Most motorists arrive via three routes. From the northeast, you drive Interstate 95 into South Carolina, then work your way east. If you fly (or drive) into Columbia, it’s Interstate 20 to Florence, then US 501/301 to the beach. And if you start out in Charleston, US 17 brings you in from the south.
Here is a selection of en-route courses worth checking out before you check in alongside the Atlantic.
Country Club of South Carolina, Florence — Located two miles off Exit 170. Designed by 1960s architect Ellis Maples, it’s rated the best course in the Pee Dee. Formerly a private club, CCSC opened its doors to the public in 2014.
Crossings Golf Club, Florence — Just south of US 501/301. Greenville-based Tom Jackson (of The Cliffs at Glassy fame) built this course in 1998 on rolling, heavily wooded terrain.
Diamondback Golf Course, Loris — Take Exit 190/SC Route 9. You’ll swing a bit north to get to this classic 1999 Russell Breeden design, but then it’s straight into North Myrtle Beach via Route 9.
From Columbia via I-20
Traces Golf Course, Florence — Take Exit 137 off I-20. It’s a 27-hole design with three distinct nines, highlighted by Florida-based architect Ron Garl’s Woodlands nine, with plenty of water and woodlands.
Governor’s Run Golf Club, Lamar — Exit onto US 401 south. This course advertises “the best greens in the Florence area,” designed by owner Jay Huggins and featuring plenty of doglegs and water.
From Charleston via US 17
Charleston National, Mount Pleasant — Off US 17, northeast of Mount Pleasant. Golf Digest rates this Rees Jones design as Charleston’s best non-resort golf course.
Dunes West, Mount Pleasant — Off US 17, northeast of Mount Pleasant. Designed by Arthur Hills, Dunes West incorporates marshes, dunes and water into the Lowcountry terrain.
RiverTowne Country Club, Mount Pleasant — Off US 17, northeast of Mount Pleasant. An Arnold Palmer design, RiverTowne hosted an LPGA tournament for two years. It was named one of the “Best You Can Play” by SC Golf Course Ratings Panel in 2011.