Designed by George Cobb, the Ocean Course at the Sea Pines Resort was the first 18-hole layout to open on Hilton Head Island back in 1960 and it was subsequently renovated by Mark McCumber in the mid-1990s.
Love Golf Design – featuring Davis Love III, his brother Mark and lead architect Scot Sherman – redesigned the layout in 2016, restoring natural dunes and creating new sand hills which now blend into the layout.
Thousands of indigenous plants were installed, trees were removed, mowing lines altered and water hazards made less intrusive – all of which was intended to enhance both the playability and seaside ambience of the course.
The signature par three 15th, one of only two oceanside holes in all of Hilton Head Island, has also been significantly improved, with both the tee and the green raised, making the hole even more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
I didn't play this course prior to the update by DLIII so I can't compare the prior to the current course. I can compare it to other courses on the island and truthfully you pay for the conditioning, which was excellent, and the service, which was good, although for the price getting more than a small range bag of balls would be expected. There's the ocean par 3, pictured below, which is one of 2 on the island on the ocean dunes (although there's more of an ocean view at Palmetto Dunes) but otherwise the course is not distinguishable from others on the island except for the conditioning. A good amount of water hazards are on the course and the holes are interesting, albeit not memorable, and the finishing holes play tough when there's a wind from the north. Worth playing if you're staying in Sea Pines however I prefer some of the other courses on the island.