The Old South still exists. At least, that's the prevailing feeling you get when you visit the coastal South Carolina island of Hilton Head and the historic city of Savannah, Ga. Live oak trees and white-columned plantation homes are plentiful here.
In addition to the charm, the beach, and the great seafood, there's plenty of good golf. Hilton Head and Savannah boast of having the equivalent of more than 100 courses in an area less than 40 miles apart. That number has grown ever since books and movies like The Prince of Tides and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil showcased the area.
Just north some 30 miles, on the way to historic Charleston, is the well-established Seabrook Resort and the famous Kiawah Island, with its stunning Ocean Course and its private new Kiawah Island Club Cassique Course, designed by five-time British Open champion Tom Watson.
SANDHILL MECCA. Few places are more closely associated with golf than the sandhills of North Carolina. The Southern Pines and Pinehurst Village area, once a quaint hideaway, has become a mecca for golfers. The area is still quaint, but the popularity of the Pinehurst Resort has led to the development of dozens of other golf-course communities, and more are on the way. It has even spread north into the "Research Triangle" area of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. The rolling hills, tall pines, and native sand scrub are perfect for golf-course design.
PLAY A POSTCARD. The winds that blow in off the Atlantic used to be a good sign for families awaiting their seafaring men to return with the month's catch. Nowadays, it's a challenge to golfers trying to navigate the coastal courses of the Cape Cod peninsula in southeastern Massachusetts. The Cape now has dozens of golfing options, some with a view of the beach and the lighthouses that give the area its picture-postcard appeal. Considering it's the Northeast, you'll find a surprisingly high number of playing days--211.