Expert Tips


Best Golf Courses in Charleston

Idyllic Weather, Panoramic Views: A Golfer's Paradise in Charleston

Each year, thousands of visitors flock to Charleston to practice their golf game on some of the world's most popular courses in one of the country's most celebrated golfing regions. It's no surprise golfers of all ages and levels enjoy playing a round or two in the Charleston, South Carolina area; the lowcountry enjoys a warmer-than-average climate year-round that extends the outdoor golf season by a few extra months when compared with other popular golf regions such as the Northeast. The most challenging part of your golf game in Charleston may be the strong ocean breezes, or it just may be the difficulty of choosing among so many world and nationally-ranked courses!

So how did 10Best narrow down our list of top Charleston area golf courses? All of our featured golf courses were selected for their proximity to Charleston, such as Charleston Country Club, the prestige of the course, as seen with the famous Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort and the secluded Yeaman's Hall, as well as beautiful scenery on-course, evidenced by Wild Dune's seaside Links Course and the stunning Daniel Island Club's Beresford Creek. Don't worry - not all of Charleston's golf courses are private clubs! We've included some more affordable and approachable public courses as well, like The Links at Stono Ferry in Hollywood or the Patriot's Point Links just across the Ravenel Bridge in Mount Pleasant. Wherever you choose to play a round, you'll enjoy top-notch hospitality and unbeatable coastal views.


The Patriot's Point Links Course offers perhaps the best views of the Charleston Harbor, Shem Creek and the Ravenel Bridge, all from the vantage point of a beautiful golf course! Combine a round of golf at the links with one of many other historic Mount Pleasant plantations or sightseeing destinations for a fun-filled afternoon. Situated on the Mount Pleasant side of the Charleston Harbor, just a ten-minute drive from downtown, the William Byrd-designed Patriot's Point Links is a more affordable and approachable course when compared to many other Charleston area courses. This public course is nearly unparallelled in terms of the views of downtown Charleston, Shem Creek, and the Ravenel Bridge from the green. As the course is a waterfront one, ocean winds greatly factor into play, especially in the final four holes. The Patriot's Point Links are perhaps most famous for the breathtaking views afforded from its 17th hole.

Recommended for Golf Courses because: Patriot's Point is very accessible from downtown, and is an ideal choice for those looking for an affordable public course that still provides beautiful views.

Clare's expert tip: Located within the same designated space as the USS Yorktown battleship, a round at the Patriot's Point Links is easily combined for a highly enjoyable scenic day in the lowcountry.

Read more about Patriot's Point Links →

Located just over 20 minutes' drive from peninsular Charleston, the Beresford Creek course at Daniel Island Club is a more than ideal way to spend a morning or afternoon in the lowcountry. Considered more polished and challenging than its sister course, Ralston Creek, the par-72 Beresford Creek course affords its players incredible views of the surrounding marsh, coastal flora, and Daniel Island's unspoilt landscape. The Daniel Island Club is the country's only private club featuring courses designed by both Tom Fazio and Rees Jones within the same property, and offers several dining options, a top-notch tennis facility, and pool, as well as a pro shop and golf instruction and lessons. The Daniel Island Club also offers a Junior Caddy Program and Kids Camp for kids up to age 13.

Recommended for Golf Courses because: The Tom Fazio-designed Beresford Creek Course is sure to challenge and entertain all levels of golfers, local or visiting.

Clare's expert tip: Visit beautiful Daniel Island to experience the Beresford Creek golf course at the Daniel Island Club, a private country club that also boasts tennis courts, several dining options, as well as another sister course, Ralston Creek.

Read more about Beresford Creek at Daniel Island Club →

This Wild Dunes par-70 course is designed to take your breath away with its rolling, relaxing green space and panoramic intercoastal waterway views. The Harbor Course at Wild Dunes has oft been referred to as the "Marsh Monster" due to the fact that the course's challenging environment is spread across narrow fairway corridors bordered on both sides by water. Strong ocean breezes also come into play throughout each hole, but the idyllic course layout and landscaping will soothe your golf game frustrations. Brush up on your skills at the nearby practice facilities, including a chipping area, putting green, and driving range.

