Top Golf Courses in South Carolina
There’s a lot to love about golf in South Carolina. In fact, it’s on the short list of best states for golf in the United States, and that goes for locals, retiree snowbirds and golf tourists. The top golf courses in South Carolina offers excellent value, and variety.
Myrtle Beach is considered one of the most popular destinations across all of the east coast and is home of several of the top golf courses in South Carolina. When Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed The Dunes Club shortly after World War II, it sparked a decades-long period of growth for not just golf but tourism to the Grand Strand. By the early 2000s, there were well over 100 golf courses between Brunswick County and Georgetown. Top 100-ranked golf courses include Caledonia Golf & Fish Club and TPC Myrtle Beach. There are many multi-course golf facilities with accompanying resorts to choose from, including Barefoot Resort, Litchfield Golf & Beach Club and Ocean Ridge Plantation.
But Myrtle Beach, perhaps more so than any other destination, lets golfers name their price with value golf packages. Multi-course resorts offer fantastic packages that include spacious condo accommodations. Many of these courses now offer online, a la carte tee times, too. Some of the better-known value courses to seek out are Thistle Golf Club, Sandpiper Golf Club (both technically across the border in NC), Whispering Pines and the Valley at Eastport.
As you drift south of Myrtle Beach on Highway 17, the lowcountry comes to life and is full of marshfront holes and fairways draped in mossy oaks. Pawleys Island dazzles with layouts like Caledonia, Heritage Club and True Blue.
Keep heading south and the next biggest destination to Myrtle beach is Hilton Head Island, which really made a name for itself when Sea Pines Resort’s Harbour Town Golf Links opened in 1969. The collaboration between Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus has stood the test of time. Other resorts like Palmetto Dunes that boast beachfront accommodations attract northerners to the island all year round. The highway into Hilton Head Island makes its way through Bluffton, home to many of the top golf courses in South Caro, some of which are more affordable than what you’ll find on the island, like Hilton Head National or Old South Golf Links. Nearby, Marines facility The Legend at Parris Island welcomes civilian play with a unique, base atmosphere and low green fees.
Between Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach is Charleston, which is home to excellent private clubs, but a few resort options like 36-hole Wild Dunes, featuring the oceanside Links Course and the slightly more inland Harbor Course. Just south of Charleston however is the state’s most luxurious resort, Kiawah Island, home to the PGA Championship and Ryder Cup-host Ocean Course, designed by Pete Dye. Tom Fazio, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Clyde Johnston round out the designs at this five-course resort.
Not to be forgotten is inland South Carolina, particularly around the state capital of Columbia. Courses are an incredible bargain all over. Two collegiate courses earn excellent marks on Golf Advisor, including Walker Golf Course at Clemson, and Cobblestone Park Golf Course, the home of South Carolina University not far from the state capital of Columbia. Cobblestone Park is a part of the “Olde English” district of the state that features some of the best bang-for-buck courses, including Cheraw State Park and Edgewater Golf Club.
South Carolina is also tantalizingly close to Augusta, so many golfers will stay and play in historic Aiken or other nearby towns and attend the Masters. The azaleas are in full bloom throughout the Palmetto State come April, even on courses that are accessible and wildly affordable.