THERE IS A SERIOUS CASE to be made that the Carolinas are the home of golf in America. With more than 900 courses be- tween the states – approximately
600 in North Carolina, and more than 300 in
South Carolina – there’s a level of inventory
that other regions of the U.S. can’t match. The
area around South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach
alone offers a mind-boggling 80 courses.
That remarkable quantity is matched by
quality, with many of the country’s top-rated
courses sprinkled throughout the two states.
That includes venerable multi-course desti-
nations such as Pinehurst, Kiawah Island and
Sea Pines, and must-plays like Pine Needles,
Dormie Club and Palmetto Bluff.
Perhaps best of all, the Carolinas are easily
accessible from the Philadelphia area. If you
like drive-in golf getaways, you can pile some
pals in the car and be in Hilton Head Island,
S.C. in less than 12 hours. Or if you’re looking at North Carolina, a central destination
like Pinehurst is drivable in less than nine
hours. Put on some good tunes, stop for some
barbeque along the way, and you will be there
before you know it.
If you would rather take to the skies,
you could wake up at home and be playing
some of these great courses by lunchtime.
There are plenty of quick flights from
Philadelphia to airports in Charlotte, N.C.,
Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Charleston, S.C,
and Myrtle Beach, S.C, and there are smaller
regional airports on Hilton Head Island and
near Pinehurst if you happen to fly private or
have your pilot’s license.
Suffice it to say that the Carolinas have
the proximity and the product to serve as a
golf destination for nearly any kind of trip.
From high-end bucket list golf to courses
that offer incredible value, you can have your
choice – or mix and match. In that spirit,
here is the scoop on a few hot spots across
The Cradle, a nine-hole short course,
opened at Pinehurst three years ago.