HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (Jan. 18, 2021) – Sea Pines Country Club, Hilton Head Island’s premier private club offering a luxury, Lowcountry lifestyle, has named James Swift its director of golf.
Originally from West Palm Beach, Fla., Swift has enjoyed a 25-year golf career spanning three states and a handful of prestigious clubs. He joins Sea Pines Country Club from Belfair in nearby Bluffton, where he was the director of golf for nearly a decade and instrumental in the club’s successful staging of the 2019 PGA Professional Championship.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to join the Sea Pines Country Club family,” Swift says. “I’m looking forward to meeting the golfers and helping everyone get the most from their golf experience. I’m especially happy to be here at this exciting time of expansion and improvements to such a well-respected course.”
Swift graduated from Queens University of Charlotte where he was a four-year golf team letterman, followed by apprenticeships in the Queen City as an assistant golf professional at Carmel and Myers Park Country Clubs from 1994-1999.
Shortly after, he moved to Pennsylvania to work as the director of tournament operations at Pittsburgh’s famed Oakmont Country Club, where he worked under PGA Master Professional Bob Ford and earned his PGA Class A Professional Membership in 2001. Prior to his time at Belfair, he was also the Director of Golf at The Santaluz Club in San Diego for seven years and the Club at Longview in Charlotte for four years.
“James is a valuable addition to our team, and he brings a great deal of experience, insight and vision to the director of golf position,” says General Manager and Chief Operating Officer Robbie Ames. “We’re excited to have him help lead us during the club’s golf course and practice facility enhancements.”
Sea Pines Country Club has approved a two-phase enhancement plan for its Arnold Palmer, Clyde Johnston golf course including a greatly expanded practice facility, new designated short-game area and complete re-grassing of all tees, greens and fairways.
Golf course architect Phil Smith, who recently completed a full masterplan for the 6,383-yard layout, is leading the project alongside Ames, Swift and Golf Course Superintendent Tom Metzger. Jacksonville, Florida-based MacCurrach Golf will oversee shaping and construction.
Work on Phase I, comprising the practice facility, short-game area and re-grassing, will start May 1, 2021 and is scheduled for completion by Oct. 31, 2021. Phase II, slated for development and construction between 2028 and 2030, entails a full-scale renovation of the golf course coinciding with the installation of a new irrigation system.
The practice facility expansion will lengthen the range floor by 50 yards, expand the depth and width of the tee area for additional hitting stations and double the size of the practice putting green. New target greens will be placed at various angles with yardage intervals ranging from 70 to 250 yards. The designated short-game area will feature a multi-tiered chipping green and two bunkers for honing sand shots.
Fairways and tees will be fully re-sprigged with Celebration Bermuda grass, the PGA Tour-caliber turf used at neighboring Sea Pines Resort on RBC Heritage host course Harbour Town Golf Links. Greens will be sprigged with TifEagle Bermuda grass and putting surfaces restored to their original size, allowing for additional pin placements and improved approach shot receptivity.
To learn more about Sea Pines Country Club, visit www.seapinescountryclub.com