Designed by 1997 PGA Championship—winner Davis Love III, The Patriot Golf Course spans 7,045 yards of lush, rolling terrain flanked by the docile waters of Lake Greenwood. Rounds begin and end at the faux–brick ruins that surround the first tee and 18th green, which replicate a Revolutionary War fort—a tribute to the fact that the war's first land battle was waged nearby and a solemn reminder to modern golfers never to submit to the tyranny of chronic slices and snap-hooks.
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:
As one of the state’s largest public-practice outfits, The Eagle Zone Golf Center’s 22-acre campus houses all the amenities of a comprehensive golf-training facility. The all-access day pass gives both novices and seasoned pros ample opportunity to improve every facet of their game alongside a friendly staff of experts. Unlimited range balls allow slaphappy drivers a chance to blow off some steam on the driving range, while the short-game area and putting green hone precision, dexterity, and golf-clap etiquette. Eagle Zone’s heated and covered tees afford winter-weather practice, meaning that come spring, you’ll be able to unleash a barrage of bogeys, birdies, and eagles so potent, your caddy’s hair will turn tartan.
At Champions Golf & Learning Center, players set up their clubs at one of the driving range’s 30 hitting stations before pummeling range balls toward the bermuda-grass landing area. The driving range extends for more than 350 yards and features 16 target areas interspersed at varying distances, creating an ideal training ground for golfers who want to prepare for upcoming rounds or duels with the unruly neighbors on the next block.
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.
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: