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5 Best Golf Courses in the Southern US

Most golf lovers want to spend their weekend afternoons playing rounds of golf with their friends or families. Unfortunately, many private clubs either have exclusive memberships or high admittance fees that can keep you off the green. However, there are numerous accessible golf clubs and courses where you can enjoy rounds of golf all year round in the South. This list includes the best golf courses in states considered to be in the South by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club, North Carolina

Pine Needles is an excellent golf course with a beautiful course that has just been restored. Many players overlook it because of its proximity to Pinehurst No.2. It is punctuated by rolling hills and fairway bunkers placed meticulously to make the course somewhat challenging. 

Pine Needles is also recognized as one of the best golf courses by various organizations, with the USGA hosting the U.S. Women’s Open Back tournament there in 2022 with the course having hosted three U.S. Women’s Opens.

LPGA International, Daytona

The LPGA International is in Daytona Beach and is mostly known for its beautiful architecture. It has a collection of courses designed by Arthur Hills featuring narrow fairways, numerous strategically-placed water hazards, natural wetlands, and minuscule greens. All these features make it one of the most challenging courses in the South.

Its challenging nature combined with the beauty of its architecture is what attracts many amateur and professional players to the golf course. Additionally, it is so popular that it is included in numerous golf computer and smartphone games, including the official WGA golf smartphone game.

The Ocean Course, South Carolina

The Ocean course was designed in 1991 for the Ryder Cup and has since undergone various changes to make it more accessible to people of different skills. Regardless, it remains one of the most challenging golf courses in the South. 

The greens have unreadable slopes, there is thick grass around every hole, there are bunkers that one does not see until it is too late, and coastal winds from the Atlantic introduce even more challenges.

All these combined means that players must be very good to play on this course. 

Naples Beach Golf Club

This is the oldest golf course in Naples as it opened in 1947. It received a full overhaul in 2010 which gave it its signature look and design. Naples Beach is known for its well-manicured greens that are friendly for golfers of all levels. It is also relatively flat, making it one of the best courses to ride a golf cart on. 

If you play here a lot, you will use your golf cart to move from one hole to the next and thus may require new golf cart seats. Although they are very durable, they often need replacement if you regularly play golf at courses where you have to ride one a lot like Naples Beach.

Karsten Creek Golf Club, Oklahoma

Although this is a collegiate golf course, it still stands among the best in the South. It was developed by Oklahoma State University and has since won a few awards, including one from Reader’s Digest.

Being a collegiate golf course, many people assume it will be easy to play at Karsten Creek, but the course is surprisingly challenging; it has challenged even the best players. It is not all about golf here, though, as you can stay at the guest lounges or even visit the practice and teaching facilities.


To be regarded as one of the best golf courses in the South, a golf course has to be meticulously designed, challenging, fun, and have some Southern charm. The golf courses above have all these in different proportions, and they are all courses that golfers of all levels should endeavor to play at.

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