A cannon sits on the top of a grassy mound, greeting golfers as they pass through the fairway. Though it has long been dormant, the cannon seems primed for ambush, nestled under the cover of live oak trees. The artillery is just one way The Links at Stono Ferry's golf course showcases its storied history; the acclaimed, 18-hole course once served as the riverside setting for the Battle of Stono Ferry during the Revolutionary War, an outpost for Confederate artillery during the Civil War, and a modern-day battleground for war-mongering sprinklers.
Running along a track of ancient oak trees and intracoastal waters, the course challenges golfers with a 6,814-yard layout designed by Ron Garl. The front nine meanders through Lowcountry pines and sprawling wasteland, while the back nine lets lonely golf carts hug the coast as they progress towards slick, Bermuda grass putting greens. The par-three 18th hole brings rounds to a dramatic conclusion, as golfers must fight through a sea of Redcoats in order land tee shots on a true island green.
Named after the military fortifications that once protected the Carolina coast's precious stores of 9-volts, the Charleston Battery attempts to bring Europe's practiced and precise brand of soccer across the Atlantic, their cleats sharpened by regular exhibitions with teams from the English Premier League. The team has snagged four USL-Pro league titles, performing amid a human mosaic of yellow and black at Blackbaud Stadium, which channels the vibes of British football stadiums with clear sight lines and an English pub, The Three Lions.
Named the South Carolina Golf Course of the Year by the South Carolina Golf Course Owners Association in 2010, Legend Oaks' 18-hole course winds through 7,011 yards of pristine Lowcountry terrain. As guests approach the club, an avenue lined by 300-year-old oak trees gives way to the emerald roof and wraparound porch of the plantation-style clubhouse, a site that recalls centuries of rustic Southern gentility. Wetlands, oaks, and fragrant pines buttress every hole across the club's picturesque par 72, ensnaring wayward golf balls. The par 4 14th hole exemplifies how course designer Scott Pool incorporated natural features into a treacherous but breathtaking layout, positioning water hazards directly in front of the tee box, a grove of pines on the right side of the fairway, and a green fortified by bunkers and picketing mashie niblicks from a bygone era. Golf carts with built-in GPS devices help clubbers traverse the emerald labyrinth, computing yardages from players' lies to the target pin, detailing nearby obstacles, and tracking every untrustworthy pelican within a five-mile radius.
Steps from the golf course, four hard-surface tennis courts and a swimming pool with a shaded gazebo round out the club's outdoor amenities. Guests can also make their way to the clubhouse for a splendid dining experience at Bistro One 18, where a diverse menu features everything from hot dogs to chicken marsala to sautéed driving-range balls.
Course at a Glance: * Designed by Scott Pool * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 7,011 yards from farthest tees * Course rating of 73.5 from farthest tees * Slope rating of 132 from farthest tees * Five tee options * See the scorecard
Since 1982, Perry Green has been putting his PGA membership to good use, hosting private and group golf lessons, camps, and clinics for all ages. His innate golfing expertise, which netted him the 2005 Illinois PGA Senior Masters Championship, is bolstered by a video-analysis system that allows him to examine every aspect of his students' form and point out faults in the arc of their swing or the creases in their chinos.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers aged 4 months to 12 years with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents Magazine.
With the long walks and low density of vending machines per square mile, golf courses tend to leave players hungry. Luckily, at The Golf Club at Wescott Plantation, The Wescott Bar & Grill awaits visitors in the clubhouse. The bar and grill prepares upscale American and Italian food, with dinner entrees such as red wine-braised short ribs served over parsnip puree and roasted root vegetables and twin Charleston crab cakes accompanied by creamed corn and a lemon tomato arugula salad. Those entrees might pair with imported or domestic wine, including an Italian moscato and a pinot grigio from California. The Wescott Bar & Grill also cooks up omelets and other breakfast specialties, as well as a full lunch menu packed with more sandwiches than Yogi Bear's vault.