America’s first golf course was constructed in Charleston in 1786. The term “green fee” is alleged to have evolved from the maintenance fees charged to members of the South Carolina Golf Club and Harleston Green in what’s now downtown Charleston. So as you’d expect, there’s some great golfing in the area, generally in the outlying islands. Here are some of the highlights (fees are averages and subject to season and time).
The folks at the nonprofit Charleston Golf, Inc. (423 King St., 843/958-3629, www.charlestongolfguide.com) are your best one-stop resource for tee times and packages.
The main public course is the 18-hole Charleston Municipal Golf Course (2110 Maybank Hwy., 843/795-6517, www.charlestoncity.info, $40). To get there from the peninsula, take U.S. 17 south over the Ashley River, take Highway 171/Folly Road south, and then take a right onto Maybank Highway.
Probably the most renowned area facilities are at the acclaimed Kiawah Island Golf Resort (12 Kiawah Beach Dr., 800/654-2924, www.kiawahgolf.com) about 20 miles from Charleston. The Resort has five courses in all, the best known of which is the Kiawah Island Ocean Course, site of the famous “War by the Shore” 1991 Ryder Cup. This 2.5-mile course, which is walking-only until noon each day, hosted the Senior PGA Championship in 2007 and will host the 2012 PGA Championship. The Resort offers a golf academy and private lessons galore. These are public courses, but be aware that tee times are limited for golfers who aren’t guests at the resort.
The 18-hole Patriots Point Links (1 Patriots Point Rd., 843/881-0042, www.patriotspointlinks.com, $100) on the Charleston Harbor right over the Ravenel Bridge in Mount Pleasant is one of the most convenient courses in the area and it boasts some phenomenal views.
Also on Mount Pleasant is perhaps the best course in the area for the money, the award-winning Rivertowne Golf Course (1700 Rivertowne Country Club Dr., 843/856-9808, www.rivertownecountryclub.com, $150) at the Rivertowne Country Club. This relatively new course, opened in 2002, was designed by Arnold Palmer.
© Jim Morekis from Moon Charleston & Savannah, 4th Edition