Offering outstanding sporting, history and plenty of entertaining nightlife, the new “Mountains to Midlands” Golf Alliance shines a spotlight on the heart of South Carolina.
In the rankings of the country’s best states for golf, South Carolina regularly checks in high on the list. When one thinks about teeing it up in the Palmetto State, however, usually the coastal area comes to mind. In particular, the coastal regions of Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head.
“People don’t realize that the upstate areas of South Carolina have great golf, too,” says Strauss Moore Shiple.
Shiple has been long time Project Manager in the Olde English District and was instrumental in helping form the new “Mountains to Midlands Golf Alliance” that represents a partnership of inland regions extending from the center of the State west to the Aiken/Augusta border and to the extreme northwest tip.
Mountains to Midlands is a scenic and historic area of the south, where numerous interstates make travel easy and the golf courses accessible. Considering its close proximity, and impressive supply of outstanding layouts along with a temperate climate allows the game to be enjoyed year round.
Most of the golf in the Olde English District is situated along the stretch of Interstate 77 from Rock Hill to Columbia, S.C. The OED also extends east to a golf gem at the Tom Jackson-designed Cheraw State Park Course, built around 309-acre Lake Juniper. This outstanding layout is not only rated 4.5 stars by Golf Digest’s “Places to Play” but also ranks in Golf Digest “Super Value” courses.
The undisputed “capital” of the OED is Rock Hill, located an easy 30 minutes south of Charlotte Douglas International Airport, where golfers discover a number of outstanding layouts such as the timeless design at Springolf Club in Fort Mill, the Fuzzy Zoeller-designed gem at Edgewater Golf Club and Carolina Lakes — a pristine setting of natural streams and ponds with the Catawba River meandering through it.
South toward Columbia is Cobblestone Park Golf Club in Blythewood — home to the University of South Carolina Gamecock golf teams and a Top 30 Palmetto State stalwart. That takes us to Lake Murray Country region, in the heart of the Palmetto State. Lake Murray Country is centered in the state’s capital city, Columbia. Lake Murray (“the jewel of the south”) features 650 miles of picturesque shoreline — one reason it was named by Boating Magazine as one of the “Top 10 Places to Live and Boat.”
There are 33 championship golf courses in the area as well as outstanding dining and entertainment. Lake Murray area’s must-play layouts are The Windermere Club, Pete & P.B. Dye-designed facility that will provide a unique and truly memorable experience, and Oak Hills Golf Club, a Steve Melnyk and Davis Love III masterpiece that has been recognized in Golf Digest’s “Best Places to Play.”
Moving west to Thoroughbred Country and the Lakelands, which may just be South Carolina’s best-kept golf secret, this region takes you from the city of Aiken bordering Augusta north along the Georgia border approaching I-85, where just north is the booming Greenville-Spartanburg corridor — also home to a number of golfing gems.
Among the most renowned layouts in Thoroughbred Country and the Lakelands are the two courses which wrap around Lake Thurmond, the Tara and Monticello Courses at Savannah Lakes Village. Mount Vintage Golf Club, an elegant 27-hole facility that Golf Magazine has likened to nearby Augusta National. Not to be missed and steeped in tradition is the Aiken Golf Club, built in 1912 which underwent a complete rejuvenation in 1999.
Last but certainly not least, abounding with natural resources and recreational opportunities, The Upcountry portion of the M2M alliance also includes a number of outstanding golf experiences.
The Walker Course at Clemson University is the home course of the vaunted Clemson Tiger golf ters a spectacular collection of holes along the shores of Lake Hartwell, while The Preserve at Verdae is a William Bird design carved out of the Carolina Forest located in mid-town Greenville. The Upcountry also includes the spectacular Blue Ridge Mountains, which frame Widge Golf Club in Inman. Jacob’s Creek winds its way through the golf course that was designed adjacent to scenic Lake Bowen.
Mountains to Midlands not only allow golfers to mix and match their golf within the regions or stay within the regions of their choice, this bourgeoning alliance transports golfers to a place where small towns, medium prices and big-name golf course architects harmoniously blend together.
For more information visit www.M2MGOLFSC.com