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 five 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.
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