Buckle up, people, and welcome to the third installment of America’s Greatest Golf Highway Journeys, a six-part GOLF.com collection during which our well-traveled writers will information you thru a number of the most thrilling itineraries for golfers with a nostril for the open street. Half I lined the Lake Michigan Loop, whereas Half II took you thru the Appalachian Mountains Trail. Every journey will likely be constructed round golf however we’ll additionally sprinkle in just a few different sights and stops alongside the way in which. Subsequent up: a leisurely trek by way of the Carolina Lowcountry. Bon voyage!
A street journey by way of the Carolina Lowcountry and its quilt work of loblolly pines, noticed palmettos and marsh grasses is a feast for the senses — and the drive time is simply as laidback because the countryside, with no leg of the journey exceeding two-and-a-half hours of on-the-road time.
This explicit loop begins on the Raleigh-Durham airport. Your first vacation spot is Pinehurst, the house of American golf. You’ll then head south to Myrtle Seaside, earlier than persevering with alongside the coast to Kiawah and Harbour City. You’ll benefit from the historical past and fantastic thing about the Atlantic shoreline and the antebellum South — in addition to a handful of Top 100 courses and resorts alongside the way in which. So put the pedal to the metallic — y’all have an epic journey in retailer.
Begin level: Raleigh-Durham Worldwide Airport
Finish level: Harbour City Golf Hyperlinks, Hilton Head, South Carolina
Day 1: Pinehurst No. 2 (North Carolina)
Your journey begins with a bang — a go to to not solely probably the most historic programs within the nation, but additionally the onsite resort, ranked No. 2 on GOLF’s current checklist of the best buddy-trip resorts in North America. You’ll be completely satisfied to have a decadent place to relaxation your head for the night time, as a result of Pinehurst No. 2 presents a stern check. The host of six U.S. Opens (and future “anchor web site” of our nationwide championship starting in 2024, when the U.S. Open will retun each six years), Pinehurst is every thing you could possibly ask for in a golf expertise.
The most effective half? It’s simply an hour-and-fifteen-minute drive from the airport, so you could possibly simply play a day spherical on No. 2 or any of the resort’s different eight (sure, eight) tracks. No matter the place you determine to tee it up, be certain to carve out a while for a fast spin round Thistle Dhu, Pinehurst’s 18-hole placing course, and cap the expertise with a pint on the Ryder Cup Lounge within the Carolina Lodge, which is drenched in historical past from the biennial occasion staged at Pinehurst in 1951.
Day 2 and three: Myrtle Seaside (South Carolina)
Two-and-a-half hours south of Pinehurst and also you’re in Golf Mecca, also referred to as Myrtle Seaside. With over 80 programs to select from, you could possibly spend years visiting and fail to play all of them. Our recommendation? Knock off a number of of the best in a single cease. Barefoot Resort, one other GOLF High 100 Resort in North America, is a good selection, and residential to 4 programs designed by names you simply may acknowledge: Greg Norman, Davis Love, Pete Dye and Tom Fazio.
Two different multi-course places which can be effectively price your time are Legends Golf Resort, house to 5 championship programs in addition to on-site lodging, and Mystical Resort, which boasts three programs, all of which characteristic newly rebuilt bunkers after a current $750,000 renovation. Regardless of the place you play, make room in your itinerary for a cease at Soiled Don’s Oyster Bar and Grill. It has a tropical, divey vibe that befits its identify, however, oh my, the oysters are out of this world.
Day 4: Caledonia Golf & Fish Membership (South Carolina)
Your subsequent cease is a half-hour drive south of Myrtle Seaside into Pawley’s Island, S.C. The Caledonia Golf & Fish Membership is a stunner: quiet and gorgeously manicured with only a contact of quirk. The expertise begins with a protracted driveway entry by way of an arcade of large oaks, dripping with Spanish moss, an imposing hall that evokes an exhilarating tingle of anticipation. It’s the Lowcountry’s Magnolia-Lane feels. Phrase to the sensible: Earlier than you hit the primary tee, sit down in one of many rockers on the wraparound clubhouse porch and also you’ll really feel transported to a different time.
The late, nice Mike Strantz designed Caledonia as his first solo challenge in 1994, and ever since, the course has gained a cult following of appreciative gamers. The routing meanders by way of towering oaks and serene streams, and there may be nary a house to be discovered on any of its 18 holes, additional enhancing its uniquely unencumbered ambiance.
Day 5: Kiawah Island (South Carolina)
Hop again within the automobile for a simple two-hour trip south to Kiawah Island, house to yet one more High 100 resort, Kiawah Island Golf Resort, and 5 programs, together with the well-known Ocean Course. You may’t go improper with any of the Kiawah programs, however because you’ve come all this fashion, it will be prison to overlook out on Pete Dye’s iconic Ocean Course, that includes 10 eye-popping holes alongside the Atlantic and as much as eight golf equipment in wind variance, relying on the day.
Water is in play on practically each gap, making the course each visually beautiful and, in typical Pete-Dye vogue, ultra-treacherous. One of many few programs to host each the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup, the Ocean Course will likely be again within the highlight in Could for its second major-championship go-around, the 2021 PGA.
Be aware: If in case you have some pull, do your self a favor and plan a lunch on the non-public Kiawah Island Membership the place you’ll be able to indulge within the house-specialty Shem Creek Shrimp Rolls. You gained’t be upset!
Day 6: Harbour City (South Carolina)
The ultimate leg of your journey is a two-and-a-half hour shot south to Hilton Head Island, house of Sea Pines Resort (one other High 100 gem), and three improbable programs, together with Harbour City Golf Hyperlinks, host of the PGA Tour’s annual RBC Heritage.
There’s no beating the spectacular setting: 5,000 acres of oceanfront magnificence, with the illustrious red-and-white striped lighthouse framing the well-known ending gap. Harbour City is a deal with, and there’s no higher place to relaxation and recuperate out of your lengthy week on the street.
As your day winds down, deal with your self to a killer sundown view at Sea Pines’ Fraser’s Tavern. Situated within the shadow of the lighthouse, this amiable outpost gives excellent waterside eating, and the most effective shrimp and grits round. Sit again, chill out, and benefit from the view.