RBC Heritage marks Tour debut for updated Harbour Town

RBC Heritage marks Tour debut for updated Harbour Town
Alex Smith
By Alex Smith

Scot Sherman, lead architect at Love Golf Design, has completed a series of changes to the Harbour Town course at the Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

“When the owners of Harbour Town Golf Links were faced with much reduced play because of the recent pandemic, they decided to close the course and make improvements that could never be made without major disruptions to their business,” said Sherman. “The prospect of the RBC Heritage being staged during the week vacated by the US Open also gave them some incentive to make needed upgrades. So, decisions were made, and discussions about the scope of improvements began in late March.”

Sherman and the Sea Pines Resort team identified that tree growth throughout the layout was causing the most significant problems for golfers at the resort.

“Our challenge was to improve the enjoyment for their customers, while still challenging the best on the PGA Tour and retaining Pete and Alice Dye’s design intent,” said Sherman. “We went around and around the course studying every branch of every pine and oak to determine what could go and what should definitely stay. Tree work was completed over several weeks as we followed Harbour Town’s guidelines and approval process to make sure none of the protected specimens were removed or affected.”

Several other improvements were also identified and implemented during the process, including the shifting of fairway lines to widen some areas, additional fairway cut at a few greens, maintenance on bunkers and tournament areas and re-laying of asphalt cart paths throughout the course.”

“I was so honored to assist however I could at Harbour Town,” said Sherman. This course is the one that captured my imagination and sent me on a search for Pete Dye over 30 years ago.  I knew I wanted to learn from him and do whatever I could to become a golf architect.  Harbour Town was the spark that lit my flame of passion for our profession, so I am very grateful to be there.”

The course reopened for the staging of the RBC Heritage from 15-21 June, which spectators will not be allowed to attend. It will then reopen to the public shortly after the tournament concludes.