There’s plenty of high-end golf around the Charleston, S.C., area. Wild Dunes on the Isle of Palms and all the courses at the Kiawah Island resort will scratch your itch for some of the best golf in the country. However, if you are traveling in and around Charleston, here are five places where you can play good, solid courses for a fraction of the price.
Charleston National Golf Club, Mount Pleasant: Designed by Rees Jones and opened in 1990, Charleston National was intended to be a private club. However, Hurricane Hugo in 1989 scuttled those plans. The club has a membership, but the doors have been open to the public since the day it opened.
“Plenty of forced carries over marsh characterize this Rees Jones design, but handsome lowcountry vistas of Hamlin Sound, Bulls Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway will make the sting of losing a few spheres more palatable,” says Joe Passov of Golf.com. For more, www.charlestonnationalgolf.com.
The Club at Pine Forest, Summerville: Pine Forest is known to the locals as the place where you go to test your game. With a 74.1 course rating from the back tees, Pine Forest is plenty of golf for the best players. But even if your handicap is in double digits and you don’t like the tips, the course will still examine your skill in all areas of your game. For more, www.pineforestcountryclub.com.
Golf Club at Wescott Plantation, Summerville: Wescott Plantation is a 27-hole complex with three distinctive nines. Designed by Dr. Michael Hurdzan – who designed Erin Hills, host of this year’s U.S. Open – each nine blends into the natural environment of live oaks, wetlands and lakes. Wescott is owned by the City of North Charleston but nothing about it suggests a muni. For more, www.wescottgolf.com.
RiverTowne Country Club, Mount Pleasant: RiverTowne opened in 2001 and is Arnold Palmer’s only course design in the Charleston area. And the LPGA played an event for two years that had Annika Sorenstam’s name on it. RiverTowne sits along scenic marshland and has 13 holes along the Wando River and Horlbeck Creek. “We’ve taken full advantage of the outstanding natural terrain and landscaping to create a course as beautiful to non-golfers as it is to veteran players,” Palmer said at the time. For more, www.rivertownecountryclub.com.
Links at Stono Ferry, Hollywood: Architect Ron Garl is responsible for the golf course at Stono Ferry, but history is responsible for the ambiance. The Revolutionary War came through here in 1779 in the Battle of Stono Ferry, in which patriots fought British and Hessian troops. Garl’s design takes casualties of a different sort with three holes set along the Intracoastal Waterway and the others through forests and tidal creeks. For more, www.stonoferrygolf.com.’