South Carolina and golf resorts go together like apple pie and ice cream. But when your vacation plans include young children – or a spouse who’s not into the links – one might think choices are limited.
In fact, many golf-specific getaway destinations also offer a wide variety of family and kid-friendly attractions to make things fun for the non-golfers in your crew. Here are some of the best family golf resorts the Palmetto State has to offer:
Home of the 1991 Ryder Cup and 2012 and 2021 PGA Championships, Kiawah is best known for its world-famous Ocean Course, as well as four other tracks with such designers as Tom Fazio, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. But this seaside resort also has a junior golf program and two-day junior camps, plus tennis instruction, adult and family pools, canoeing and kayaking, 10 miles of beaches and an assortment of kids’ programs, including Kamp Kiawah for ages 3-11. Kiawah has been ranked first among family resorts in the US and Canada by Travel + Leisure Family.
Hilton Head Island,866.236.8235
The golfers in the family will enjoy three championship golf courses – Harbour Town Golf Links, Heron Point by Pete Dye and Atlantic Dunes by Davis Love III. For the children, there are Kids' Club activities, shuttles to the beach and full-day or half-day summer day camps where they can explore the outdoors. The all-inclusive resort also offers cribs, games, toys, childproofing for young guests and even a kids-only room service menu.
An all-encompassing resort, it offers walking trails, four restaurants, a spa, shooting club, fishing and kayaking, plus the May River Golf Club by Jack Nicklaus. Kids will have a blast playing in the Pelia and Morehouse treehouses in Wilson Village, featuring wooden boardwalks, rope ladders, hammocks and a zip line; Paintbox children’s programs (ages 5-12) with games, crafts, movies and more; and Montage’s “canine ambassadors,” a foursome of English Labrador retrievers that greet visitors. Children also have the opportunity to earn Montage Merit Badges for catching a fish, roasting s’mores, hiking, observing local wildlife and more.
While adults play the Links and Harbor courses by Tom Fazio, youngsters can partake of the recreation program featuring craft days, kite-making and flying, treasure hunts and wildlife explorations. The Wild Dunes golf school offers family lessons and introductory instruction for kids ages 9 and younger, where they can play golf on the beach and hit range balls into the water, as well as the Rising Star Junior Golf School for players 6-16. Golfers ages 15 and older play free after 5 p.m.
Located near the Patriots Point Golf Course and Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum, this 125-room facility offers views of coastal shorelines, a private beach area, seasonal pool, three restaurants, bike rentals, fishing activities, surfing and sailing lessons, plus recreational activities for kids.
North Myrtle Beach,843.449.8880 – Marriott Resort; 843.913.1333 – Marina Inn
These two properties, adjacent to Grande Dunes’ Resort and Member courses, offer villas or suites with full kitchens, a number of swimming pools, splash pad, waterslides, sports courts, kids’ programming and a three-story treehouse playground. At Marina Inn, located on the Intracoastal Waterway, guests enjoy complimentary shuttles to a nearby private beach, along with free kids’ activities.
Along with its two golf courses, Ocean Point and Ocean Creek, Fripp Island has three and a half miles of uncrowded beaches, plus natural areas with a bounty of wildlife, including dolphins, alligators and some 175 species of birds. Tennis, fishing and kayaking are available, as well as rental golf carts, mopeds and bicycles. Along with Camp Fripp for kids, there's horseback riding on the beach and the Fripp Island Nature and Activity Center. Nearby attractions include Hunting Island State Park and Family Movie Night at the Highway 21 Drive-In.
Hilton Head Island,843.776.2995
Three golf courses (Jones, Fazio and Hills) are available to adults and kids, along with tennis, bike paths, kayaking, swimming and more. Palmetto Dunes family packages also include nature and dolphin cruises. Villa-style condos are located on or near the beach.
Three golf courses (Willbrook Plantation, River Club and Litchfield Country Club) have junior-specific tees that play from 2,500 yards. The resort also offers Kids Golf Camp for beginner golfers ages 6-16 from May through August. The Pool & Plaza has fun water games and pools. At nearby Surfside Beach, you'll find Wild Water & Wheels, featuring miniature golf and go-kart racing.