Historic Golf Classics: SC’s Oldest Golf Resorts and Courses

Title: Sun, Sand, and Swings: A Walk Down Memory Lane with South Carolina’s Oldest Golf Resorts and Courses

Sun-drenched skies, pristine beaches, and lush fairways – all these spell out the magic of South Carolina’s golfing legacy. This rich history is beautifully showcased in Myrtle Beach, fondly referred to as the “Golf Capital of the World.” But before this glittering skyline of resorts and signature golf courses, there were humble beginnings steeped in tradition and charm. Let’s take a walk through the celebrated fairways of South Carolina’s oldest golf resorts and courses, each one a testament to the time-honored love affair between golf and the Palmetto State.

The Aiken Golf Club, a veritable jewel in the crown of South Carolina, unrivaled in its historic charm and allure, was inaugurated in 1912. This hidden gem has proudly maintained its rich elegance as it underwent careful renovations to preserve its century-old legacy. Rising like a phoenix from the Great Depression, the Aiken Golf Club, with its hilly course, narrow fairways, and strategically placed hazards, offers a challenging yet engaging game to golfers of all skill levels.

Equally captivating is the Highland Park Golf Course, located in the heart of Columbia city. Established in 1922, the resort boasts an incredible legacy as the first postage-stamp sized golf course in South Carolina. The 6000-yard, par-70 course was designed by notable golf course architect Tom Bendelow, known for his creative and iconic designs. Highland Park’s legacy goes beyond its golfing appeal, offering a chance to relive the culture and traditions of early 20th-century golf.

Stepping forward to 1927, the allure of the fairway beckons us to the Country Club of Charleston. This sophisticated course, designed by golfing legend Seth Raynor, has a reputation for challenging golfers through its unique elevation changes, tight fairways, and slick greens. It is also the course where Beth Daniels, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, honed her skills. Hosting prestigious championships like the U.S. Women’s Open and The Azalea Invitational, this club embodies the heart of South Carolina’s golfing history.

Further along the timeline, in 1930, we meet a timeless beauty – the Myrtle Beach’s iconic Pine Lakes Country Club, aptly named “The Granddaddy.” Robert White, a founder of the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of America and a noted golf course architect, designed this masterpiece that epitomizes southern charm and hospitality. Here, the hallowed halls whisper the over nine-decade-long stories of enthralling golfing battles and camaraderie.

Then we arrive in 1949 when the Myrtle Beach area welcomed its second golf course, the Dunes Golf & Beach Club. Designed by the unmatched genius, Robert Trent Jones, this classical course is renowned for its formidable “Waterloo” hole, striking fear and awe in the hearts of many golfers. The Dunes has played host to several PGA and LPGA Tour events and is emblematic of the unrivaled golfing landscape that Myrtle Beach offers.

Finally, our journey would be incomplete without floating regretfully over to the Sea Pines Resort’s Harbour Town Golf Links, nestled in beautiful Hilton Head Island. Although not as historical as others, having been opened in 1969, it’s become a legendary course for hosting the annual RBC Heritage tournament, a PGA-Tour event. The creation of Pete Dye, with assistance from Jack Nicklaus, offers a breathtaking view of the Calibogue Sound, coupled with challenging gameplay, making it an unforgettable experience for any golfer.

From Aiken to Charleston, down to Myrtle Beach and back up to Hilton Head Island, these historic golfing greens are as much a part of South Carolina’s heritage as its sun-kissed beaches. They are a proud marrow, binding together the sunshine state’s illustrious past and present of the sport. Each course carries the untold tales of golfing legends and amateurs alike, leaving behind intriguing traces of personal battles, growth, and the undying love for the game, one swing at a time.

These historic golf resorts and courses are not just destinations; they are compelling narrators of South Carolina’s tale, making it the ultimate pilgrimage for golf enthusiasts around the world. So, why not put on your golf shoes, pick up your club, and walk these illustrious greens where every hole has a story to tell. Because, in South Carolina, golf isn’t a game; it’s a way of life.

7 thoughts on “Historic Golf Classics: SC’s Oldest Golf Resorts and Courses”

  1. This was such a great walk down memory lane! I’ve played at quite a few of these courses over the years and every one of them has its own unique charm. On a lighter note, if only my golf skills could match the grandeur of these courses, I’d make Tiger Woods look like a rookie! ?

  2. Reading this makes me want to book a golfing tour in South Carolina ASAP! I can just imagine the mixed feelings that the ‘Waterloo’ hole at the Dunes Golf & Beach Club stirs up in golfers. But, tell me, where’s the best place to start this illustrious journey of golf history?

  3. A wonderful nod to the grand dames of South Carolina’s golf scene. It’s a good reminder of the deep roots this sport has in our state. Is it too early to start dreaming about my next round at Pine Lakes?

  4. A fantastic journey back in time indeed. Makes me want to pack my clubs and tour each of these venerable courses for the ultimate historical golf road trip. Btw, I heard ‘The Granddaddy’ got its name because it’s the oldest course in Myrtle Beach. Can anyone confirm this?

  5. Great summary of the historic golf courses in South Carolina. I’ve had the privilege to test my game at the Country Club of Charleston – the elevation changes and slick greens are indeed challenging but make for a rewarding game. Anyone else here played on a course designed by Seth Raynor?

  6. Amazing read! Myrtle Beach’s beautiful greens have always drawn me in, no wonder it has the reputation of being the ‘Golf Capital of the World’. And the history behind each course is fascinating. It’s not just about the swing, but the story of the course itself. Are there any other golf courses with interesting stories that you would recommend?

  7. Absolutely! South Carolina’s golf legacy is something else. I still remember the first time I stepped on the fairways of Highland Park – what a rush! I’ll admit, that place kicked my butt, but the experience was priceless. Also, a shoutout to Beth Daniels, a true trailblazer.

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