Take a trip into golf’s past while playing some of the oldest courses in the South. The Aiken Golf Club brought the game to South Carolina in 1912, and hundreds of courses followed over the years, including venerable Atlantic Dunes on Hilton Head Island.
1912 The Aiken Golf Club
The Aiken Golf Club, circa 1912, was built as an amenity to Highland Park Hotel in Aiken—which hosted wealthy Northerners in the 1920s. Designed by John Inglis, the club plays like a trip into golf’s past and was the first U.S. course to establish women’s tees. Less than 6,000 yards long, this pine-lined property plays longer (and tougher) than its yardage.
World-renowned golf architect Donald Ross designed four courses in South Carolina. Moree’s Cheraw Country Club, built in 1924, claims nine holes by the master on its 18-hole, 6,437-yard layout. The club in Cheraw includes a driving range and chipping and putting greens, plus a pool and lodging for out-of-town visitors at its Moree’s Sportsman’s Preserve. Across U.S. 52, visit Cheraw State Park, which has its own 18-hole course.
With 80-plus courses, Myrtle Beach is an international golf destination, but only one course calls itself “The Granddaddy.” Built in 1927, Pine Lakes sits on dunes a half-mile from the Atlantic Ocean and was built by Robert White, first president of the PGA of America. Most recently renovated in 2002, the course added two new holes to its existing layout. Pine Lakes is home to the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame.
Two miles from the private Country Club of Charleston, site of the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open, is “The Muni,” which has nearly as much history as its neighbor. Built in 1929, it sits on a 120-acre tract of James Island. Playing to wide fairways and around water and marshland, the course hosts more than 50,000 rounds a year and proudly claims the title of “Everyone’s Course.”
Located minutes from Clemson University in Pendleton, Boscobel was designed in 1932 by Fred Bolton and upgraded by architect Russell Breeden years later. At 6,500 yards and par 71, the design features five par-3 holes, water on three holes and rolling terrain surrounded by oaks and pines. The real test of Boscobel, though, is its small bentgrass greens.
1960 Atlantic Dunes
The Ocean Course at Atlantic Dunes was the first golf course built on Hilton Head Island, designed by George Cobb in 1960. In 2017, five-time RBC Heritage winner Davis Love III completed a total reconstruction of the Sea Pines Resort course. With large dunes and thick forests, Atlantic Dunes is visually striking, especially the par-3 15th, one of just two beachfront golf holes on Hilton Head Island.