The Best Golf Courses In The Carolinas

Both North and South Carolina have land fertile for outstanding golf courses. Here are some of the best.

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Both North and South Carolina have land fertile for outstanding golf courses. Here are some of the best.

The Best Golf Courses In The Carolinas

As far as golf in the United States goes, the two states of North and South Carolina are a must visit for any true golfing fan. Not only do you have iconic courses like Pinehurst No.2 and Kiawah Island, but you also have lesser known gems like Old Town and Yeamans Hall.

Oh and course designer Mike Strantz produced his finest work in the two states with courses like Tobacco Road. His work has to be seen to be believed.

The list of great courses in the region is a long one so below we have taken a look at some of the best.

The Best Golf Courses In North Carolina

Pinehurst No.2

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Donald Ross’ finest and most famous golf offering is the No.2 no doubt. He created the course in 1907 and it seems he loved the place so much that he stayed on at the resort for nearly half a century after that. Coore and Crenshaw were brought in to do renovation work to restore the course back to what it was thanks to the discovery of several golf photographs.

As a result they looked to increase the width of the fairways, remove rough, introduce more sandy waste areas and renovate a lot of the bunkers. All of it has proven successful.

Pinehurst (The Cradle)

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The Cradle is a nine-hole short course designed by golf architect Gil Hanse which is said to be the most fun 10 acres in all of golf.

Tobacco Road

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Widely recognised as Mike Strantz's finest design, Tobacco Road cuts through an old sand quarry and has some of the craziest and most adventurous golf holes you could imagine. To get a better look at the course we recommend watching No Laying Up's video on the design.

Old Town

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Perry Maxwell created Old Town in North Carolina which opened for play in 1939 to much fanfare. It quickly became regarded as one of the best courses in the USA with the greens being of particular note.

Mid Pines

(Kevin Murray)

In the region of Pinehurst which has many stunning courses, Pine Needles and Mid Pines are opposite sides of a road from one another and both can blow you away. The two courses were both designed by Donald Ross.

Pine Needles

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Southern Pines

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Another Donald Ross creation, Southern Pines is just down the road from the two courses above.

Quail Hollow

Quail Hollow opened for play in 1961 but took another 40 years to burst onto the PGA Tour scene as it started hosting the Wachovia Championship which today is the Wells Fargo Championship. It is a championship layout that many great players have won on, including Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. In fact Rory's first win on the PGA Tour came here in 2010.

Notable Mentions: Wade Hampton, Charlotte, Raleigh, Carolina, Tanglewood, Forest Creek, Pinehurst Resort, Wilmington, Roaring Gap, Dormie Club

The Best Golf Courses In South Carolina

Kiawah Island (Ocean)

Pete Dye's Ocean course at Kiawah Island was built for big events, as shown by the fact that it was completed just weeks before the 1991 Ryder Cup which famously became known as the ‘War on the Shore’. It also hosted the 2012 PGA Championship won by Rory McIlroy.

Yeamans Hall

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Seth Raynor's best work is often deemed to be in the north-east of America, but don't sleep on Yeamans Hall. A more traditional design than many on this list, it has a modest yardage that fools many into thinking it is easy. The greens in particular offer the main defence against players shooting good scores.

Harbour Town

A course that hosts the RBC Heritage every year on the PGA Tour, Harbour Town is one of Dye’s most recognisable designs, especially the 18th hole with its famous lighthouse. The course opened in 1967 and the Dye’s constructed the layout with the help of Jack Nicklaus. If any of you reading this ever played the old Tiger Woods games, you will know just how tight and narrow this course is thanks to the pines, bunkering and small greens.


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Strantz played to no rules in golf course design and Caledonia is a clear example of that with things like back-to-back par-5s and there are as many as five par-3s on the card too. Some say it is the best course you can play in Myrtle Beach.


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Created by Bruce Devlin, Secession Golf Club is named as such because of the region it is located in. The club sits near Beaufort in South Carolina which is where the original Articles of Secession from the Union were drawn up in 1860. Additionally the tees are named after famous generals and the holes have a Civil War theme too.

Bulls Bay

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Unbelievably Strantz moved over 2 million cubic yards of earth to create Bulls Bay, most of which was used to elevate the clubhouse and greens.

True Blue

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The course at True Blue is aesthetically stunning thanks to trees, sand, huge bunkers and large water hazards. It will deliver a thrill-ride of a round.

Notable Mentions: Dunes Golf and Beach Club, Legends Resort, Country Club of Charleston, Wild Dunes, Colleton River, Haig Point, Long Cove, Palmetto, Sage Valley

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Sam Tremlett
E-commerce Editor

A golfer for most of his life, Sam is a Senior Staff Writer for Golf Monthly. 

Working with golf gear and equipment over the last six years, Sam has quickly built outstanding knowledge and expertise on golf products ranging from drivers, to balls, to shoes. 

He combines this knowledge with a passion for helping golfers get the best gear for them, and as such Sam manages a team of writers that look to deliver the most accurate and informative reviews and buying advice. This is so the reader can find exactly what they are looking for.

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Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five. 

Sam's What's In The Bag: 

Driver: Titleist TS3 (9 degrees) 

Fairway Wood: Callaway Paradym (15 degrees), Nike Covert Tour 2.0 (19 degrees) 

Irons (4-PW): Titleist AP2 

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 54˚, 58˚ 

Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 

Ball: Srixon Z-Star Diamond

Shoes: G/FORE Gallivanter/Nike Air Zoom Infinity NEXT%/Cuater The Ringer