Few places in the South have more natural beauty, mystique, and charm than South Carolina’s Lowcountry. This geographic wonder is generally defined by four counties: Beaufort, Jasper, Colleton, and Hampton. Bounded by the Atlantic on one side and the Savannah River on the other, the Lowcountry is filled with live oaks, Spanish moss, saltwater, and marshlands.
It’s in this picturesque and idyllic setting that some of the top golf courses in South Carolina reside. The Lowcountry features a variety of courses for those of every ability — a major attraction for people visiting the Lowcountry. Read on to discover some of the top golf courses in the Lowcountry.
The Ocean Course
Located at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, The Ocean Course has seen some of the best players on its greens. Situated on the easternmost end of the island, The Ocean Course boasts impeccable ocean views. In fact, 10 of the holes overlook the Atlantic and the other eight-run parallel to it. This enables players to enjoy unobstructed views of Kiawah’s stunning coastline from every hole.
The one catch is that this improved view makes the course significantly more demanding due to the exposed play from the Atlantic’s shifting and sometimes unpredictable breezes. Outside of the United Kingdom and Ireland, it is unlikely any other golf course in the world is as affected by the wind. This is also what inspired the designer to develop two courses in one — one for the easterly and one for the westerly wind.
The Ocean Course is only the fourth course to have hosted each of the PGA of America’s major championships, including the legendary 1991 Ryder Cup and 2012 PGA Championship. The 2021 PGA Championship will be the second staged at Kiawah Island Golf Resort's famed Ocean Course.
Ocean Winds Golf Course
Get your tee time in at Ocean Winds Golf Course! Designed by Willard Byrd, this 6,802-yard, par 72 course takes you to the Atlantic Ocean. The course was recently renovated and officially reopened in early October of 2020.
Here, bustling breezes and narrow fairways provide a challenging test of ability, as the tricky seaside layout requires a deal of shot planning. Wind and water give even the most experienced golfers plenty of opportunities for trouble throughout the duration of the course. However, the front and back nines play completely differently. While the front nine is more straightforward, the back nine is known to give players a more unpredictable and scenic island ride.
Needless to say, this course is perfect for those who want a “beach experience.” Throughout the duration of the course, golfers can take in stunning views of the 2,000-acre barrier island. This course is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your toes, and the natural beauty will bring you back time and time again.
Osprey Point Golf Course originally began as a members-only golf course on the island. Since then, however, it has evolved into a championship-level course with a world-class layout. It was renovated in 2014 under the direction of course architect Tom Fazio and is among one of the top courses in the Lowcountry.
Players enjoy generous fairways and greens, along with natural lagoons that play down the left side of many of the holes. The modest opening hole usually plays into the wind. Additionally, the generous fairway is tree-lined all the way down the right side. Each hole on the golf course is unique and notable, including four challenging par 3s, four distinctive par 5s, and then outstanding par 4s, which span in length from 340 to 461 yards.
Today, Osprey Point is appreciated for its playability and natural beauty, and it regularly earns praise for its excellent conditions and refined clubhouse with state-of-the-art amenities. After your game, consider stopping by the immaculate clubhouse, which has received the nickname Osprey Point’s 19th hole. The clubhouse features the relaxed Cherrywood BBQ & Ale House. Enjoy your dinner or drinks on the spacious veranda, which is perfect for spotting some of the course’s acclaimed alligators.
Dunes West Golf & River Club
Situated along Wagner Creek and the Wando River, Dunes West Golf & River Club is another excellent Lowcountry golf course. The site that Dune West now sits on is known for its long, rich history. The land was originally purchased in 1696 by Captain John Vanderhorst and passed through a handful of owners over the next couple of centuries until the golf course was eventually developed in the early 1990s.
Today, it is considered one of the Southeast’s premier golf destinations. Designed by Arthur Hills, this course is known for its player-friendly yet challenging course and picturesque setting. The course meanders lazily alongside the banks of Wagner Creek and is dotted with idyllic live oaks and marshes. The 18-hole Championship course has repeatedly been acknowledged as a world-class golf experience and attracts a number of top-tier players.
The perfectly manicured course is complemented by an expansive 6000-square foot clubhouse. The clubhouse offers full-service dining overlooking scenic views of Wagner Creek. Guests can also access a diverse array of activities and amenities, including swimming and tennis.
Cougar Point Golf Course
Cougar Point Golf Course opened in late 2017 following a thorough 10-month renovation under the direction of talented architect Gary Player. Since its renovation, the course has become one of the most popular of the quartet of Kiawah tracks and receives significant repeat play from year-to-year guests.
Whether it’s your first time on the course or you’ve never stepped foot on its greens, this revamped course is a must-play at the resort. The course expertly weaves in and out of Kiawah’s scenic marshes, offering glimpses of the ample exotic birdlife as well as the occasional gator. The highlight is a stretch of holes — four to six — that rest beside the Kiawah River. The peaceful marsh vistas are regarded as some of the best on the Island, making it a popular option for resort guests and attracting frequent visitors. The course is signified by its creative placement of multiple tee boxes on each hole, which creates a fun and challenging round for golfers of each and every level.
With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that this course has won over Kiawah Island golf players with its inspiring marsh vistas and premier playability.
Harbor Course at Wild Dunes
Designed by esteemed designer Tom Fazio, the Harbor Course is popular for its challenging design and sweeping views, particularly the water. Half of the course runs along the world-famous Intracoastal Waterway. In fact, it is said to be set in some of the prettiest real estate in South Carolina. From lagoons and salt marshes to the Intracoastal Waterway, this golf course challenges players in the best possible way.
If you are looking for a golf getaway, be sure to look into the fantastic golf packages offered through Wild Dunes Resort. If you’d just like to come by for a day or two and take advantage of the award-winning golf course, you can book a tee time online.
Oak Point Golf Course
The proud recipient of the 219 Charleston Golf Course Owners Association Course of the Year, Oak Point Golf Course is a premier course located in the Lowcountry. Originally designed by architect Clyde Johnston, this course delivers a top-notch playing surface and a thoughtful design.
Oak Point might be considered one of the easiest courses on Kiawah Island, but it demands that players contend with clever water hazards and visually daunting tee shots. A shoemaker's dream, this flight showcases undulating fairways and challenging greens on a perfectly maintained course. This course favors a thinking approach over raw power, requiring players to truly test the level of their skills.
The signature hole on the Oak Point Golf Course is the par-four 18th. Playing at a bit over 400 yards from the tournament tees, this difficult hole offers sweeping vistas of the Haulover Creek and the Kiawah River. The hazard strategically runs along the entire right side of the hole, which requires that players position themselves from the left portion of the fairway and play from a small green that is protected by bunkers and marsh.
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