South Carolina’s Rich History with the Game of Golf

Did you know that our beautiful state of South Carolina has over 350 golf courses? Several are ranked as some of the best greens in all of the US! Today we’re taking a look at SC’s golf culture – from colonial times to the present, and dive deeper into some of the most memorable courses our great state has to offer. Let’s tee off!

South Carolina has a long association with the game of golf, dating back to the early 1700s.  We know that Charleston in particular would receive shipments of golf balls and clubs from Scotland as far back as 1743. Some reports have even indicated earlier supplies back as far as 1739. For a journey estimated to take 2-3 months, it shows the profound love of the game many early settlers had and the great lengths (and cost) many likely went to in order to bring their old-world pastime over here. Just imagine how many golf balls have been lost in these 278 years in the trans-Atlantic crossing!

In 1786, the South Carolina Golf Club was established as well what many consider to be America’s first golf course, located at Harleston Green in Charleston.  This club, formed by a group of Scottish merchants, was the first golf club in the country. 

Centuries later, South Carolina is a staple destination for many who love to play the game almost year-round. Kiawah Island’s The Ocean Course is consistently ranked in the Top 100 top US courses by and Golf Digest. It’s blend of dunes, marshes, and ocean breezes make this course a top destination for many in the SouthEast who are seeking a coastal game. Congaree in Ridgeland is also another year-after-year favorite.

Our local area is also filled with top-notch golf courses that hobbyists and professionals alike love. Many are located within luxury communities, others are private clubs, but three, in particular, make the Top 35 courses in SC list by Golf Digest and are within communities we know and love – Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards in Sunset, Cliffs at Mountain Park in Traveler’s Rest, and The Reserve at Lake Keowee also in Sunset.

The Reserve at Lake Keowee is one of the finest Keowee communities and its course doesn’t disappoint. A Jack Nicklaus signature course, it is the focal point of the community and it weaves throughout towards the lake offering breathtaking views for players. 

Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards features an 18-hole Tom Fazio-designed course that, like The Reserve, makes the most of its surroundings, expertly positioning each hole near natural beauty. The Cliffs at Mountain Park’s course is designed by Gary Player and is an easily walkable course surrounded by gorgeous mountain views. 

Interested in golf?  Perhaps you enjoy sitting back and watching as the game unfolds?  Whether you like to take part or watch and support your favorite player, The Cliffs Communities and The Reserve at Lake Keowee can offer you first-class golf courses and clubhouses plus stunning golf course view homes and lots.

Here are a few of our current favorite listings from these communities.  

249 Long Cove Ct – Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards
.98 acre homesite overlooking 4th and 5th hole of the Tom Fazio signature golf course. Level building site with views of Lake Keowee and Blue Ridge Mountains.



118 Club Cove Way – Cliff at Keowee Vineyards
1.01 acre homesite steps from #9 green, fairway, and pond. Surrounded by beautiful mature hardwoods for a private escape. Situated in a friendly neighborhood with a quick walk to the club.



106 Club Cove Way – Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards
1.53 acre pristine homesite with sweeping views of the #9 fairway. Friendly neighborhood with full-time residents.




401 Keowee Ave – The Reserve at Lake Keowee
Newly renovated estate with 2.91 acres on the 6th hole of the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. Easy golf cart ride to all amenities.