There’s a certain charm about Columbia, South Carolina. The intertwining of the rolling hills of the upcountry with the tranquil beaches of the lowcountry is like a symphony to a golfer’s ears. After dusting off my clubs from their long hiatus since the last time I played at a bachelor party in my early 20s, I embarked on an unforgettable journey through Columbia’s lush greens and challenging fairways.
Keep in mind I was here in Columbia for a business event anyways, and only got to actually play the first five courses on the list. Will definitely get to the final five courses next time I have a chance to visit South Carolina.
For those planning their next golf getaway, here’s my take on the best courses Columbia has to offer.
1. Timberlake Country Club
Address: 222 Timberlake Dr, Chapin, SC 29036
Timberlake Country Club feels like a breath of fresh air, especially for those looking to get back into the swing of things (pun intended). Its location alongside Lake Murray provides the perfect backdrop for an invigorating day on the greens. The first time I played here, the course almost seemed to weave a story, with each hole introducing a new chapter. The broad fairways, flanked by mature trees, offer the right balance of challenge and enjoyment.
- A picturesque setting by Lake Murray.
- Broad fairways provide an encouraging start for those getting back into the sport.
- Great course for beginners and high handicappers.
- Tends to get crowded during weekends.
- Some patches could benefit from better maintenance.
2. The Windermere Club
Address: 1101 Longtown Rd E, Blythewood, SC 29016
When the name ‘Dye’ is associated with a golf course, expectations naturally soar. The Windermere Club, with its intricate design, does not disappoint. The centerpiece, Lake Windermere, is an awe-inspiring sight, playing a pivotal role in the course’s layout and challenges. My game here was a blend of excitement, with the lakeside hazards, and relaxation, thanks to the serene environment.
- Lakeside holes offer both beauty and challenge.
- The variety in tee boxes caters to all skill levels.
- Solid course for high to mid handicappers.
- The sheer beauty can be distracting to the game.
- Priced on the higher side for casual players.
3. Crickentree Country Club
Address: 1084 Langford Rd, Blythewood, South Carolina 29016
As a golfer, certain courses just stick with you, and for me, Crickentree is one of those. Designed by the renowned Ken Killian, it offers rolling hills that often give a fleeting illusion of a mountain course. The intertwining streams and the towering hardwoods not only add to the course’s aesthetic charm but also provide strategic challenges that require both skill and wit.
- Unique topography adds to the playing experience.
- Meticulously maintained greens for smooth play.
- Its popularity can mean longer waiting times.
- The hilly terrain might be a bit challenging for beginners.
4. Oak Hills Golf Club
Address: 7629 Fairfield Rd, Columbia, SC 29203
Voted the 1995 Golf Club of The Year, Oak Hills is a testament to traditional golfing elegance. As I strolled through its vast expanse, I was constantly reminded of the old-school charm of golf. Nestled amidst a plethora of oaks, pines, and dogwoods, the course invites players for a game that feels both intimate and grand.
- Offers an old-school golfing experience.
- Fairways that are spread out, avoiding congestion.
- Some might crave more modern amenities.
- Fewer challenges for pro players.
5. Northwoods Golf Course
Address: 201 Powell Rd, Columbia, SC 29203
Northwoods Golf Course is designed for both the avid golfer and the occasional player. The intricate layout, meticulously crafted by P.B. Dye, is a reflection of his signature style that marries challenge with charm. Even without a personal visit, it’s clear that the intertwining water hazards and strategic bunkering make for a memorable round. Every hole promises an experience, keeping golfers engaged throughout their game.
- Strategic layout by renowned architect P.B. Dye.
- Course offers varying levels of difficulty, suiting both beginners and seasoned golfers.
- A somewhat urban location may mean external noise.
- Might be intimidating for absolute beginners due to its design intricacies.
6. Cobblestone Park Golf Club
Address: 1298 University Pkwy, Blythewood, SC 29016
Though not experienced firsthand, Cobblestone Park Golf Club frequently comes up in discussions about Columbia’s top golfing destinations. With 27 holes offering diverse challenges and vistas, it’s a haven for golfers looking to test their skills. The lush greens, peppered with lakes and bunkers, are a testament to the thought that has gone into crafting this golfing paradise.
- Three distinct nine-hole courses provide variety.
- Hosts numerous tournaments and events, showcasing its premier status.
- With its reputation, it can get crowded, especially during peak times.
- Membership fees are on the steeper side.
7. LinRick Golf Course
Address: 356 Camp Ground Rd, Columbia, SC 29203
While LinRick Golf Course might not come with the same fanfare as some of the other courses in Columbia, it holds its own with its serene atmosphere and accessible play. Stretching over 257 acres, this par-73 course is often lauded for its balance between accessibility for newcomers and challenges for more experienced golfers.
- Known for its welcoming atmosphere.
- A balance of challenging and easier holes, making it suitable for a wide audience.
- The clubhouse amenities might feel a bit dated to some.
- Not as many water hazards for those seeking that extra challenge.
8. Charwood Country Club
Address: 222 Clubhouse Dr, West Columbia, SC 29172
Charwood Country Club is a family-owned course, known for its warm ambiance and commitment to the community. The 27 holes sprawl across a captivating terrain, with each nine offering a distinct experience. While it may not have been part of the personal journey, its reputation for affordability and friendliness makes it a recommended stop for many.
- Offers a more relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere.
- Affordable rates, making it accessible for all.
- Some might find the course layout less challenging.
- Maintenance can be inconsistent in some off-peak periods.
Golfing in Columbia, SC is not just about the game, but the experience. Whether it’s the lakeside challenges of Timberlake or the family vibes at Charwood, there’s something here for every golfer. Even for the courses not personally visited, the vibrant golfing community and the myriad reviews and discussions available make it clear: Columbia is a golfer’s haven. As the sun sets over the lush fairways, one thing’s for certain – a golfing adventure here is bound to leave an indelible mark.