As winter finally turns to spring, golfers’ thoughts – if they haven’t already – are beginning to turn to The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club and the RBC Heritage at Sea Pines on Hilton Head Island, S.C.
From the Lowcountry to the Upstate, South Carolina offers numerous memorable golfing experiences.
Located 144 miles from Augusta on Hilton Head Island, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is where college stars such as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson demonstrated their early prowess during the resort’s longtime intercollegiate golf tournament played over two of its three outstanding courses by a trio of legends in golf course architecture: the renowned Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront Course, the Arthur Hills Course and the Fazio course, designed by George Fazio and his nephew, famed architect Tom Fazio – each of which have been named South Carolina’s “Golf Course of the Year.” For short-term and long-term accommodations, Palmetto Dunes offers the island’s premier selection of vacation rental properties from oceanfront hotel rooms to spacious villas overlooking the harbour, lagoon, fairways and beach. www.PalmettoDunes.com
A regional duo (Old 96 District and Olde English District) offers up some of its finest golf where small towns, medium prices and big-name course architects harmoniously blend together. Along the way, you’ll learn plenty of rich Revolutionary War history, experience Civil War intrigue and play two state park gems at Cheraw State Park Golf Course and Hickory Knob State Park. Located 55 miles from Augusta, the Inn on the Square in downtown Greenwood offers multi-round packages with free shuttle service, full breakfast each morning and discounts at its Carriage House Dining or the Fox & Hound Lounge. Meanwhile, the Olde English District boasts the highly acclaimed Camden Country Club (Donald Ross 1903) and Rock Hill Country Club (A.W. Tillinghast 1934) and various packages.
For more than a half-century, traveling enthusiasts making their way through South Carolina along I-95 (and nearby I-26) have taken advantage of Santee’s excellent golf, superb fishing, affordable accommodations, and outstanding food and entertainment. Upscale premium green fees are nowhere to be found and dollars definitely do go further in Santee. For about $60 per day during the off-season guests can play golf with a cart, enjoy accommodations and a hearty breakfast. Santee offers — all in one I-95 exit — three lakeside golf courses with an additional 14 layouts within a half-hour drive.
One of the game’s more positive stories during the past decade has been the emergence of McConnell Golf, which now owns a dozen 18-hole, private golf courses plus one nine-hole course around the Carolinas and Tennessee. Musgrove Mill in Clinton S.C., serves as a tribute to pure golf and a great day-trip for any golfer wanting to tackle one of golf’s finest tests — a sanctuary for golfers to eat and rest their heads after their rounds.
Designed within the surrounding countryside by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, the highly decorated Musgrove Mill is indeed off the beaten path — a special getaway reminiscent of Pine Valley in Clementon, N.J. “The Mill” features cottages for overnight accommodations, a first-rate practice facility, full-service clubhouse with a private chef, and historic significance as a former Revolutionary War battle site. Boasting a small, select membership, no tee times, and a secluded, natural course layout, The Mill is the ideal destination for the accomplished golfer. www.McConnellGolf.com