I have three weeks in the Carolinas coming up but only one or two days for golf (tears!) I would like to go somewhere memorable, stay on or near the course and not break the bank. (12 handicap and my wife about 30). Can you recommend a course or two - Mike, Maple Ridge, B.C.
You don’t say where in South Carolina you’ll be – hey, it’s a bigger state than you realize – but I’m going to gamble you and your wife will be in a metropolitan area, so let’s hit some big-city highlights.
has a wealth of great golf, starting with its two resorts, Kiawah Island
(The Ocean Course
plus four others, by such names as Nicklaus, Fazio, Dye and Player) and Wild Dunes
(two Tom Fazio designs). Those might be pricier than you want, but no worries: The area has a bunch of reasonable deals. Check Charleston National
, Patriots Point
and Dunes West
, all near Mount Pleasant
; Coosaw Creek
, both north of the city; the Links at Stono Ferry
(voted Charleston’s top course in 2011) to the west off U.S. 17; or historic Charleston Municipal
, just minutes from downtown.
If it’s Columbia
, a dozen or more public-access courses are worth a look: The Golf Club of South Carolina at Crickentree
is superb but difficult, while Oak Hills
is very user-friendly, Northwoods
is a favorite of the city’s top players, Golden Hills
is a rolling-terrain layout near Lexington
, and Timberlake
, near Chapin, is as its name suggests has holes overlooking Lake Murray. There area plenty of nice hotels around town and downtown, plus The Vista
and Five Points
for dinner and recreation.
, a business giant in recent years, also has a good lineup of courses. The Preserve at Verdae
, renovated in the past two years, is a jewel and easily accessible from I-85; Furman University Golf Course
also has been redone and is the home of LPGA stars Beth Daniel, Betsy King and Dottie Pepper; plus Hillandale
and Hejaz Shrine
, while a bit further away are such choices as River Falls
(Gary Player design), Cherokee Valley
(P.B. Dye) and Millstone Golf Village
. Downtown Greenville is as good as it gets, particularly its revitalized Main Street corridor, which several luxury hotels nearby.
On the chance that you and your wife are coming to the Myrtle Beach area
-- hard to imagine you'd do that and only play once or twice -- there are more than 100 courses to choose from. High on your list should be the Mike Strantz-designed duo of Caledonia Golf & Fish Club
and True Blue Plantation
; the five-star (Golf Digest) TPC at Myrtle Beach
, home course for PGA Tour superstar and S.C. native Dustin Johnson; and The Dunes Golf & Beach Club
, rated the best Grand Strand course in 2012 by the S.C. Golf Course Ratings Panel. For information on these and more, go to www.mbn.com
Wherever you are, there’ll be good golf, and good fun, not far away.