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Whether along the Coast, in the Midlands or Upstate, SC Bargain Golf Is Everywhere

Bob Gillespie Bob Gillespie
Bob is a former sports writer at Columbia’s The State newspaper. He enjoys golf at South Carolina’s 350-plus courses, and after a round, sampling craft beers from the Palmetto State’s breweries.
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Like beauty, bargains in golf are often in the eye of the beholder.

Give an avid player the chance to play Kiawah Island's Ocean Course or Hilton Head's Harbour Town Golf Links, and anything less than $400 for a round might seem like a great deal (and, if available, would be). But for most visitors looking to hit it for 18 holes at a don't-break-the-wallet rate, the reality is something else.

That doesn't mean, though, that great golf at bargain-basement rates isn't possible. In fact, just the opposite: especially if you're willing to get off the beach-and-resort circuit, there are courses galore to play for less than $50.

In fact, for purposes of this story, let's say weekend rounds under $50 - and weekday rates of $30-$40 - are the benchmark. Here's a lineup of options to satisfy your golf itch and your budget.



The finishing hole at Shadowmoss Plantation, the par-4 18th.

Shadowmoss Plantation Golf Club, located on historic Highway 61 a dozen miles from downtown, bills itself as Charleston's best golf value. It's a solid Russell Breeden-designed layout.

A bit farther up Highway 61, just south of Summerville, Legend Oaks, has plenty of forests and lakes.

The City of North Charleston operates The Club at Wescott Plantation, a terrific 27-hole facility with a full-service clubhouse and three nines that can challenge every level of player. 

In Summerville, The Club at Pine Forest - known locally as "Little Augusta" for similarities to the home of the Masters - has a brilliantly straightforward and challenging design and prices that vary depending on time of year.


Myrtle Beach

The Legends in Myrtle Beach features five courses.

The Grand Strand is the home of the vacation golf package, with courses bundling golf, accommodations and food-beverage deals too numerous to list here. The Legends, with five courses, has offers typical of such multi-round bargain packages.

Myrtle Beach National is home to the Arnold Palmer-designed Kings North course, but its two sister courses, South Creek and the West Course (also designed by the Palmer Golf Company), are less pricey than the North Course.


Hilton Head Island

Water guards the right side of Island West's fourth hole. Photo provided by Island West GC.

Island West is a Fuzzy Zoeller-designed course that's fun to play and easy on the pocketbook.

Dogwood Hills in nearby Walterboro has a distinguished bloodline - part of the course was designed by legendary architect Donald Ross in 1935 - and bargain-basement prices on weekends.



Cobblestone Park is home to the University of South Carolina's men's and women's golf team facilities.

While the coast has the golf reputation, Columbia and surrounding areas offer plenty of solid daily-fee golf for low prices. Cobblestone Park Golf Club, home to University of South Carolina men's and women's golf team facilities, has 27 holes by P.B. Dye and Lee Janzen.

Oak Hills, designed by former PGA Tour player (and Steve Spurrier roommate at the University of Florida), is a user-friendly layout with hills, forests and water. Across town is the P.B. Dye-designed The Spur  at Northwoods. 

A few exits northwest of the city in Chapin is Timberlake Country Club, built on the shores of Lake Murray by Willard Byrd. Richland County-owned LinRick Golf Course is rugged and hilly.

Head east on US 378 less than an hour to find The Links at Lakewood, a true undiscovered jewel by Porter Gibson, which has been restored. 



Mount Vintage Golf Club was designed by Ellis Maples, a 1960s-era architect.

Located a half-hour from Augusta, the Aiken area has both terrific golf and small-town pricing. Aiken Golf Club, built in 1912, is a blast from the past. 

There's also Midland Valley Golf Club in Graniteville, designed by 1960s-era architect Ellis Maples, and Cedar Creek Golf Course.

One of the best chances to play a professional-level course is at North Augusta's Mount Vintage, which hosted an LPGA event during the 1990s. It features 27 beautiful holes, rolling terrain and lakes.



The Furman University Golf Club is a classic old-school design.

In Greenville, the Furman University Golf Club is home to one of the nation's best women's college golf programs and a classic old-school design. 

Links O' Tryon, designed by Greenville native Tom Jackson and located near Campobello, offers wide fairways and mountain views. 


Pee Dee

Entry sign to The Traces Golf Club in Florence.


Hickory Knob is one of two golf courses located in South Carolina state parks.

The Santee-Cooper area town of Manning has another off-the-beaten-path gem in Wyboo Golf Club, a Tom Jackson Signature design with excellent conditioning.

Two of the best deals going are the South Carolina state park golf courses, both designed by Tom Jackson: Hickory Knob, near the town of McCormick in western SC, and Cheraw in Cheraw, SC. Both also have on-site accommodations and other park activities.

Bob Gillespie
Bob is a former sports writer at Columbia’s The State newspaper. He enjoys golf at South Carolina’s 350-plus courses, and after a round, sampling craft beers from the Palmetto State’s breweries.