Second: It’s not a golf course you’d expect to find in a town of 1,500. It’s much better than that.
First, location: To get there, drive north from Camden on U.S. 601/U.S. 521. About five miles before you get to the town of Kershaw, you come to a sign for … Lancaster County.
That’s right: Kershaw is in Lancaster County. So is the 6,031-yard, par-72 golf course, which began as a nine-hole course in 1936, built as a Depression-era WPA project. The second nine was added in 2004 by Atlanta-based architect David Johnson.
According to Champ (yes, that’s his real first name) Williams, Kershaw Country Club’s professional since June 2005, the Kershaw-Lancaster line once ran through the middle of town. “Then someone decided that was too confusing” for residents, he says, so the county line was moved – south.
Don’t let that oddity discourage you, though, from trying this surprisingly good golf test – make that “tests.” Kershaw is two distinct courses in one. Its front nine – with wide, common Bermuda-mix fairways running parallel to each other and small greens – is an old-style parkland course. The back nine, which has modern 419 Bermuda fairways, sweeping elevation changes, isolated holes and mounded, undulating greens, is a more modern (and more difficult) test.
“I like the two styles, the variety of holes,” says Williams, formerly an assistant at Hilton Head’s Belfair Plantation. “It’s a good blend.”
Good prices, too. Monday-Friday rates are $18 all day – no replay charge – and weekends run $26; both prices include cart. Walkers pay $6 weekdays, $12 weekends. Conditions lately are good, and figure to get better with more rain and less heat this fall.
The municipally owned course gets about 18,000 rounds a year from 125 members and visitors from as far as Charlotte. Where it was losing money as a 75-year-old nine-hole course, it’s become a thriving entity since expanding to 18. “When (the town) built the second nine, they were getting serious about having a good course,” Williams says.
Williams set the course record this spring, a 63. Surprisingly – or maybe not so surprisingly – he shot 33 on the arguably easier front nine, 30 on the tougher back nine.
For information and directions, call (803) 475-2104. Just don’t get confused about which county – or which course – you’re playing.