Golf Travel

The Carolinas Are Home To 1,000-plus Courses: We Pick Out Three Of The Very Best In This US Golfing Hotbed

Pinehurst Number 4

Although everyone rightly associates Augusta National with the state of Georgia, if it was a couple of miles further east or north, it would actually be in South Carolina. The two Carolinas therefore share a similar climate with hot, steamy summers and mild, golf-friendly winters. They are also home to a vast array of varied and interesting courses, old and new, with more than enough choice to suit all tastes and pockets. At the epicentre for the golf enthusiast is the amazing Myrtle Beach that straddles the state line and has more than 60 courses, many if not most of an extremely high quality. Names such Prestwick and Glen Dornoch (obviously not actually related to Royal Dornoch), pay homage to the sport’s heritage, and you could enjoy countless holidays here alone. Elsewhere, there are some big names that have hosted important championships. Some, such as Quail Hollow which is home to the Wells Fargo each May, are for members and their guests only. Happily most, including the three very famous clubs featured here, are open to all. Some, such as Tobacco Road in the heartlands of North Carolina, have gained legendary status as being for the connoisseur.

The two states are also home to some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the States. This is reflected in the endlessly varied and frequently breath-taking golf on offer. Many designs enjoy an oceanside setting where the wind will usually be a key factor, but some are up to 250 miles from the coast and blessed with a mountainous setting enjoying forest, lake and river. As you might expect, green fees vary enormously with some real bargains available at some of the less well-known courses. As for the featured resorts, then they tend to come with accommodation and all manner of packages that can vary substantially throughout the seasons.


Pinehurst Number 4 has recently received a Gil Hanse makeover

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

If you think St Andrews is a complete golfing destination, then take a long intoxicating look at Pinehurst in North Carolina which boasts not nine but ten fabulous, top quality courses. The newest installment opens this month, designed by Tom Doak, and this serves as the perfect hors d’oeuvres before Number 2 stages its fifth US Open in June. This tree-lined, bucket-list championship layout was designed by Donald Ross, while Number 4 has been redesigned several times, most recently by Gil Hanse.

  • No 2 – 6,307 yards, par 72
  • No 4 – 6,428 yards, par 72

Harbour Town

Harbour Town - Hole 18


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