An Expert Golfers Guide to South Carolina
South Carolina is located in the Deep South of America and is, without doubt, the capital of golf in the USA. The “Palmetto State” offers diverse landscapes from the Atlantic dunes, marshlands and up to the Blue mountains; with stunning bucket-list golf courses to match.
The region has so much variety; it might seem a little overwhelming at first, so for more information, we have written a golfer’s guide to South Carolina:
Where to Play Golf in South Carolina?
The three main regions for golf holidays are; Charleston, Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach – here are our golfing highlights:
Golf in Charleston
Charleston is a fantastic city to base yourself for a golf break; rich in history, superb restaurant scene, lively harbour and remarkable golf courses.
There are three courses to note to kick things off, all within a short drive of Charleston city centre. Patriots Point Links – This harbourfront great is located just a five-minute drive from the city centre with fantastic views of the city, the harbour front and For Sumter. Dunes West – A course with a history built on the site of the antebellum Lexington Plantation. The course is carved into the Bermuda covered Dunes and overlooked by 200-year-old Oak trees. Charleston National – The hidden gem in Charleston as the only non-resort in the area and another great design from Rees Jones. The natural terrain has been used to create a fair golf test squeezed between pine & oak forests across the wetlands and lagoon.
Where to Stay in Charleston?
Our favourite hotel recommendation in the Downtown area is the Francis Marion Hotel, a classic example of luxury and traditional design, at the heart of the city. Another option would be to take in the charm of the Waterfront, stay at the Courtyard by Marriott Charleston Waterfront. This hotel overlooks the Ashley River, a haven of peace and tranquillity.
When playing golf in Charleston, you can’t help but think of the Ryder Cup. Only 45-minutes from the city is the one-and-only Kiawah Island. A golfing mecca that attracts golfers from all over the world, aspiring to relive the moment in 1991 when Bernhard Langer missed his putt on the Ocean Course’s final hole.
Kiawah Island has a collection of five fantastic golf courses, and we will focus on three courses of note. Kiawah Island Ocean Course – This 1991 Ryder Cup Venue designed by the great Pete Dye, sits with unobstructed views of the beautiful Atlantic coastline on every hole. Kiawah Island Turtle Point – Jack Nicklaus has put his stamp on Kiawah with this fantastic traditional layout, with tight fairways and small greens, those of us who can hit straight need to think ahead for the next challenging shot. Our last choice here is the. Kiawah Osprey Point, golf course a Tom Fazio design and said to be one of the most picturesque in South Carolina, has wide fairways and inviting greens – don’t be distracted by the native Alligators. They watch cautiously for that errant tee shot.
Where to Stay in Kiawah Island?
Kiawah Island is an excellent place to base your golf trip, an exclusive and luxurious estate in the wilds of the Atlantic Coast. If it’s a deluxe beachfront hotel you are looking for, look no further than the elegant The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island. The hotel offers 5-star luxury accommodation, excellent high-end dining options and a beautiful beachfront setting. Alternatively, if you have a lower budget, the self-catering choice of Kiawah Island Golf Villas are located adjacent to the white sandy beaches and provide fantastic value for money, all tastefully furnished with fully equipped kitchens, lounge-diner, en-suite bathrooms terraces and outdoor furniture.
A Little More on Charleston
Charleston exudes the best of the deep South, the original settlers arrived back as far as 1670, before the American Civil War. Today this history remains with Charleston; being one of the few cities in America where you can walk freely around Downtown bars, restaurants, and museums. We recommend taking a Charleston tour, its waterfront and any one of the 33 parks with either a horse-drawn carriage, helicopter, bus tours and even walking tours. Recently voted the safest city in South Carolina, Charleston; with its cobblestone streets, quaint shopping and areas of historical note.
Hilton Head Island
Often referred to as “America’s Favourite Island” is located further down to the coast from Charleston and Kiawah and is easily accessible into Savannah (40 minutes away) International airport. Hilton Head Island in relative terms is a small island with plenty to see and do.
Golf in Hilton Head
Golf is the prevalent sport in this region with over 20 courses to choose from. Some of the world’s best golf course architects have worked here, providing the best choice for travelling and local golfers. Harbour Town Golf Links Probably one of the most recognised golf courses in the USA with the lighthouse on the 18th Hole. Harbour Town Golf Links is the host course for the RBC Heritage on the PGA Tour and a charming historic venue. Robert Trent Jones Palmetto Dunes Located right on the Ocean the Jones course is one of three here at Palmetto Dunes, the wind is a contributing factor here and frequents changes direction making every hole here a test of mind and body. Finally, the Hilton Head National This player-friendly classic is another great course designed by the great Gary Player. It is located in the Low Country. All guests are treated like family by all of the team, ensuring a memorable golf experience for all.
