South Carolina is where golf was first played in what is now the United States – in Charleston in the 18th century. More than 200 years later, 360 courses dot the state from the scenic coastline to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Professional golf magazines have called South Carolina one of the top golf destinations in the United States because players of all ages and skill levels can plan a vacation that is just right for them.

Ocean CourseVisitors can play year-round because of South Carolina’s mild climate, and bargain prices have made the state a popular stop for golfers for years.

Players can test their skills on courses built by top designers and professional golfers, including Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Pete Dye. Visitors can also improve their techniques at classes offered at numerous golf schools or take private lessons from PGA professionals.

The coastal region around Myrtle Beach, which stretches over nearly 97 kilometres, has more than 100 golf courses. The region known as the “Grand Strand” is brightened by more than 200 days of sun each year. Some courses were built on the marsh sites of former rice plantations, and players can see wild birds and alligators in the water hazards.

Golfers can play a different course every day and then enjoy the nightlife of eating and shopping at Broadway at the Beach and Barefoot Landing or watch top-class entertainment at The Carolina Opry, Legends in Concert, or Alabama Theatre.

Each year in late August, the Grand Strand hosts the world’s largest golf tournament, the World Amateur Handicap Championship. More than 3,600 golfers play for prizes on 100 courses.
Farther south is Charleston, a historic city and luxury vacation area. Wild Dunes, just 24 kilometres away from downtown Charleston, features two championship courses, the Links Course and the Harbour Course, which Golf Digest has praised as being among the best in the state of South Carolina.

Approximately 32 kilometres south of Charleston is Kiawah Island Golf Resort, the site of five world-famous courses. The best known of these courses, the Ocean Course designed by Pete Dye, has been called the toughest course in America and has played host to major championships such as the 1991 Ryder Cup, the 2007 Senior PGA Championship, and the upcoming 2012 PGA Championship.

Other courses at Kiawah include Cougar Point, designed by Gary Player, and Turtle Point, designed by Jack Nicklaus. The island offers 16 kilometres of beachfront, as well as a luxury hotel, dining and shopping.

Just 37 kilometres from historic Charleston is Seabrook Island, where vacationers can stroll on the beach or take tours on horseback after playing its two golf courses.

Hilton Head Island has some 25 championship courses, including the Harbour Town Golf Links at Sea Pines Plantation, home to the PGA’s annual RBC Heritage tournament.
For more information about South Carolina, contact the South Carolina Tourism Office. Tel.: (803)734-1700 E-mail: or you can visit us on the Internet at


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