The Inside Story of Hilton Head Private Clubs

Because one of our nicknames is Golf Island, people tend to think of classic country clubs when they consider the private clubs of Hilton Head Island. For avid golfers who are accustomed to a home port for their golf game – and all the social activities that surround it – this may still make sense for some.

Yet, here’s what the insiders know. With 32 fine courses to choose from – some of them world famous – Hilton Head Island residents can be less inclined to favor just one, much less make all the commitments of a membership. And the truth is, there are fewer 50-round-a-year golfers in the game today who would get the most out of it.

As a result, when it comes to exploring the private club opportunities of Hilton Head Island, the best choice might not be a country club after all.

A Better Fit

For a generation or two, discerning visitors and residents of Hilton Head Island have chosen the Harbour Town Yacht Club for their private membership. The advantages are many – and unique.

Flexibility certainly ranks high on that list of advantages. Harbour Town Yacht Club members choose this particular private club for their Hilton Head membership for a variety of reasons – and the way they use it is as individual and characteristic as their own lifestyle and aims.

As we mentioned, not being wedded to a particular golf course is one of these advantages, and yet our membership director is closely connected to the very best of them. Even people with a beginning knowledge of Hilton Head Island know that Harbour Town Yacht Club is barely a stroll from the 18th green of the Harbour Town Golf Links, made world famous with a reputation refreshed every year by television coverage of the RBC Heritage golf tournament.

Without leaving the gates of Sea Pines, Harbour Town Yacht Club members can also choose from Heron Point, the Golf Course of the Year as recognized by the South Carolina Golf Course Owners Association, or the Atlantic Dunes, redesigned and refreshed by Davis Love III on the site of Sea Pines’ former Ocean Course.

The inside track for tee times that can be arranged by the staff of Harbour Town Yacht Club just begins with these distinguished choices. The Hilton Head private club advantages that members find here include the courtesies of the best of the courses beyond the Sea Pines gates, too. This includes privileges at the members-only golf courses of Haig Point, on Daufuskie Island, a pleasant ferry cruise from our own Yacht Basin.

Members in Residence

Equity members of the Harbour Town Yacht Club are accorded 28 nights per year in any of the Club’s 31 villas and suites, arrayed around and above the Harbour Town Yacht Basin. Treated by many as a home away from home, the Club’s accommodations include studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom with two-bath selections. All have well-appointed kitchens. Seasonal residents of Hilton Head Island often regard their private club accommodations here as their vacation home, with privileges up to two weeks per visit.

Even permanent residents of Hilton Head Island choose to enjoy equity private club memberships in the Harbour Town Yacht Club, and many use their suite and villa privileges as their guest house. When people move to Hilton Head Island, they find that friends and relatives are more eager than ever to visit, and their equity membership in the Harbour Town Yacht Club makes it exceedingly comfortable to encourage and welcome those visits.

Social memberships are arranged for those who desire the privileges of Hilton Head private club membership here, without the suite and villa accommodations.

The Pleasures of a Private Club on Hilton Head

The veranda on the fourth floor of the Harbour Town Yacht Club places private membership here among the most pleasurable in all of Hilton Head Island. In the shadow of the Harbour Town Lighthouse and overlooking the comings and goings of one of the world’s prestigious moorings for yachts and launches, our veranda – and the luxurious Club Room within, are quite simply ground-zero of all that is gracious about life on Hilton Head Island, the very epitome.

A weekly and monthly calendar of member events at the Club Room, the Dining Room, and the veranda prompt members to make the most of the luxury they have secured for themselves, their friends, and their family, with their wise choice of membership.

Court time and lessons at the Sea Pines Racquet Club; discounts on sailing, motor boating and cruising; and an insider’s welcome at the best of Hilton Head Island’s 200+ restaurants – all these, too, and more are among the privileges of private membership in the Harbour Town Yacht Club.

A Yacht of Your Own

Some are surprised to find that you don’t have to own a yacht to become a private club member in Hilton Head’s Harbour Town Yacht Club. Most of our members do not, in fact, bring their own yachts.

Instead, membership here includes the use of the Mystique, a lovingly restored and maintained, authentic, mahogany yacht. On the Mystique, members set out for sunset cruises most any evening. Occasionally they reserve it for a social affair of their own. For many, the Mystique is a symbol of Hilton Head as well as a resource, the iconic essence of private club membership in the Harbour Town Yacht Club. And it is included.

How Island Residents Golf

As we mentioned, even the most avid golfers among Hilton Head Island residents rarely play all their rounds at a home club. What we see is more like the way New York City residents browse the abundance of fine restaurants available there. Even though the list of world-famous restaurants might seem unlimited, New Yorkers all have four or five favorites, maybe as many as six. And every year, one or two of those favorites change places in their personal rankings or gets replaced by a new discovery.

But no one – no one – explores all the restaurants all the time. And equally, no one stays stuck to just one.

That’s the way it is for golfers on Hilton Head Island. With 32 courses from which they can choose, few are inclined to stick with one. And while playing every single one of them might be on somebody’s bucket list, we honestly haven’t met such a golfer yet. Psychologists call it “the paradox of choice.” Beyond a certain number, more options lead to fewer choices.

As a result, the golfers of Hilton Head Island treat their game the way New Yorkers treat their restaurants. It’s a matter of a short-list that gets revised from time to time. Very few golfers stay put, and even fewer, if any, try to play them all. This is reflected in the way insiders view the private clubs of Hilton Head Island.

Life as a Member

The private clubs of Hilton Head Island include some classic country clubs, it is true. Yet today, for most people, most of the time, the flexibility and variety of a membership in the Harbour Town Yacht Club – whether an equity membership with accommodations or a social membership with activities and amenities.

General Manager Brian Little welcomes the chance to host those interested, with refreshments and a tour. It would be a wise choice to call to him at 843-671-1400 and arrange that, to find out how membership here might fit your vision perfectly.

For the best Hilton Head Island private club experience, consider the Harbour Town Yacht Club.
The Mystique makes the Harbour Town Yacht Club unique among Head Island private clubs.
The Harbour Town Yacht Club offers the best views of all Hilton Head private clubs.
Renovated Rooftop Veranda scaled
one bedroom 2
The Harbour Town Yacht Club offers premier Hilton Head Island meeting venues.
View Highlights of the Club’s Newly Renovated 3rd Floor Facilities