Where to Stay on Hilton Head Island
Accommodation on Hilton Head Island is quite varied. With plenty of choices, if you are looking for hotels, villas or apartments, the choice is yours with many accommodations located on golf courses. Therefore, our favourite two would be; The Sea Pines Resort three top-class golf courses, shopping outlets with apartments and villas choices adjacent to all courses. The second choice is The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa; a five-star property sits on a pristine beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Wherever you choose to stay, play and dine; Hilton Head island is the place to be for golfers, non-golfers and families too.
A Little More on Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head Island is located in the Low Country and has a huge range of 250 restaurants. The majority of which are selling wonderful fresh seafood with favourites such as gumbo, oysters, fried okra and fresh steamed shrimp. As with most islands, the beaches here are fantastic with a coastline of 12 miles of golden sand, and unforgettable sunsets, beaches of note are South and Driessen beaches.
Hilton Head offers a fantastic array of watersports to choose from; dolphin safari, fishing charters, adventure cruiser, catamaran’s, island skiff adventures the list goes on and on. Hilton Head is undoubtedly an island for those looking for and or experiencing the great outdoors
Along with the great outdoors comes great shopping and Hilton head certainly also has that one covered. The Tanger Outlets with over 90 outlet stores spread between its two locations with the SERG restaurant shops and the favourite Shelter Cove Harbour Shops. Outdoor sports are prevalent here, including tennis with a wide selection to choose from. Perhaps you wish to try at “Pickle Ball”, the latest outdoor craze a cross between tennis, table tennis and badminton.
Myrtle Beach sits at the centre of 60 miles of fantastic beach from Little River in the North, down to Murrells Inlet in the South it has the great nickname of The Grand Strand. This continuous stretch of beachline has an extensive collection of great hotels, restaurants, bars and odd the 100+ golf courses or so to choose from.
Golf in Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach is synonymous with golf, being the “Golf Capital of the USA”, with over 100 top quality golf courses to choose from stretching from Kingston Plantation down to Pawleys Island.
Choosing where to play is always tricky when you have so much variety. Three courses of note would be; Caledonia Golf & Fishing Club – With its antebellum-style clubhouse Caledonia is steeped in history surrounded by marshland and live oaks. Caledonia is a World-Class experience. Legends Golf Club is a fantastic selection of 54 holes of golf on three very different golf courses, with the Heathland, Parkland and Moorland all very Scottish in design- great tests all in one place. Myrtle Beach National King’s North, a great Arnold Palmer Design the better of the three on-site courses, features the famous “Gambler” hole with island fairway.
Myrtle Beach is a particular golfing favourite of ours as this is where it all started back in the early 1990s. The popularity of the destination has always been key, and, in particular great value-for-money. Today it still stands as a fantastic example of how good golf in the USA can be, and we are willing to stand by year-after-year.
Where to Stay in Myrtle Beach
It depends on where you wish to stay geographically within the region of Myrtle Beach. We have picked a few across the region, for that exact reason. Staying in North Myrtle Beach, we certainly would recommend Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort. This fantastic hotel sits adjacent to both the Ocean and Arcadian Shores Golf Course at Kingston Plantation. Myrtlewood Golf Villas – Great value for money just 15 minutes from the airport and sits on its own two golf courses. Fairfield Inn – would be our choice at Broadway-At-The-Beach, great value for money in a prime location a popular haunt amongst golfers. The Ocean Reef Resort is our choice for staying on Ocean Boulevard, arguably the best-placed property and a firm favourite of golfers returning year-after-year.
A Little More on Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach offers a wide range of restaurants and bars to choose from and there are certain areas of note where both can be employed simultaneously. Barefoot Landing is a popular haunt towards the North End of Myrtle Beach with Greg Norman’s Bar & Grill, Lulu’s and Dicks Last Resort popular favourites. Also, another popular spot is Broadway-At-the-beach with many bars. Restaurants and shopping too, the Hard Rock Café is a popular haunt. If you are looking for a lively and fun evening then look no further than Crocodile Rock’s where musicians duel with each other, it has a fantastic and fun atmosphere. Another fun place to visit and a golfer’s popular haunt is on Ocean Boulevard – Ocean Annies Beach Bar – voted in the top ten of bars in South Carolina serving drinks beachside with live music and Myrtle Beach’s No.1 place to party.
Myrtle Beach IS The Place to golf for all of the reasons above and so many more.
For further information on golf holidays to the USA see here.