Golf Resorts Charleston, SC

THE OCEAN COURSE AT KIAWAH ISLAND

Topping the 2017-18 Golf Digest ranking of the Best Courses in South Carolina, this windswept seaside course was built to test the very best for the 1991 Ryder Cup. Also ranked “The toughest course in America” by Golf Digest, this Pete Dye classic will host the 2021 PGA Championship for a second time in 2021. The biggest challenge here may be off the tees, especially in windy conditions, but count on making up some strokes on the greens. For a memorable 19th Hole experience, head to the Ryder Cup Bar, or better yet, grab a drink and an Adirondack chair on the lawn behind the clubhouse and watch golfers coming in to the 18th green. kiawahresort.com

OSPREY POINT GOLF COURSE

After the Ocean Course, Osprey Point gets the most attention among the Kiawah Island designs, and for good reason. It offers a more playable experience for mere mortals—there are few forced carries on this beautiful course (although on the 11th it’s all carry no matter what tee you play from) and nice run-up areas to most greens, plus it has its own swanky clubhouse. Marshes and creeks and trees (the classic Carolina mix of mossy oaks, pines, palmettos, and magnolias) enhance the picturesque setting. There’s water on almost every hole but it only comes into play if you hit a wayward shot. kiawahresort.com

OAK POINT GOLF COURSE

A total redo in 2015 has made Oak Point a solid player in Kiawah’s championship rotation of courses. You’ll get the same excellent conditions and five-star service on this “Scottish American design” (in the words of course architect Clyde Johnston), but since it’s off the island, it’s a more affordable and convenient choice. Placement rewards golfers over power on this classic Lowcountry landscape design that plays along the Kiawah River. It has a fun collection of par 3s and is a good choice for all ability levels. kiawahresort.com

THE LINKS COURSE AT WILD DUNES

The Links, a golf landmark in Charleston, is Tom Fazio’s first solo venture and said to be one of his all-time favorites. Just north of Charleston on the Isle of Palms, you get the dunes, the tall tawny grasses and two oceanfront finishing holes. A recent renovation expanded the greens, and although the Links is only 6,503 yards from the tips (down from 6,800 due to beach erosion from a hurricane), it plays longer due to sea-level elevation and ocean winds. The 18th is a par 3, not typical, but made memorable by the beautiful ocean backdrop. Try for a late-afternoon tee time so you can finish as the sun is setting. wilddunes.com

CHARLESTON NATIONAL GOLF COURSE

Based in Mt. Pleasant, Charleston National is moderately challenging (which adds to the fun factor) with some reachable par 5s.  Most of the back nine jogs through the marsh and can be a test for some players, but the views are spectacular. The Rees Jones design plays close to 7,000 yards from the back tees. Heavy hitters will enjoy holes such as the par-4 15th, which requires a lengthy carry off the tee over marshland, followed by another carry to a tricky green. But with five sets of tees and generally wide fairways, this is a course all levels of players can enjoy. charlestonnationalgolf.com

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GRAND STRAND OF MYRTLE BEACH
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