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Port Royal Racquet Club

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

By Roger Cox, Editor

Port Royal Rcquet Club, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
©Roger Cox

Special For Tennis Resorts Online

Special Discount on Team Packages


Beach at Port Royal Book our 3-day/3-night Ambassador Package for teams and get a discounted rate of $395/person. The special package includes six hours of personalized clinics, unlimited court time, accommodations in a deluxe 2-bedroom villa (discount based on four people sharing a two-bedroom), one lunch at Robber's Row Grill, logo souvenirs, and pro shop discounts. For information and help in planning your personalized holiday, call Tanda at 843-686-8803 or 843-298-0027 and say you want the Tennis Resorts Online special rate.

Holley Morse and Anne Spees have been coming to Port Royal Racquet Club on South Carolina's Hilton Head Island every spring for several years as part of a group organized by their club pro in McLean, Virginia. This year there are about 20 people, divided into groups of four and distributed through two-bedroom condominiums in the Tennis Village adjacent to the club. For four days virtually the only decision they have to make is where to have lunch and dinner. "Everything is arranged," Morse told me enthusiastically. "You don't have to plan anything, you don't have to set up pros or courts or games. All we have to do is show up."

"Some people also spend time at the beach while they're here," Spees added. "But we haven't been there at all. We just don't get enough tennis at home."

Port Royal hosts about 50 such groups each year. They range in size from as few as four to as many as 80. Tanda Bianco, who heads up what Port Royal dubs its "Ambassador Program," tailor makes each outing to suit the individual needs of the group, including the option of staying in a nearby hotel—the 412-room beachfront Westin Resort—rather than in villas. "They call me and I arrange everything," says Bianco. "I take their deposit, arrange parties, lunches, bags of goodies and as many hours of programming and play they want. They can even pick the hours they want clinics—we don't restrict them to mornings or afternoons."

Overview

The Port Royal Racquet Club has turned the handling of such groups into a minor specialty but not to the point of ignoring the individual guest. I'd come down alone, though not without some concerns that I'd be lost in the shuffle of this group business. Instead Bianco funneled me into the Port Royal's morning stroke-of-the-day clinic and when I wanted more booked me into an hour-long session of fast drills. I met people in both I might have played with later except that I was drafted into an afternoon men's doubles matches with some of the crowd from Maclean. Playing with them meant I never had to pay the $18/hour court fees (you get one complimentary hour per day with villa rental). And it meant I never wanted for tennis.

Set amid yellow pines, maples, live oaks and the occasional magnolia, the 16-court Port Royal Racquet Club is the more parklike of all the clubs on Hilton Head Island. Confederate jasmine covers the fences, perfuming the morning air and taking the place of windscreens. Terraced seating overlooks a hard court on one side of its spacious skylighted clubhouse, a clay court on the other, while meandering pathways provide access to everything else, including two grass courts.

The villa I stayed in, an oversized one-bedroom with a terrace, was just a few minutes walk from the courts and less than 10 minutes walk from a broad, dune-lined beach. It had everything I needed, including a washer-dryer, and several things I didn't, including access to Port Royal's three golf courses, among them Pete Dye's Robber's Row.

Like Morse and Spees, I ended up spending most of my time at the racquet club. It wasn't just that the staff seemed to understand the needs of tennis players, but they are also exceptionally warm and friendly.

It's that that keeps Spees and Morse coming back again and again. As Spees put it: "The day we get home we start looking at the calendar for next year."

Tennis Features

Pro Shop: 843-686-8803

Ratings

(136 Reviewers)
Tennis Overall
4½-Ball Rating Cuisine
3-Ball Rating Romance
4-Ball Rating Kids' Programs
4½-Ball Rating
Instruction
4½-Ball Rating Lodging
4-Ball Rating Solo Travelers
4½-Ball Rating
Tennis Staff
4½-Ball Rating Spa & Fitness
4-Ball Rating Tennis Complex
4-Ball Rating
Game Matching
4½-Ball Rating Dollar Value
4½-Ball Rating Setting
4-Ball Rating


Port Royal Racquet Club

Ratings
( 136 Reviewers)
Tennis Overall
4½-Ball Rating
Tennis Staff
4½-Ball Rating
Instruction
4½-Ball Rating
Junior Tennis
4-Ball Rating
Dollar Value
4½-Ball Rating


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Doubles Boot Camps

Visit one of the award-winning Cliff Drysdale Tennis programs in Florida for a Luxury Ladies Retreat this fall. Omni Amelia Island Plantation, October 11-15. Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, October 4-8 or 18-22. Contact us for more information at 830-625-5911, x208 or visit  Cliff Drysdale Ladies Retreats


Ratings

(136 Reviewers)
Tennis Overall
4½-Ball Rating Game Matching
4½-Ball Rating Tennis Complex
4-Ball Rating Lodging
4-Ball Rating Dollar Value
4½-Ball Rating Other Recreation
4-Ball Rating Romance
4-Ball Rating Solo Travelers
4½-Ball Rating
Tennis Staff
4½-Ball Rating Instruction
4½-Ball Rating Junior Tennis
4-Ball Rating Cuisine
3-Ball Rating Spa & Fitness
4-Ball Rating Setting
4-Ball Rating Kids' Programs
4½-Ball Rating


Port Royal Racquet Club Ratings
( 136 Reviewers)
Tennis Overall
4½-Ball Rating Instruction
4½-Ball Rating Dollar Value
4½-Ball Rating
Tennis Staff
4½-Ball Rating Junior Tennis
4-Ball Rating

Other Recreation

Beach. A path from the racquet club leads past the Westin to the a broad beach running the length of Hilton Head Island.

Golf Courses. Port Royal has three 18-hole designer golf courses

Barony: This 18-hole course, designed by George W. Cobb, was one of the first to be built on Hilton Head Island. Deceptively opne in appearance, it becomes challenging near the greens, which are protected by think rough and unforgiving bunkers.
Robber's Row: Willard C. Byrd designed these 18 holes to have narrow, tree-lined fairways, small, undulating greens, and the challenge of water along 10 of the holes.
Planter's Row: Although the original architects were George W. Cobb and Willard C. Byrd, Pete Dye came along in the mid 1990s and reconfigured it. Its fairways cross Civil War sites—their importance explained by historical markers&mash;now rich in magnolia trees and live oaks. Landing areas off the tee are generous but approaches to the green demand accuracy.

See Also

If you like Port Royal's emphasis on individually tailored programs, also check out:

Rates and Reservations

Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa

The Westin rents both rooms in the beachfront hotel and 2- and 3-bedroom villas adjacent to the courts.

Visit the website for current rates

Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa
2 Grasslawn Ave.
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
843-681-4000
Toll-free: 866-716-8108
Fax: 843-681-1087
Web Link: Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa

Port Royal Village

Lodging consists of 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-bedroom villas and townhouses, all with fully equipped kitchens. Check the web site for specific rates.

Visit the website for current rates

Port Royal Village
P.O. Box 22596
Hilton Head Island, SC 29925-2596
843-681-9325
Toll-free: 800-673-9385
Fax: 843-681-9331
Web Link: Port Royal Village

Travel Essentials

Seasons. Year-round.

Travel Instructions. By Air: Port Royal is 45 miles from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) in Georgia and 95 miles from Charleston International Airport (CHS). Major airlines serve both of those gateways. It is also possible to fly directly to Hilton Head Island Airport (HHH), on commuter service from US Airways Express, via Charlotte, NC. Rental cars and shuttles are available at all three airports.

General Tourist Information. Visit the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau website or contact them at 1 Chamber Dr., P.O. Box 5647, Hilton Head Island, SC 29938; 843-785-3673 or toll-free 800-523-3373.

©2017 Roger Cox

Ratings

(136 Reviewers)
Tennis Overall
4½-Ball Rating Game Matching
4½-Ball Rating Tennis Complex
4-Ball Rating Lodging
4-Ball Rating Dollar Value
4½-Ball Rating Other Recreation
4-Ball Rating Romance
4-Ball Rating Solo Travelers
4½-Ball Rating
Tennis Staff
4½-Ball Rating Instruction
4½-Ball Rating Junior Tennis
4-Ball Rating Cuisine
3-Ball Rating Spa & Fitness
4-Ball Rating Setting
4-Ball Rating Kids' Programs
4½-Ball Rating


Port Royal Racquet Club Ratings
( 136 Reviewers)
Tennis Overall
4½-Ball Rating Instruction
4½-Ball Rating Dollar Value
4½-Ball Rating
Tennis Staff
4½-Ball Rating Junior Tennis
4-Ball Rating


Doubles Boot Camps

Visit one of the award-winning Cliff Drysdale Tennis programs in Florida for a Luxury Ladies Retreat this fall. Omni Amelia Island Plantation, October 11-15. Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, October 4-8 or 18-22. Contact us for more information at 830-625-5911, x208 or visit  Cliff Drysdale Ladies Retreats

LBK 2017





Doubles Boot Camps

Visit one of the award-winning Cliff Drysdale Tennis programs in Florida for a Luxury Ladies Retreat this fall. Omni Amelia Island Plantation, October 11-15. Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, October 4-8 or 18-22. Contact us for more information at 830-625-5911, x208 or visit  Cliff Drysdale Ladies Retreats

LBK 2017



©2017 Roger Cox