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On South Carolina's Hilton Head, many of the best things in life are just around the corner. It was planned that way, and will be true in other sports-oriented communities now springing up around the country

Sipping coffee behind a picture window, two mothers in Hilton Head's Sea Pines community keep an eye on their hoys and on the golfers playing down the 14th fairway. Settings as serene and handsome as this are common in Sea Pines where homebuilders can choose lots beside the Atlantic Ocean, along inland creeks and lagoons or deep within the island's heavy forests.

The fine, hard-packed sand at the ocean's edge in Sea Pines is at once a racetrack for children on horseback and bikes and a miles-long domain for fishermen seeking the bluefish, channel bass and sunfish that crowd the surf. Farther inland, blurred in the tall grass of the island's preserve, hunters find pheasant, quail and chukar, the swift-darting birds imported from India. This area, excluded from development, also has deer and wild pigs.

Indians picked oysters off the shores of Hilton Head 4,000 years ago, and today's residents do the same. Charles Doughtie, a refugee from big-city commuting, here feeds a roasted oyster to Mrs. Lawrence Orr at a party on the Orrs's rooftop porch, which overlooks the Atlantic. At right, a descendant of other, early island settlers takes his ease on the bank of a golf course lagoon. Disturbing no one, he in turn is left entirely alone by the people of Sea Pines.