Our History

History of golf in Charleston dates back to 1739, when a documented shipment of golf clubs arrived from Scotland.  History begins for the Country Club of Charleston in 1786—just 32 years after the founding of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in St. Andrews, Scotland—a “Golf Club” was founded in the city. 

Scottish merchants known as the Charlestown Golfing Society would meet on Harleston Green where a game called golf was played.

Bea Bower 

The predecessor clubs to the Country Club of Charleston took shape in 1900, along the Cooper River, before then relocating down river to Belvidere Plantation the following year.  By 1922, the Club had acquired its present location on the McLeod Plantation consisting of 900 acres on the Ashley River. The land planning for the property was conducted by the Olmsted Bros. landscape designed firm, which recommended Seth Raynor to the club.  Mr. Raynor also completed Yeaman’s Hall in 1925. He completed many other renowned courses including Fisher’s Island, Yale, Camargo, Sleepy Hollow and Monterey Peninsula.  

Henry Picard

Mr. Raynor’s courses, like those of his mentor Charles Blair Macdonald, are notable for the recurring use of strategy and design found on holes from famous Scottish golf courses, including the well-known “Redan” holes. Hole 11 is a replica of the 15th hole at North Berwick and is so treacherous that Sam Snead carded a 13 and Ben Hogan once commented after a bogey on Hole 11, “Your greens beautiful, but what you need for that eleventh hole is about five sticks of dynamite.” Known for its challenging green complexes and sweeping lowcountry vistas, the Country Club of Charleston is celebrated as one of the premier golf clubs in the Southeast.  Raynor, designed and built the course from 1923 to 1925. Staying true to Raynor’s original design, the course has been restored over the years by John LaFoy (1990-1991), Brian Silva (2006) and Kyle Franz (2016-2018).  LaFoy restored the golf course after the devastation of Hugo. Silva, using photographs of the original course, restored 39 bunkers and returned the layout near its original form while adding modern technology including a Subair system for the greens and state of the art irrigation, draining and pump controls. After the club uncovered more information on Raynor’s design, Franz restored six holes to their original design.

Webb Simpson

The Country Club of Charleston has a rich tournament history and a long tradition of supporting the game of golf. The Azalea Invitational is hosted every year before the Masters.  Today the Azalea has developed into a National amateur Event with players from across the country and an impressive list of former champions.  The Club also hosts the Beth Daniel Junior Invitational and the Azalea Senior each year.  In addition to the invitational, the 
Club has hosted 27 State Championships since 1925 and will host the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open.

The Club is also home to notable golfers, including Hall of Famers Beth Daniel and Henry Picard. Daniel, a Charleston native, is a two-time USGA champion, winning the 1975 and 1977 U.S. Women’s Amateurs. She was also a member of the 1976 and 1978 USA Curtis Cup Teams. In 2000, she was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. She said, “For the U.S. Women’s Open to be held on the course where I learned to play golf makes this so special. The Country Club of Charleston will be a great test for the competitors, and I can’t wait to see it.”  Henry Picard is also a Hall of Famer. 

Cox Trophy

Henry won the Masters in 1938 and the PGA Championship in 1939.  Henry came to the Club as an Assistant Pro in 1925 and later became the Head Pro until 1934.  The Club was also home to the 1975 USGA Women’s Amateur Champion, Mrs. Bea Bower. 

The Members of The Country Club of Charleston are very proud of their course, as well as the beautiful clubhouse, new aquatics and wellness facilities, a new golf shop as well as an active tennis facility.  With a full array of amenities, combined with storied history and traditions, The Country Club of Charleston is one of the premier golf clubs in the Southeast.