71 SPRING 2014 • ideal-LIVING
The Lowcountry of South Carolina extends from Murrells Inlet below Myrtle Beach, south through Charleston and Beaufort to the Savannah River, east to the Atlantic Ocean, and west as far inland as the Spanish moss hangs from the trees. America’s first golf club was established in 1786 near Charleston by presumably homesick Scots- men, but it disbanded after about 15 years. Only a handful of private golf courses were subsequently
built in the area, many of them during a spike in the game’s popularity in the 1920s. But the modern genesis of
Lowcountry golf dates to 1961 when architect George Cobb designed the Sea Pines Ocean Course for new residents
and tourists on Hilton Head Island. By the end of that decade, Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus had collaborated in
the building of Harbour Town Golf Links, Arnold Palmer had won the PGA TOUR’s inaugural Heritage Classic
there, and the Lowcountry became a major national golf destination. Since then, more than 90 private and resort
courses have opened in the coastal region, most of them built in the 1970s and ‘80s.
But with age comes change: the spreading of wrinkles, the sagging of contours, the intrusion of growth where
there was none before and the weakening of foundations once taken for granted. Golf courses are like that, too.