Recommended for Golf Courses because: The Harbor Course at Wild Dunes does not disappoint any golfer looking to play a challenging round of golf amongst palmetto trees and lowcountry wetlands.

Clare's expert tip: Visit the Wild Dunes website to book your tee time online or click through a virtual tour of the Harbor Course!

Read more about The Harbor Course at Wild Dunes →

Country Club of Charleston
Photo courtesy of Country Club of Charleston

Founded in 1900, the historic Country Club of Charleston has been deemed one of the first established in the United States. The Country Club of Charleston is located just over 10 minutes from downtown Charleston, and is situated east of the Ashley River along the tidal marshlands of James Island, but this was not always the case. Over its storied history, the club has seen several physical areas as home to their courses before finally settling into its current location at the McLeod Plantation along the Ashley River. Soon afterwards, Seth Raynor, a well-known golf course architect who also designed Yeaman's Hall Club, was hired to build this course. Since then, the CCC hosted the 2013 U.S. Women's Amateur Championships, speaking volumes for the quality of the course. Open only to CCC members and their guests, this exclusive private course is a fair test of difficulty for all golfers.

Recommended for Golf Courses because: The Country Club of Charleston was founded in 1900, and is said to be one of the first country clubs in the region!

Clare's expert tip: The Country Club of Charleston is a prestigious and historic private club, and only members and their guests can play on their course.

Read more about Country Club of Charleston →

Greater Charleston
The Links at Stono Ferry
Photo courtesy of The Links at Stono Ferry

This public course, set along the Stono River intercoastal waterway and marshlands, was named for a Revolutionary War battle, and is located just a half hour's drive from downtown Charleston in Hollywood, South Carolina. The Links at Stono Ferry offers club membership, called "The Brigade," at no charge for local residents and just $99 annually for non-locals. Popular with both visitors and residents, The Links at Stono Ferry offer a tranquil, beautiful escape from the city buzz of Charleston, with tall pines and ancient live oaks dotting the scenic property. For golfers keen to improve their game, The Links at Stono Ferry boasts a golf instruction center as well as individual one-hour and nine-hole lessons for both juniors and adults.

Recommended for Golf Courses because: The Links at Stono Ferry is a public club that's both affordable and approachable for golfers of all levels, not to mention its storied history!

Clare's expert tip: Daily golf rates change from season to season and at times, from month to month at The Links at Stono Ferry. Check their website for prices!

Read more about The Links at Stono Ferry →

Turtle Point Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort
Photo courtesy of Kiawah Island Golf Resort

At home at the prestigious Kiawah Island Golf Resort just a half hour's drive from downtown Charleston, the Turtle Point Course is a beautiful seaside course sure to entertain and challenge any golfer. This par-72 course was designed by Jack Nicklaus in his own classic style, and has hosted the 1990 PGA Cup Matches, the Carolinas' PGA, the Carolinas' Amateur, and the South Carolina Amateur tournaments. All of the courses on Kiawah Island guarantee influential wind variability, though Turtle Point does provide some tree shelter across the course, and is more protected than its neighboring Ocean Course, though winds do still play heavily into Turtle Point golfer strategy. Expect tricky water features and smaller greens on this course, which is one of the longest on the island.

Recommended for Golf Courses because: A quieter, calmer sister course to The Ocean Course, Turtle Point offers a tad less wind but very nearly as challenging a round of golf.

Clare's expert tip: Turtle Point is often considered one of the most challenging courses on the island due to its traditional Jack Nicklaus design.

