Ocean Course at Sea Pines Resort on schedule for October reopening

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    The 15th hole, a 225-yard par three, is set among native dunes and plays out to the Atlantic Ocean

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    The inland seventh hole is surrounded by native pines and oaks

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    On the ninth, near the clubhouse, new dunes are being created

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    From left, Davis Love III with golf architect Scot Sherman and Mark Love, president of Love Golf Design

Frederic Larsson
By Frederic Larsson

The Ocean Course at Sea Pines Resort in South Carolina, USA, is on schedule to reopen in October following a redesign led by Love Golf Design.

The first of three courses built on Hilton Head Island, the Ocean Course opened in 1962. It was originally designed by George Cobb and renovated in 1995 by Mark McCumber’s design practice.

The current redesign project is being led by PGA Tour golfer Davis Love III’s design firm, Love Golf Design, alongside golf course architect Scot Sherman. Construction work began in October 2015 after a year of planning and permitting.

“The project was conceived as a completely new course on the site of the old Ocean Course,” Sherman explained. “We even did a bit of re-routing of holes 10 and 11 and holes 17 and 18. Everything is new and completely redesigned.”

“Along with new infrastructure, strategy and design, our goal was to incorporate elements of the surrounding beachfront and native pine and oak ‘hammocks’ into the course,” Sherman said. “There are a number of areas where we either restored native dunes or are creating dunes into which the course blends.”

Grassing began in mid-March and will be completed in early July. Despite three storms interrupting progress, the redesign is still on schedule and Sherman says the grow-in is progressing well. “Once grassing of the course is completed in early July, we will begin installing tens of thousands of native plants in these restored or created dune areas around the course.”

“As the course has developed, the scope of the project has allowed us to be creative – bounce ideas among the three of us (Sherman, Love III and Love III’s brother and president of Love Golf Design, Mark Love) and the owner – and take the time needed to make decisions.” Sherman said. “I think this is the reason we do not commit to doing too much work at once – time is the most important ingredient to building a quality course.”

Sherman describes project manager Tom Weber of MacCurrach Golf, the contractor responsible for construction, as “a key member of the team” and crucial to the success of the project.

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