The History of Golf in South Carolina: From the Beginning to Today

Golf has a long and rich history in South Carolina, dating back to the late 19th century. Today, the state is home to over 350 golf courses and is considered one of the top golf destinations in the world. Here’s a look at the history of golf in South Carolina, from the beginning to today.

The first golf course in South Carolina was established in 1892 by the Charleston Golf Club. The course was a nine-hole layout and was located near the present-day Citadel campus. Other golf courses soon followed, including the Country Club of Charleston and the Spartanburg Country Club.

In the early 20th century, golf began to grow in popularity in South Carolina. The state hosted its first major golf tournament, the Southern Amateur Championship, in 1902. The tournament was won by Francis Ouimet, who would later go on to win the U.S. Open.

During the 1920s and 1930s, golf continued to thrive in South Carolina. Many of the state’s most iconic courses were built during this time, including the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort and the Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken.

In the 1950s and 1960s, golf began to attract more tourists to South Carolina. Myrtle Beach, in particular, became a popular destination for golfers, with the development of numerous golf courses and resorts.

Today, South Carolina is home to some of the most iconic golf courses in the world, including the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, and the Dunes Golf & Beach Club in Myrtle Beach. The state also hosts several major golf tournaments each year, including the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town and the U.S. Women’s Open at the Country Club of Charleston.

Golf has played an important role in the history and culture of South Carolina, and continues to be a major economic driver for the state. With its beautiful courses and rich history, South Carolina will continue to be a top golf destination for years to come.

7 thoughts on “The History of Golf in South Carolina: From the Beginning to Today”

  1. Hats off to whoever mentioned the Dunes Golf & Beach Club, that course is a gem. Also, got to say nothing beats a post-game drink watching the sunset over Myrtle Beach. Ah, I need to book a round there soon!

  2. Great article. Being from Spartanburg, it’s nice to see our Country Club get a shout out! Played my first round of golf there. It’s where the love affair with this maddening game began.

  3. FairwayPhilosopher

    You know, it’s not just about the golf (although SC has some of the best in the world). It’s about the complete package. The history, the atmosphere, the Southern hospitality. I’ve been to a lot of places to play this game, but South Carolina has a certain magic you just don’t find elsewhere.

  4. Great read! Always had a soft spot for South Carolina golf. I’m a regular at the Harbour Town Golf Links, been swinging there for the past decade. Won my first local tournament there; the views never get old!

  5. Fairway_Freddy

    Interesting history lesson. I had no idea the first course was established way back in 1892. Makes me appreciate my own time on the green even more. But I gotta ask, are there any ‘hidden gem’ courses in SC that haven’t been commercialized? Always on the lookout for those!?

  6. Couldn’t agree more! I’ve been lucky enough to play most of the courses mentioned and they are truly top-tier. The Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken was a particular favourite, the sense of historic charm was really something else. Highly recommend any avid golfers to tick South Carolina off their golfing bucket lists!

  7. I’ve always wanted to play at Kiawah Island, heard a lot of great things about it. Can anyone share their experience? Are the fairways challenging? And how’s the 19th hole there?

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