Best golf resorts in South Carolina
From Kiawah Island and Hilton Head to the ‘Golf Capital of the World’, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is dotted with first-class golf destinations and resorts that are waiting to be explored.
South Carolina is known for its beautiful weather, southern hospitality, great food, and world-class golf! With a host of resorts nestled in the coastal towns and cities of the state, South Carolina offers visitors numerous stay-&-play options.
From bustling Myrtle Beach to historic Charleston and quaint Hilton Head Island, the Palmetto State offers a vibe and atmosphere unique to the destination. Below are seven of the very best golf resorts in South Carolina, perfect for your next golf and lodging trip.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort is the ultimate golf destination, guests can choose to stay in spacious villas and larger private homes or opt for the luxurious five-star Sanctuary Hotel. With access to pools, rental bikes, restaurants and more, there is so much to do when not on the course. The resort is less than an hour south of Charleston, meaning a day trip to this historic city is not out of the question.
On-site are five spectacular courses, including Pete Dye’s Ocean Course which is the most famous and a must-play for all who visit. It has hosted notable tournaments including the 1991 Ryder Cup, the 2012 PGA Championship which saw Rory McIlroy win by 8 shots, and Phil Mickelson’s remarkable 2021 PGA Championship victory where he became the oldest player to win a major. Complemented by Osprey Point, Turtle Point, Cougar Point and Oak Point, Kiawah Island offers some of the best golf in the state.
Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is situated against the Atlantic Ocean, offering miles of white sand beach and an array of activities, both on land and water. From biking to kayaking, tennis to fishing, and so much more, the resort offers something for everyone. Accommodations range from one-bedroom villas to larger private home rentals, sure to fit any size of golf group.
There are three courses on-site, meaning the first tee is never too far from your door. The Robert Trent Jones Course, which is considered the premier layout, sits adjacent to the ocean and the breezes coming off the coast will come into play every round. Also on-site is the Arthur Hills Course, which puts a premium on accuracy over distance. Beware of the twisting lagoons that feature on ten holes and be sure to enjoy the panoramic views and vistas. The George Fazio Course is the last on-site, it is the only par-70 public course on the island and boasts its own challenging layout.
With a Scottish-inspired clubhouse, five championship courses to choose from, and offering up to three bedroom condos, Legends Golf Resort is one of the most popular in South Carolina. The Turnberry Village is a great place to relax and unwind, while the Ailsa Pub is a favourite spot for something to eat and drink after a round.
There are five courses under the Legends’ name, with the Heathland, Moorland and Parkland on-site at the resort, while Oyster Bay is situated to the north of Myrtle Beach in North Carolina (it sounds further than it is!) and The Heritage Club is located to the south in Pawley’s Island.
The Moorland is considered the toughest test, it features troubling bunkers and undulating terrain which dominates the layout. The Heathland, designed by Tom Doak, plays similarly to a links set-up and is very different from Doak’s second course at Legends, the Parkland. Meanwhile, The Heritage Club has been ranked among the “50 Best Public Courses in America” by Golf Digest. Oyster Bay measures 6,700 yards from the tips and putting on the tricky contoured greens can make or break a round. Be sure to try to play all five courses during your stay!
The first resort on Hilton Head Island, and one many consider to still be the best. Sea Pines Resort encompasses nearly one-third of the island and with its size, the resort offers a myriad of activities. There are several dining options, ranging from casual American to oceanfront experiences, a spa, shops, tennis courts, bike rentals, watersports, and so much more. For accommodations, guests can choose to stay in private homes and villas or The Inn & Club at Harbour Town, a five-star boutique luxury hotel.
There are three public courses on-site at the resort, including the world-renowned Harbour Town Golf Links. Synonymous with Hilton Head Island, it has been an annual stop on the PGA TOUR since 1969. The course was designed by Pete Dye, with some consultation from Jack Nicklaus, and features small greens, numerous water hazards and well-placed overhanging branches throughout. The 18th hole is iconic, with the famed red and white hooped Harbour Town lighthouse as the backdrop to the green.
The second course, Atlantic Dunes, was the first to be built on the island and is one of two in Hilton Head with greens nestled against the sands of the Atlantic Ocean. Heron Point is the last course at Sea Pines and was also designed by Pete Dye, with a risk-reward theme central to the challenging layout.
A favorite for those travelling to the Charleston area but wanting a beach getaway, Wild Dunes Resort is located on the beautiful Isle of Palms, just 30 minutes from downtown. The resort offers miles of private beach, two golf courses on-site, pools, tennis courts, bike rentals, and more. There are several lodging options to choose from, including private villas and homes, and hotel-style rooms at The Boardwalk Inn and The Sweetgrass Inn. Guests are sure to enjoy the relaxed coastal vibes at this resort!
The Links Course was Tom Fazio’s first design and remains one of his all-time favorites. While not overly long at 6,500 yards from the back tees, the narrow, rolling fairways, well-positioned bunkers and large waste areas certainly make up for the lack of length. The finishing three holes run towards and along the Atlantic Ocean, providing a dramatic finish with unforgettable views. The Harbor Course, Fazio’s second design on property, is similar in that it is not long, but narrow fairways place a premium on accuracy and ball-striking abilities. The course is links-style and holes 9 to 11 play along the Intracoastal Waterway, making for a unique setting.
Barefoot Resort is perfect for a pure golfing trip, with four courses designed by hall of fame players and architects. For lodging, guests can choose from a variety of two, three and four-bedroom villas with a range of bed configurations. The resort offers several pools, a tennis court, and is just a short drive from shops, restaurants and the beach!
With four courses designed by the likes of Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Greg Norman, and Davis Love III, golfers are treated to four unique styles in one destination. While none are necessarily regarded as 'better' than the others, the Fazio Course is known to be the most aesthetically pleasing, with water on 15 holes, extensive tree cover, and over 125 bunkers! The Dye Course is considered the most difficult and challenging, punishing errant shots and rewarding risk, a signature to Dye’s style.
The Love Course is a favorite among locals and is generous off the tee, with wide fairways and spacious landing areas. The Norman Course is known as being the most player-friendly with seven holes running along the Intracoastal Waterway. Collectively known as Myrtle Beach’s 'fantastic four', you can’t go wrong with any of them!
Situated on the northern end of the island and next to the beach, The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa is a luxurious and modern five-star hotel. There are a variety of rooms to choose from, ranging from traditional guestrooms to oceanfront suites, and there is so much to do and enjoy at the resort, including bike rentals, tennis, volleyball, spa treatments, and more.
Although technically not on-site at The Westin Hilton Head, there are two great golf clubs nearby. Less than a mile away, Port Royal Golf & Racquet Club is home to 36 holes of lowcountry golf. The original Barony Course, opened in 1963, is the epitome of target golf as the risk-reward approach shots will test your skills. Golfers will need to strategically plan all their shots, rather than trying to muscle their way through this layout. Robber’s Row, the second course, opened in 1967 and was remastered by Pete Dye in 1994. It features generous landing areas, but the true challenge comes from the heavily protected greens.
Meanwhile, Oyster Reef Golf Club is just over 5 miles away but is certainly worth the extra distance. This Rees Jones design was ranked as one of the Top 25 Courses in America when it opened in 1982. It boasts one of the most scenic holes in Hilton Head, the par-3 6th set against the backdrop of the Port Royal Sound. Golf at any of these 18-hole layouts is sure to please.
Sales Team Leader
Sales Team Leader, Heads our Charleston office sales team for golf vacations domestic and abroad. While continuing to advise clients on golf courses and accommodations