Around the week of the Master’s Golf Tournament, the town of Aiken, just 22 miles from Augusta National swells with golfers. Inspired to hit the links, they flood the golf courses near Aiken, SC. But you don’t have to wait for April.
Aiken is a great base for a golf getaway. In fact, you can golf just half a mile from downtown at the Aiken Golf Club. Read on for detailed course notes from my husband that will prepare you for a successful round. Plus we’ve added a list of other private and public golf courses near Aiken SC if you want to play a few clubs. Be sure to check out our post on Aiken for where to stay, eat and play while you are in Aiken.
Aiken Golf Club Must Read Course Notes
The Aiken Golf Club was founded in 1912 and is a short course with five par threes. There is a very small practice area for chipping and putting and no driving range, so come prepared to play.
The course is very walkable, in fact, the day I played, the local men’s club was walking with push carts (regular carts are available too). Even with a full course of walkers in front of us, it took 4 hours. The locals know the course and keep moving.
Few Houses. Even with the close proximity to downtown, there are not many houses on the course. I prefer that since my driver can be wild at times. One exception is the par three on hole 18 that runs right next to the parking lot. Tip: Park your car further from the club house in the lot rather than on the road near the club house.
Challenging for Visitors. The course is an interesting challenge especially for visitors. Previous course knowledge is not required, ie no blind shots, but it is hilly so judging distance and knowing where the danger is around the greens is helpful. The course is not long but defends itself against low scores well. How? Read on.
How do you hit your driver? If you are accurate with the driver and hit straight this can be a really fun course. They have a few drivable par four’s on the back nine and generally no really long holes. The course is narrow so you need to be accurate. No need to look for balls in the woods. The woods are old and thick. Can’t hit a driver straight? No worries. You can play this course without a driver and have a lot of fun too because it is generally shorter. Accuracy is what this course is about.
Wedge play is at a premium for everyone. The greens will hold when you hit them. Distance control and accuracy are important in order to score well. You’ll also need to be able to putt, but that is universal.
There are not too many hazards. A few long waste areas and a few sand traps strategically placed but none you are forced to carry. There are no water hazards to speak of.
The course defends itself with pin placements. The greens can be tricky. The first tip I received at the clubhouse was on the first five holes, the greens break toward the railroad tracks. It is like breaking toward the water or the mountains. Believe the tip. Pay attention on the greens. The slopes are not all apparent, perhaps because the course is hilly and the greens appear more flat in comparison. Tip. Walk the line of your putt to the hole to get a feel for the slope.
Do not get past the flag. All downhill putts are fast and tricky. There are a few that if you pass the flag you’ll be lucky to keep your putt on the green. Over the green is also tough because you are chipping downhill.
Some pin placements are near the edge. If you are off the green, either left or right, chipping can be intimidating. There isn’t much room to land and plenty of slope. Tip: Keep the ball straight and in front of the green. Chasing pins, even with short chips, can put you in challenging spots.
Number nine does not come back to the club house but there is a snack shack and restrooms at the intersection of number eight and number 14. We played from the back tees. The only significant difference was on the par three’s. All played over 160 – 200 yards from the back. The other tees were much closer.
Private and Public Golf Courses Near Aiken SC
Looking for more golf courses? Here is a list of private and public golf courses near Aiken SC. If you’ve played any of these courses and have tips – leave us a comment and let us know.
Woodside Country Club, Aiken, SC
Palmetto Golf Club, Aiken, SC
The Reserve Club at Woodside Plantation, Aiken, SC
Houndslake Country Club, Aiken, SC
Aiken Family Golf Range, Aiken SC
Cedar Creek Golf Club, Aiken, SC
The River Golf Club, North Augusta, SC
Mount Vintage Golf Club, North Augusta, SC
Carolina Golf Range, Aiken, SC
Midland Valley Golf Club, Graniteville, SC
Sage Valley Golf Club, Graniteville SC