It is a story we have heard and then heard denied. You might call it a legend because it doesn’t really matter much whether it is true or not – there is so much to learn from it. We will pass it along because the person who told us is someone who would know for sure. The story is about the 18th fairway of the Harbour Town Golf Links.
Anyone who has played the Harbour Town Golf Links, from passionate amateurs who are thrilled just to be here to the touring pros who come to Harbour Town Golf Links right after Augusta to compete in the Heritage Classic, can tell you that on 18 you want to land your tee shot on that big swell of ground that extends rather suddenly to the left, reaching deep into the marshes that border Calibogue Sound. It is how you stay out of the tree line so snug on your right.
What you can see from the tee is even more obvious from the top of the Harbour Town Lighthouse, where we stand just a little way beyond the 18th green. That swell of ground is your best target for getting to the green in two.
It Appeared Overnight
The story goes that the workers who were hastening to have the new course ready in time to host the first Heritage Classic in 1969 rigged a large but temporary network of pumps and pipes to dredge a lagoon and prepare the fairway on 18. Being ready in time prompted them to leave the pumps running overnight.
The story goes that they arrived the next morning to find one of the pipe sections had become disconnected, and the mixture of sandy soil, saltwater, and clay-like pluff mud had extruded itself into the shape we see now on the 18th fairway. Others deny the story and say it was planned that way. Who can tell for sure now?
Beyond the Hands of Experts
Because Pete Dye was the course designer for Harbour Town Golf Links and Jack Nicklaus consulted in person on the layout, it is easy to be confident that the course we play today was the product of their expert hands. What we like about the story of 18 is that is suggests that sometimes the lives we enjoy are the product of an even greater hand.
It is easy to see at the lighthouse. In fact, we see it almost every day. People come here and see or hear or feel something that changes their mind, or changes their outlook, or changes their plans. Surely our plans and our efforts are important, and yet sometimes life turns out better than all the plans and efforts added up.
Come join us at the Harbour Town Lighthouse and see what we mean. We are always grateful for the chance to make you welcome here.