Charleston named Golf Destination of the Year

The International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) recently named Charleston, South Carolina the Golf Destination of the Year North America at their annual awards ceremony, which took place at the International Golf Travel Market in Lake Como, Italy.

Home to 19 championship golf courses including Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course( host of the Ryder Cup, a Senior PGA and PGA Championships), 60 miles of breathtaking coastline, award winning dining, historical venues and Southern Charm, the Charleston area’s unique combination of both on and off course offerings makes it a premier destination for a special golf vacation.

“To be named North America’s Golf Destination of the Year by the IAGTO is a huge honor and strengthens our ability to showcase worldwide all that Charleston has to offer golfers year-round,” said Ed Riggs, Chairman of Charleston & Resort Islands Golf, the area’s golf authority since 1995. “We are grateful to carry forward the global recognition the Charleston area received this year as host of IAGTO’s annual North America Golf Tourism Convention.”

The IAGTO Awards were established in 2000 to reward a few exceptional contributions to the world of golf travel. IAGTO’s 500 + golf tour operators from 61 countries vote for Golf Destination of the Year winners in each of 5 regional categories encompassing most of the populated world.

More than 200 years ago Charleston was the site of America’s first golf club. The heritage of golfing excellence is evident today. Legendary golf course architects including Palmer, Nicklaus, Player, Dye, Fazio, Garl and the Jones boys have created challenging championship course throughout the Charleston area. The area abounds in thing to do off the course such as visits to plantations, historical tours, fishing, award winning dining, markets and festivals like the Spoleto held every spring for 17 days.

Besides the Ocean Course at Kiawah, there are four other layouts available on the Island. Here are some of eSouthCarolinaGOLF’s other favorites in and around Charleston

Wild Dunes Resort’s Links course, designed by Tom Fazio, presents combined challenges of the Atlantic Ocean and features rolling fairways that wander past moss draped oaks, magnolias and exotic palms, through giant sand dunes and salt water marshes. (6,709 yards par 72).

Patriot’s Point Links on Charleston Harbor, designed by William Byrd, has no real estate on it and great scenic views including Fort Sumter and the harbor with smallish greens, winds swirling a fun match (6955 yards par 72).

Charleston National Country Club, designed by Rees Jones, is the hiidden gem in Mt.Pleasant and has its fair share of forced carries, but allows for that special private club feel with reasonable prices and spectacular finishing holes in the golden marshlands (7100 yards par 72).

Links at Stono Ferry, designed by Ron Garl, is set amongst centuries old oaks and intracoastal rushes. The South Carolina Course of the Year layout is built on an historic revolutionary war battlefield about 30 minutes south of the city.( 6756 yards par 72).

Golf Club at Westcott Plantation, designed by Michael Hurzdan, has 27 holes with tree lined fairways in Summerville. A pure and traditional course that is first class in its design as well as its walk through nature. ( 7100 yards par 72).

For information on all of the courses, hotels and specials contact www.CharlestonGolfGuide.com.

Dave Daubert

Lehigh University graduate, Procter & Gamble retired. Previously a Managing Editor and Feature Writer for a regional golf monthly magazine for 11 years. Married to wife Carol and residing in Solivita, an active adult community in Central Florida

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