Hilton Head South Carolina: Golf, Ocean and Food ~ What more could you want? by Terry Zinn

The enclave at Hilton Head South Carolina is a mecca for golfers, ocean lovers and those with a hunger for fine dining. My visit filled all those desires, as I stayed at the Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort in the Palmetto Dunes community. While the hotel was undergoing massive out door renovations to their largest pool area, (completed by now), the easy access to the pounding surf of the Atlantic Ocean and the stretches of unspoiled beach were hardly hindered. The accommodations at the Omni were most satisfactory, with their sundry/souvenir /snack shop at Palmetto Market, XO Lounge , poolside Buoy Bar (short day time hours only), and helpful front desk with curt concierge service. 24 hour room service is available. In the evening Omni provides a fire pit social area, which the children really enjoyed.
While I was disappointed that I did not dine at the Omni’s HH Prime, I found an exceptional dining experience not far down the road, at Red Fish restaurant. Here, repeating customers clamber for seating in the Wine room, even though Red Fish has a couple of other enticing dining areas. I opted for the patio. Monica, the manager on duty, seated me where I could spot the full moon rise over the palms, so that I might doubly enjoy my evening cocktail with specialty breads.
Nicole promptly took my dinner order of special house salad with honey mustard dressing, an ecstasy filled, Vidalia onion soup, and helped me decide between the Grilled Sea Bass with wasabi cream soy glace, or Blackened Mahi Mahi with mango avocado salsa over jasmine rice and mixed grilled vegetables. I chose the later, to my delicious satisfaction. Nicole twisted my arm and I left with a moist carrot cake for later consumption. Red Fish Restaurant began with Cuban inspired food but now has a little bit of everything at prices quite reasonable for an upscale resort area.
I visited the elevation challenging Arthur Hills golf course at Palmetto Dunes, on a delightful morning of golf cart meandering of the 18 holes. This course indeed lives up to the designer’s name. The elevation changes and mind boggling hills of fairways, sand traps and greens, encouraged me not to be frustrated with trying to master this course, but just enjoy its beauty accented by crocodiles, flowers and foliage. I found it a bit humorous to see golfers slowly putting or methodically sizing up their drives, contrasted with the speed in which they darted in their golf cart to their next ball location.
Palmetto Dunes and Hilton Head is a golfer’s nirvana with many courses to sample. I had my most memorable Hilton Head experience at Big Jims overlooking the putting green, driving range and the tee of the first hole of the Trent Jones Golf course. The golf viewing at the outdoor patio, was accompanied by a Smoked Beef Brisket Platter with baked beans and cole slaw. The comfort food was delectable as was the affordable price of only $14, with a million dollar view, any golfer or even TV golf broadcaster would envy. I and a beverage lingered, memorized the golfing putts before me, the delightful refreshing April sunshine and the splendor of the Trent Jones design. It was worth all the hassle of traffic and stateside travel for this one noon time delight. Open to the public, Big Jims gives big enjoyment.
To close out a night, Shelly, who was new to the Omni bar, prepared an excellent Kettle One Vodka Blushing Berry Martini with muddled blueberries and lime. To tempt fate I had her prepare a Raspberry Citrus Drop Martini with Stoli Vanilla, Cointreau orange liquor, lemon juice, sprite and muddled raspberry’s. It was a very sweet nightcap. A return each night to the Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort was a perfect ending to perfect days of no appointments, no agenda other than following my nose, fresh sea air and ocean surf to humble the soul.



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