The golf course at Dolphin Head, designed by Gary Player in 1974, was the first course constructed in Hilton Head Plantation. Because of this fact, Player was able to utilize some of the best golfing property the Plantation had to offer. It boasts two very distinctive nine holes; the front nine, meandering through tall trees with Player’s signature bunkers and marshland coming into play on most of the holes, is a great opening nine. It plays short, but puts a premium on hitting fairways and greens, and is quite typical of many of the top courses on Hilton Head. The back nine, however, offers a much different look with open spaces and tall, old growth trees, giving Dolphin Head two very distinctive looks. Not many other facilities in the area are able to offer such an experience, making Dolphin Head one of the most unique golf courses in the Lowcountry.
Player’s main goal with the construction of the course was to leave as many natural features as possible and to use very little landfill to help create a natural look to the golf course. The surrounding natural preserves and the local wildlife were not interrupted as Player tried to create harmony between man and nature, and the result is a very playable and scenic golf course that has become a local favorite.
Under the direction of local course architect Clyde Johnston, Dolphin Head Golf Club renovated the course’s greens, tees and fairways in 2010. The tees and fairways consist of Celebration Bermuda due to its denser growth pattern and better shade tolerance. The greens consist of Mini-Verde Bermuda for its tight, upright growth pattern and quicker green speeds. The course renovation project was fully funded by the Club’s capital reserve.