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Chow Down After Your Round with These ‘Specials of the (Club) House’

Bob Gillespie Bob Gillespie
Bob is a former sports writer at Columbia’s The State newspaper. He enjoys golf at South Carolina’s 350-plus courses, and after a round, sampling craft beers from the Palmetto State’s breweries.
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Be it ever so humble, there's nothing like a hot dog at the turn to enhance a great round of golf - or salvage a not-so-good front nine - at one of South Carolina's 350-plus golf courses.

But nowadays, there are other possibilities available at many of SC's courses: a burger, sandwich or even a more exotic offering, meals that can match even the finest 18-hole layout for quality and enjoyment.

Grill rooms and club restaurants have choices to please the most discriminating appetite, whether mid-round or afterward with a beverage. Just ask the folks at Golf Magazine, who in their December 2015 issue rated the nation's best golf-course burgers, among them Kiawah Island's famed Ocean Course with its "Bagger Burger," which owes its name to the movie "The Legend of Bagger Vance," portions of which were shot at the course in 2000.

"This burly burger ($17) takes its name from the movie's title character (played by actor Will Smith), and it's a beauty, starring grilled black Angus beef, smoked cheddar and peppered bacon on a potato roll," Golf Magazine reports. Hungry now?

Read on for other unique dishes from South Carolina golf courses. Hit 'em straight - and bon appetite.

Links Restaurant, Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head - Harbour Town golf professional John Farrell raves about the Meat Loaf Sandwich - fire-grilled beef, Carolina Golf barbecue aioli, onion petals on a grilled sourdough bun ($14) - but for the "lighter" appetite, Links offers Pete's Grilled Cheese ($11), named for course architect Pete Dye: white cheddar pimento cheese, smoked applewood bacon, tomato and egg on sourdough bread. Farrell also recommends the house-made potato chips on the side, and Links' own Lighthouse Blonde beer. 843.785.3333

Live Oak Restaurant, Heron Point by Pete Dye, Hilton Head - Harbour Town's Farrell (the man gets around Sea Pines Resort) gives two thumbs up to the Southern Gumbo, a seafood-free concoction of pulled chicken, andouille sausage, Carolina Gold rice and fried okra ($5 for a cup, $7 for a bowl). "People go there just for that," says Farrell, who suggests adding the Skillet Bacon Cornbread ($6), served in a sizzling cast-iron skillet, with pimento cheese, honey-cinnamon butter or jalapeno marmalade to top it. 843.363.4475

Country Club of South Carolina, Florence - General manager Fred Burnett admits it's a bit much mid-round, but CCSC's Pittsburgh Style Steaks ($22) will finish off a day on the links in style. "They use oval-shaped cast-iron plates, heat them to 800 degrees, cook the edges of the steak first and sear the top and bottom, and then it cooks on the platter and stays hot as you eat it," Burnett says. Add baked or garlic mashed potatoes and grilled veggies to top it off. 843.669.0920

Golf Club at Wescott Plantation, North Charleston - The Wescott Club ($9) is advertised as the "hugest" in the Charleston area, with turkey, bacon, cheddar and/or Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo on three toasted slices of bread. The Wescott Burger ($10) combines beef brisket and short ribs in its patties, adding bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, cheese and sautéed mushrooms (in any combination) on a toasted Kaiser roll. Add fries, kettle chips or slaw as a side. 843.871.2135

Links O' Tryon, Campobello - Two hints at Links: order the Club Quesadillas ($8.93), with three cheeses, grilled chicken, peppers, tomato and onion on a flour tortilla, plus jalapenos, salsa and sour cream, off the appetizer menu - and make sure chef Travis Bradshaw does the preparation. The 19th Hole Club (turkey, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato) is an option, too, and the club has surf-and-turf specials evenings. 864.468.5099

The Walker Course, Clemson - The nearby Madren Center's Sole on the Green (formerly Seasons by the Lake) combines SC and Mexico in its Pulled Pork Tacos ($9), featuring smoked pulled pork and Carolina slaw, plus sides including spinach; seafood lovers can opt for the Black and Blue Salmon Tacos (both at $9), or a Grilled Mahi-Mahi Burger. 864.656.0236

Wild Dunes Resort (Links Course), Isle of Palms - The Huey's Burger ($14) is a favorite, with bacon, lettuce, tomato, house-made pickles and three cheeses (pimento, American, cheddar) on a sesame roll. Sides choices include fries, sweet-potato fries or house-made chips. 843.886.2164

Cobblestone Park Golf Club, Blythewood - The views from Alexander's restaurant, overlooking the course's 18th green, are perfect for enjoying the full kitchen's Smoked Pork Tenderloin Sandwich ($12), topped with smoked gouda cheese and corn-and-black-bean salsa on a hoagie roll. Sides include fries, fresh fruit or - no kidding - popcorn. 803.714.2620

Orangeburg Country Club, Orangeburg - The Blackwater Grille overlooking the 18th green and putting area has a variety of choices, but director of golf David Lackey's favorite is the OCC Sliders ($9 for three, plus a side); get yours with either prime rib, burgers or, on occasion, meat loaf. And for the in-a-hurry traditionalist, there's the Tourville Hot Dog ($4), named for club owner Frank Tourville and featuring genuine oversized New Jersey all-beef wieners plus choice of condiments. 803.534.5988

Timberlake Golf Club, Chapin - The club's Restaurant 222 grill room, with its views of nearby Lake Murray, is just right for one of it selection of craft beers and a TGC Burger ($7), with its 1/3-pound burger, lettuce, tomato, pickle and raw onion on a Kaiser roll. For more exotic tastes, try the TGC Pimento Jalapeno Burger with bacon and sautéed onions ($9). Both come with a side. 803.345.9909

Tidewater Golf Club, North Myrtle Beach - The Tidewater Grille's Tidewater Club ($12) is not for the faint of heart, with its 8-ounce grilled chicken breast AND a 6-ounce grilled rib-eye, plus bacon, lettuce, tomato, onions and spicy mayo on a brioche roll. "We have a defibrillator," jokes staff member Tiffany Bailey. Sides include fries, potato salad, cole slaw or homemade chips. 843.913.2424

True Blue Golf Club, Pawleys Island - The Grillroom's True Blue Wrap ($8.75) combines friend chicken tenders, diced eggs and blue cheese with lettuce, tomato and bacon in a delightful mix. Or the Cajun Chicken Club ($10.75) has either spicy chicken or roast beef plus bacon, provolone and cheddar cheeses. Start out with the hearty Clam Chowder ($39.5/cup, $4.75/bowl), or have alone for a lighter meal. 843.235.0900

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, Pawleys Island - Since this Mike Strantz-designed gem opened in 1994, Caledonia has been renowned for its Weesie's Shrimp Bisque ($4.45/cup, $5.45/bowl), which staffers offer samples of on cold days. Similar to she-crab soup but with shrimp, cooks add celery, onions, and half-and-half cream to the baby shrimp for a Lowcountry treat. Also available are Cliff's Cajun Club ($12.25), with spicy chicken, roast beef, bacon, provolone and cheddar, lettuce and tomato; and LuLu's Fish Sandwich ($9.45) with fried (or grilled) flounder, lettuce and onion on a toasted bun. But seriously, get the bisque. 843.237.3675

Bob Gillespie
Bob is a former sports writer at Columbia’s The State newspaper. He enjoys golf at South Carolina’s 350-plus courses, and after a round, sampling craft beers from the Palmetto State’s breweries.