The Patriot Golf Course, which was designed by 1997 PGA Championship winner Davis Love III, unfurls with thousands of yards of lush, rolling terrain flanked by the docile waters of Lake Greenwood. Rounds begin and end at the faux brick ruins surrounding the first tee and 18th green that replicate a Revolutionary War–style fort—a tribute to the fact that the war's first land battle was waged nearby in a field peppered with golf balls and caddies. Rough-edged bunkers, an arboreal cocktail of pines and mature hardwood trees, and Lake Greenwood place a high premium on precise drives and well-struck long-irons, and boldly contoured greens demand pinpoint approaches. Servile carts help divoteers retrieve wayward golf balls and nimbly navigate this usually private golfer sanctuary, which features numerous lakeside panoramas that, unlike your scorecard, will produce a good picture regardless of how you play.
In 1922, a small but devoted group of Newberry community members pooled their time and resources to create a space to enjoy golf, tennis, swimming, and the company of friends. From their efforts emerged the nascent Country Club of Newberry, originally comprised of a nine-hole golf course with sand greens and an outdoor pool that, true to the times, was no more than a pond fed by more than 75 springs and a steady flow of ragtime music. The pond still rests behind the sprawling, ivory clubhouse that anchors the Country Club today, a scenic testament to the humble beginnings of a club that now encompasses an 18-hole, championship golf course, two lighted tennis courts, and a junior Olympic-sized outdoor pool.
Streams and ponds snake throughout the golf course, threatening the life force of errant orbs on nine different holes. With a length of 6,530 yards from the tips, the moderately difficult layout offers four color-designated tees to cater to players of all abilities and those with an unwavering allegiance to the color gold.
Course at a Glance:
At Highland Walk Golf Course, Bermuda grass fairways and greens arch over 6,407 yards of steep hills studded by tall Georgia pines for a challenging 18-hole layout. Throughout the round, the course’s dramatically undulating terrain gives way to sweeping views of the countryside as well as numerous blind shots, giving an advantage to players whose golf bags double as periscopes. Georgian course architect Denis Griffith’s creative use of the terrain is on full display at the signature 17th hole, where golfers drive the ball from terraced tee boxes and over the shadowy, intimidating depths of a ravine. Though the elevation changes place precise shot making at a premium, the course features relatively open fairways and greens, providing ample landing areas for aggressive drives and caddies airlifted in for emergency putt-reading services.
Course at a Glance:
Nestled several miles north of Augusta National Golf Club, the 27-hole course complex at Mount Vintage Plantation Golf Club resembles golf’s most hallowed grounds in ways that extend beyond geographical proximity. Designed by Tom Jackson, the course rolls through curtains of carolina pines, speckling nearly 2,000 acres with white-sand bunkers and scenic water features that test the accuracy of every swing.
The two original nines, the Chester and the Vintage, shine with visually stunning vistas and elevation changes—on the Vintage course alone, 8 holes boast a rise or fall of 30 feet or more. Opened in 2008—eight years after its forebears—the Independent course puts water in play on all but 1 hole, testing golfers’ abilities to manage high-pressure shots or skip balls close to pins.
As golfers stand over teed-up golf balls, staring down the fairway of Indian Trail Golf Course’s 370-yard 14th hole—the course signature—they may be perplexed by its ranking as the round’s most difficult hole. Though the scorecard reads “short par 4,” the hole packs a good deal of hardship into its diminutive stature. Golfers must aim for the top of the fairway hill off the tee, while steering clear of the boulder on the right side and the large pond just beyond. Players are forgiven for going the conservative route with a long iron off the tee, as opposed to risking the driver or a retrofitted t-shirt cannon. If they leave themselves a decent lie on the approach, a two-tiered green awaits just over the water, making three-putts an all-too-common occurrence.
While not every hole features boulders, uphill fairways, and the ever-present threat of boogeyman attacks, the course is characterized by the ubiquitous threat of hazards. In all, nine ponds and more than 40 bunkers haunt players along the 6,272 yards of Bermuda-covered terrain, lending an air of hostility to the otherwise pristine surroundings.
Course at a Glance:
Willow Creek's 6,890-yard course is woven into a landscape of shimmering water features and lush groves to create a placid, yet challenging, course. Send orbs soaring over meticulously maintained bermudagrass fairways and land them atop subtle, rolling Crenshaw bentgrass greens. Aboard the included cart, players can zip from tee to green, avoiding exhaustion and sentient windmills while saving energy between flurries of orb whacking and divot flinging. After a round spent navigating Willow Creek's bunkers and trees, take repose at the course's grill, or seek out expert advice and new equipment in the fully stocked pro shop.
Southern Oaks’ 18-hole golf course is designed to incorporate the tree-lined countryside with 6,495 yards of bermuda-grass fairways and greens. A large, wishbone-shaped lake occupies the south end of the course, its surface forming a glassy resting place for errant golf balls and a natural mirror for self-absorbed golf carts. More than 650 trees line the fairways, further compounding the need for accurate shots. Golfers can warm up for rounds at the onsite driving range and practice green.
From its hilltop perch, Southern Oaks' clubhouse beckons golfers for a postround dinner of savory grill cuisine, an ideal way to replenish muscles after a long day of swinging for distant greens or setting personal long-jump records in sand traps.
Course at a Glance: