate tee and fairway for the big hitters who want to play it as a par 4. It is a terrific par 5 with a forced carry to the green over water.
Dolphin Head was purchased by the members in 1983. Dolphin Head’s membership includes golf members, social members, and non-residents. Dolphin Head is truly a unique golf club. The stability of the course is amazing. Burrell Williams, Head PGA professional, has been at the course for 24 years. Larry Howze, green superintendent, has been at Dolphin Head since 1973. He has been quoted as saying that Dolphin Head is the fairest course on the Island and can be challenging for all levels of golfers.
The course recently re-opened on September 1st with some major improvements. The greens are in awesome shape with a Mini Verde Bermuda. The fairways are excellent with a Celebration Bermuda grass. The driving range, chipping and putting practice greens were also improved. The landscaping includes the curving of dolphins in the hedges.
There isn’t a beverage cart but there is a phone at the 9th and 18th tees where you can place an order that will be ready when you get to the clubhouse.
The Dolphin Head pro shop is fully stocked with the latest fashions for both men and women. They have a great selection of hats, gloves, clubs and balls.
Dolphin Head is more than just golf. Activities include a book club group, bridge, bocci, and regularly scheduled theme night dinners.
If you would like to tour the newly renovated course you can contact Kristy Kumm at (843) 681-5550 or visit their website at www.dolphinheadgc.com.