SC’s Top Jack Nicklaus Golf Courses

By:Bob Gillespie

Date:3/30/2015

Pawleys Plantation.
The 12th hole at Pawleys Plantation shows the wide expanse of marsh and the Atlantic Ocean in the distance.

Jack Nicklaus is best known for his 18 major championships, including a record six wins in the Masters. But the Golden Bear is renowned equally or more these days for his golf course design work, with more than 300 courses in operation worldwide.

Eleven of his finest can be found in South Carolina, and more than half of them are open to the public. Here are our rankings:

May River Golf Club at Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, 843.706.6580 – This is arguably Nicklaus’ best work in SC and is regularly considered one of the state’s finest courses, period, with generous use of marshland, woodlands, water and sand.

Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head, 843.363.8385 – One of the Golden Bear’s earliest efforts (co-designed in 1969 with Pete Dye), it’s still a favorite among PGA Tour players who come annually for the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing.

Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club, Pawleys Island, 843.237.6000 – Among the top layouts on the Grand Strand’s golf-rich South End, with plenty of the area’s Lowcountry terrain, Pawleys also serves as home to the Mel Sole Golf School.

Long Bay Golf Club, Longs, 800.344.5590 – A bit off the beaten path on the Strand’s North End, but home to a number of the area’s best and most memorable holes.

Kiawah Island Resort/Turtle Point, Kiawah, 800.576.1570 – Another older design, part of Kiawah Resort’s strong lineup of on-island courses along with courses by Dye, Tom Fazio and Gary Player.

Melrose Golf Club, Daufuskie Island, 843.422.6963 – Reopened in recent years after recession-forced closure, this 1990s project is well on its way to being restored to past glory.

Nicklaus designed six other courses in South Carolina, and they are private:

Golf Club at Indigo Run, Hilton Head

Colleton River Plantation, Bluffton

Golden Bear Golf Club at Indigo Run, Hilton Head

The Cliffs at Keowee Falls, Sunset

The Reserve at Lake Keowee, Sunset

The Reserve Club at Woodside Plantation, Aiken

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