South Carolina boasts more than 300 golf courses, with roughly half of them along the state’s Eastern coast. But for challenging play amidst a setting steeped in history, Mount Pleasant in central Charleston County is hard to beat. From its northern tip along the Wando River to the edge of Charleston Harbor, the area is replete with coastal scenery, inland marshes and challenging play to suit first-time players and professionals alike.
And if you’re making getaway-golfing plans for 2022, the following six courses in Mount Pleasant are prime examples of what Lowcountry golfing is all about.
Charleston National Golf Club
At Charleston National Golf Club, a key focus is improving the play of future golfers. This year, Charleston National’s website lists nine weeks of summer golf camps, as well as a two-day camp, which are open to beginners and intermediates ages 4 to 14. The camps will teach golf fundamentals and golf etiquette on the par-72 course.
Designed by golf course architect Rees Jones, Charleston National extends over 7,100 yards, weaving through natural wetlands, lagoons and forests along the intracoastal waterway.
It has five sets of tee markers and the finishing holes, surrounded by marshland, “are among the most distinctive in the region.”
So come see why “Golf Magazine” rates Charleston National Golf Club “the #1 non-resort golf course in the Charleston area.”
Dunes West Golf and River Club
Even if your golf game is more like Rodney Dangerfield than Jordan Spieth, a visit to Dunes West will likely erase any anxieties about playing a round. Once the site of a plantation, then a classic estate, Dunes West was completed in 1991 and “is considered one of the Southeast’s premier golf destinations.”
Its 18 holes run alongside “picturesque live oaks and marshes.” The par-72 course plays 6,871 yards, beckoning players of all stripes.
The back nine alone is worth the effort, with beautiful water views and finishing at the 18th hole’s dual green, split by the Wagner Creek marshes.
So if a visit to Dunes West doesn’t improve your golf game, it will almost certainly improve your outlook and make you want to play again and again.
RiverTowne Country Club
RiverTowne boasts Charleston County’s only Arnold Palmer signature golf course. This 18-hole championship course features 13 holes along the Wando River and Horlbeck Creek. There are tree-lined fairways, multi-tiered greens with bunkers and water and five sets of tees ranging from 5,100 and 7,200 yards.
Work on your game by utilizing all the club’s amenities listed on their website — driving range, practice area, putting green, pro shop and access to PGA teaching professionals. Although it is a semi-private golf club offering a variety of memberships, RiverTowne is also open for public play.
Before any of this happens, the course will probably have you sold just on the drive up to the plantation-style clubhouse.
Snee Farm Country Club
Never mind the sand traps, water or even the frog hair – at Snee Farm Country Club, there is a sporting chance of encountering the obstacle of dinosaur fossils.
During course construction in 1969, mastodon bones and artifacts at least 10,000 years old were found near the third fairway green. But even if you don’t find any bones, Snee Farm golfing is sure to be an event to remember.
Its par-72 18-hole course stretches for 6,834 yards around beautiful marshes and hosts the annual four-day invitational Rice Planters Amateur, scheduled for June 20-24, 2022.
Of course, if you don’t want to stick with just this course, you can choose from dual and triple club memberships with its sister courses, RiverTowne Country Club and Dunes West Golf Club.
Whether you come to play, spectate or enjoy a slice of history, you’ll leave Snee Farm Country Club with an experience to last until your next visit.
Patriots Point Links
Built in 1979 along Charleston Harbor, Patriots Point Links offers not only spectacular views of Charleston, Fort Sumter and ships arriving in port, its par-72 championship course is a favorite with both local and out-of-town golfers.
Rated “South Carolina Course of the Year for 2001” by the National Golf Course Owners Association, Patriots Point offers four sets of tees from 5,100 to 7,000 yards for players of any skill level. According to their website, it also has the “Best Par-3 in the Lowcountry” 17th hole—a perennially awarded golf hole.
As for amenities, try the Southern-style clubhouse, golfers’ grill and patio and lighted driving range with PGA instruction.
If you’ve never played a game of golf or had the pleasure of walking a full course, Patriots Point Links is an ideal place to start.
Wild Dunes Resort
Forget the hyperbole — “Golf Digest” says Wild Dunes Resort is among the “Best in State” for golf in South Carolina. Designed by golf course architect Tom Fazio, Wild Dunes offers players two 18-hole courses — The Links Course and Harbor Course — which will test all aspects of your game. Play is enhanced by rustling palms, rolling fairways and a finishing hole overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
If you want to improve your stance, swing and game, Wild Dunes also offers one of the top Charleston golf schools with a variety of clinics and lessons.
At some point during your golfing adventures, be sure to stop at Rad Rydz and Charleston Carts, both in Mount Pleasant, and check out all kinds of golf carts, for rent or purchase. You can even custom build a golf cart to your own specifications.
“Golf is one of the biggest reasons people come to the Charleston area,” said Biff Lathrop, executive director with the South Carolina Golf Association in Columbia. “It accounts for over $2.59 billion in sales for the whole state, and the majority of those sales is from tourism.”
Of course, the Mount Pleasant courses are by no means comprehensive for the area — Charleston County currently boasts 24 golf courses — but for a golfing experience that is truly out of the ordinary, these six courses are not only good bets, but, as many of the locals will likely tell you, they are about as good as golfing gets.
By L. C. Leach III