It's hard to find a city of less than 200,000 people with more to offer than Charleston, S.C. How many have a harbor and miles of beach; Revolutionary and Civil War history; elegant mansions in town and plantation homes on the outskirts?
If that's not enough, consider Charleston's music scene, restaurants, waterfront attractions and renowned Southern charm. For golfers "hospitality" might not be the first word that comes to mind at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, considered to be among the toughest in America, but the Pete Dye masterpiece has to be on the bucket list of any serious player.
Kiawah has four other courses including overshadowed gems Osprey Point by Tom Fazio and Turtle Point by Jack Nicklaus. Kiawah has the fame, but the forerunner of Charleston public-access golf is Tom Fazio's Wild Dunes, which includes 36 spectacular holes. In an area full of pricey resort courses, the best bargains are Shadowmoss Golf Club and The Links at Stono Ferry, the 2011 South Carolina Golf Course of the Year.
Legend Oaks Golf Club won the honor the previous year. One of Arnold Palmer's best works is RiverTowne Country Club. Other excellent selections are Charleston National by Rees Jones, Crowfield Golf and Country Club, The Golf Club at Wescott Plantation, and Patriots Point Links, with spectacular views across the harbor to Fort Sumter and the city.