NEWBERRY COUNTY — August is National Golf Month and the routine 90-plus degree temperatures don’t stop droves of Newberry County golfers from getting out and hitting the links this time each year.
With its humid sub-tropical climate, South Carolina boasts year-round golf conditions making it one of the most desirable golf destinations in the United States.
In fact, www.golf.com ranks the Palmetto State as the fourth best golfing state in the country behind only California, Arizona and Florida.
Hilton Head’s Harbour Town golf course with its iconic lighthouse has hosted a PGA Tour event every year since 1969 with the great Arnold Palmer lifting the inaugural trophy.
And there’s Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course, site of the 1991 “War by the Shore” Ryder Cup and 2012 PGA Championship which saw the young Ulsterman Rory McIlroy lap the field by eight shots — a single round there will set you back over $300.
Here in Newberry County there are three golf courses which feature rolling, tree-lined hills and, most importantly, won’t break the bank.
Founded in 1922, there’s the Country Club of Newberry, located 414 Country Club Road.
“Undulating fairways, generous greens, strategic bunkering, and even a little bit of water await to provide a fair analysis of one’s game,” reads a description on the club’s website.
On weekdays a golfer can ride 18 holes for $31 while weekends (includes Fridays) are priced at $41.
Anyone who’s bothered to look out the window while driving down I-26 has surely noticed the Mid Carolina Club, founded in 1968.
MCC boasts unlimited range balls and access to chipping/putting areas for $10 and $45 weekday play with a discounted rate after 1 p.m.
The club also plays host to three local schools — Dutch Fork High School, Mid-Carolina High School and Newberry College.
Unknown to even many Newberry County golfers, the Town of Whitmire owns a nine-hole facility.
Mayor Billy Hollingsworth, a golfer himself, described the course as a great place to practice and work on your game.
“It’s excellent, it’s in good shape, there’s no sand or water but it’s a tough little course,” he said.
Green fees run a mere $10 with an additional $5 cart fee per nine holes.
Much has been said and written about golf being a safer alternative to contact sports and its lifetime-playability.
“In light of new knowledge about the severe risks often associated with other contact sports, risks that can literally leave the brain choked off from normal neuropathic function, the opportunity for golf seems greater than ever,” wrote former LPGA golfer Dottie Pepper in a column for ESPN.
With the the disclaimer that repetitive motions can cause injury, golfers can likely expect greater longevity than their athletic counterparts.
Take for instance, 46-year-old Jim Furyk shooting a lowest-in-PGA Tour-history round of 58 in the final round of the Traveler’s Championship, although he still missed out on a playoff by 3 strokes owing to streaky play over the first three rounds.)
Reach Carson Lambert at 803-276-0625, ext. 1868, or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.