Long ago, Scottish polo players longed for a game in which they could explore scenic terrain, ride obedient mechanical horses, and wear more courageously plaid knickers. Marvel in their subsequent invention with today's Groupon: for $95, you get an 18-hole weekend round of golf for two—including cart and range access—at Mount Vintage Plantation & Golf Club in North Augusta (a $190 value).
With nearly 5,000 acres of forest, lakes, and amenities, Mount Vintage Plantation scenically backdrops all 27 holes of its championship course. Designed by Tom Jackson, the course's Edenic landscape of stacked-stone bridges and bent-grass greens is cunningly booby-trapped with water hazards, bunkers, tank traps, and fairways that are actually just painted onto walls of solid rock. Each hole accommodates different skill levels with five sets of tees. Reward Dad for finally proving that he could beat up your friend's dad with a day of driving dimpled spheres down wide, grassy corridors betwixt dense tree lines, interspersed with carefree jaunts in a cart and a warm-up session at the Mount Vintage Plantation driving range.
Mount Vintage Plantation Golf Club
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.