Where to stay & play on a Charleston & Kiawah Island golf trip
One of the most historic and visited cities in the US, with world-renowned resorts and courses situated in and around the local area – the perfect location for your next golf trip.
One of the encouraging aspects of golfing in the Charleston area is just how generous some of the courses can be, which results in this area being welcoming to novice golfers.
The district is home to some of the greatest resorts in the country and generally, the activities away from the golf courses are suitable for families, buddies and couples – highlighting its versatility as a general vacation destination. For golfers looking to visit the iconic destination for themselves, check out the best stay & play golf trips in Charleston & Kiawah Island below.
For the obsessed golfers, there are seldom more consuming or immersive golfing trips than a visit to Kiawah Island. The Ocean Course is justifiably one of the greatest courses in America and having hosted the 2012 and 2021 PGA Championship, in addition to the 1991 Ryder Cup, you’ll be walking in the footsteps of some of golf’s most iconic figures. There’s a reason why it’s ranked the No. 1 course in South Carolina.
Away from the centerpiece lies four additional 18-hole courses, all worth experiencing if you’re staying on-site. There are also two courses at Kiawah Island Club and although they are private, they are both highly recommended if you can gain access to them. The Gibbons was designed by Tom Watson and Bob Gibbons, while the River Course is the culmination of Tom Fazio’s innovative vision.
RiverTowne Country Club is set in the beautiful surroundings of Mount Pleasant, easily accessible from Highway 41. Its Arnold Palmer Signature course has tree-lined fairways and plenty of water hazards, and it is the only layout designed by The King in the Charleston area.
The course offers exceptional year-round playing conditions which makes it perfect for winter golf, while being named Charleston Golf Course of the Year in 2015 and a previous host to the LPGA keeps RiverTowne Country Club at the forefront of golf within the state of South Carolina.
Making its way around the beautiful coastline of Charleston with nothing but the expansive ocean and stunning horizon as your backdrop, Wild Dunes Resort is a masterpiece. The two on-site golf courses, Links and Harbour, were designed by prolific course designer Tom Fazio and offer something very unique from one another.
The Links Course has the characteristics of its namesake and is very traditional to what a links course should be, with some holes just a stone’s throw away from the beach and water’s edge. The Harbor Course is surrounded by water which helps shape the natural curves and undulations of the fairways, placing real importance on accuracy in order to score well.
Also located in Mount Pleasant, north of the city of Charleston, is one of Charleston’s most scenic courses, Charleston National Golf Club. This Rees Jones design is the only one in the Charleston area and was originally built to be a private course a la Augusta National.
Charleston National is the definition of Low Country golf with its palm trees welcoming you at the clubhouse and the natural wetlands, lagoons, and pine and oak tree forests out on the course. The course plays a touch over 7,100 yards from the furthest tees and the final five holes of the course play along the wetlands that extend from the Copahee Sound.
Links at Stono Ferry
A short 30-minute drive from downtown Charleston towards Kiawah Island, sits the Links at Stono Ferry. The land that the golf course sits on has great historic meaning as it was once a Revolutionary War battlefield with many artifacts and historic markers scattered throughout the clubhouse and the course. The front 9 plays inland through neighborhoods and farmland with not a lot of water along the way. As you make the turn, you play back towards the Stono River which borders a third of the holes on the back 9.
Holes 13 and 14 have forces that carry over the river which will catch any shots hit off to the right. The course plays 6,720 yards from the tips and while it may not be a long course, strategic tee and approach shots will be key to scoring well during your round.
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