As a South Carolina resident the continued propagation of Harbour Town as a masterpiece is not the feeling of nearby residents who understand golf design.
Were Harbour Town not on TV, had not been distinctive in its presentation at onset, it would be far less highly thought of. It has a nice history of Mr Jack Nicklaus being asked to design a course and then basically running to Pete Dye for help. Actually HT continues its desirable position in rankings because it is public access and follows the Masters the next week on TV. It helps expose the flaws in revering where tournaments have been played and that effect on ratings and rankings.
It is far less narrow than its initial iteration. The greens are expanded. The Par 3 holes are quite good, but Dyes built excellent, strategic par 3's almost unlike any other design team. So 17 - 18 finish benefits from 17 being Dye doing Dye and 18 is an unusual-looking hole that is really just visually different and with a much-softened green complex post - Matthew. A few holes here and there and corridors directing play coupled with correct side misses of greens add to the "Magic of the Golf Professional".
The two Dye private courses (whichever you prefer is your call) in the HHI area are far more interesting designs architecturally and are more intellectually stimulating. However they suffer from not being on TV and being rather difficult to access.
As the four balls rating implies - it's worth meriting a full day out, even a night's stay (Because it's over an hour from I-95) but doesn't get that eagle lip-out.
It's always fun to play what you see on TV and it's a good anchor for a golf trip, but it's been surpassed.
Date: May 14, 2022