Read more about Turtle Point Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort →

The very first of Tom Fazio's golf course designs, The Links Course at Wild Dunes Resort on Isle of Palms is a favorite local destination among both out of town and visiting golfers. Like its neighboring Harbor Course, The Links are popular for their scenic seaside setting and their challenging ocean breezes. The Links Course is always a beautiful afternoon well spent at the resort, no matter how the actual golf rounds went, and the resort property itself has much more than just golf to offer, including tennis courts and several pools. Golfers and their families can also polish their game at the resort practice facilities, including a driving range putting green, located just across the street from The Links Clubhouse.

Recommended for Golf Courses because: The Links Course at Wild Dunes is ideal for the adventurous golfer who's up for a windy, winding oceanside course challenge!

Clare's expert tip: The Links Course at Wild Dunes is one of the most popular in South Carolina! Book your tee times early online on the Wild Dunes website.

Read more about The Links Course at Wild Dunes →

Greater Charleston

The historic Yeaman's Hall Club is located just 20 minutes from downtown Charleston in Hanahan, but feels a million miles away due to its secluded and peaceful setting. The entrance to Yeaman's Hall itself is easy to miss and largely unmarked, and the entire grounds are naturally framed with ancient live oaks and marsh grasses. In warm and sunny weather, an experience at Yeaman's Hall may feel like you've been transported back in time to another era; the level of personal hospitality and the pristine and quiet nature of the property give the course a classic personality. This private course, designed in 1925 by the famous Seth Raynor, holds just 250 members, and is jointly owned by 35 proprietary members. True to the designer's style, the Yeaman's Hall course is marked by its large greens and wide fairways.

Recommended for Golf Courses because: Yeaman's Hall Club makes it high onto our list as a representative of great golf in Charleston: pristine greens, top-notch service, and one-of-a-kind natural scenery.

Clare's expert tip: The entrance to Yeaman's Hall Club is easy to miss. Look for a small, guarded brick and white picket-fenced front gate.

Read more about Yeaman's Hall Club →

The famous Cassique Course is at home at the breathtaking Kiawah Island Club on Kiawah Island, just a 35-minute drive from downtown Charleston. Open only to those with a Kiawah Island Club private membership that's exclusive to Kiawah Island property owners and their accompanied or sponsored guests, the Cassique course boasts its own impressive clubhouse with views of the course and surrounding lowcountry landscape. This course was named for a Kiawah Island Indian chief, and follows the Kiawah River as it winds through the island and out to the Atlantic Ocean. Opened in 2000, the par-72 Cassique Course was designed by Tom Watson, and is challenging due to little protection from ocean breezes.

Recommended for Golf Courses because: This private Kiawah course is both challenging and breathtaking due to its location on one of South Carolina's beautiful sea islands.

Clare's expert tip: The Cassique Course at Kiawah Island Club is open only to KIC members and their accompanied or sponsored guests.

Read more about Kiawah Island Club Cassique Course →

The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort
Photo courtesy of Kiawah Island Golf Resort

The par-72 Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort is perhaps the most famous of all Charleston area golf courses, due to its picturesque seaside setting as well as its hosting of the 2007 Senior PG Championships as well as the 2012 PGA Championships. In fact, The Ocean Course has more seaside holes than any other course in North America! Golf enthusiasts from all over the world come to Kiawah Island to visit The Ocean Course, and take on the consistently challenging ocean breezes that are enhanced by the course's elevated position above the beach dunes. Designed in 1991 by Pete Dye, The Ocean Course affords golfers panoramic views of the greens, ocean and skyline from each hole - a truly striking and memorable experience for any golfer.

Recommended for Golf Courses because: For a golfer, The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort is a dream come true in terms of scenery, challenging holes and prestige.

Clare's expert tip: Note that The Ocean Course is a walking-only course and facility until noon each day.

Read more about The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort →


Meet Clare Sweeney

A South Carolina native and avid locavore, Clare is always venturing between traveling abroad and her beloved Lowcountry. 

Clare works and plays in downtown Charleston, spending her days...  More About Clare