In fact, they were preceded by bike paths and walking trails, family residences and beach access, and places to shop and dine. And right in the middle of that original vision, halfway down “the Miracle Mile” connecting Harbour Town with South Beach, in the very center of the dream, was the site that became The Shops at Sea Pines Center.
It’s hard to tell the story of Hilton Head Island and the Sea Pines golf courses without relying heavily on the idea of blending. The founders were intent on blending human enjoyment with Nature. It is a lesson long associated with golf, but it was new to the practices and process of resort development. The concepts and covenants that fostered Sea Pines’ peaceful accommodation between development and natural beauty were, in fact, so influential – they led to nothing less than the way things are normally done nowadays – that it has become difficult to fully appreciate how revolutionary they were at the time. The Shops at Sea Pines Center are a key ingredient in this recipe.
Blending the Sea Pines golf courses with a renowned yacht basin, a bouquet of tennis courts that include the site of famous championships, a pier for boating excursions that turn couples into dolphin discoverers and children into intrepid pirates, and a collection of shops and amenities that combine elegance with convenience, the founders here at Sea Pines had a vision that extended well beyond the pleasures of the Sea Pines golf courses. The wholeness of life that surrounds the golfers who come to Hilton Head Island, and the enjoyment that their loved ones experience too, were built into the dream, the vision that became America’s favorite island.
The Heartbeat Behind the Sea Pines Golf Courses
The sport tends to give the appearance of taking place in a world all its own. Even on the Sea Pines golf courses, golf has its own attire, and that apparel has recently taken on a more athletic and less madcap style. Between today’s trim and appealing golf fashions, for both men and women, and the English-country-house style of the classic Bobby Jones epoch of golf in the 1920s, there was a long era of loud trousers and clothing that would clearly be out of place beyond the 19th hole.
The customs of golf extend well beyond the apparel. For golfers who were brought up in the game, the courtesies and traditions are second nature. That unspoken aspect of the ways of golf can be just has hard to master as a repeatable swing, for people who embark on the game as newcomers. Who goes first, what’s okay to say, where to stand as your partner takes a swing, the procedures and practices are more than just the rules of the game.
The lifestyle that ripples out from these customs and understandings can be pervasive. Friendships founded on the links translate further into the world beyond golf. Trust and familiarity grown in golf famously finds its way into business relationships. Fathers find common ground with sons, and mothers with daughters. Couples discover time together that is more and more precious as life’s distractions take on digital rocket fuel. So, while there is no one “golf lifestyle,” there are sensibilities and priorities, rapport and relations, that carry on beyond, reflect the ways of the Sea Pines golf courses, and inspire a cordial atmosphere that brings visitors back to Hilton Head Island at rates unseen in other resort communities. That atmosphere makes residents out of many of those visitors. In fact, most of our neighbors began that way.
The Shops at Sea Pines Center are a carefully curated collection of amenities for supplying and enjoying this lifestyle to the fullest. Placing it in the middle of the dream was just one of the examples of visionary inspiration that makes Sea Pines unforgettable for many and home for a fortunate few.