124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2



Charleston Municipal Golf Course

Charleston, SC, United States Public

Overview

A thrifty but artistically ambitious renovation reopened in 2020. The 92-year-old working-class golf course has always been popular, but flooding, wet turf and excessive tree growth negatively impacted playability. Between an allocation of funds from the city (which continues to oversee operations) and private donations collected through an organization called “Friends of the Muni,” approximately $3.5 million was raised, enough to enact significant upgrades without raising green fees. Residents can walk for around $20, and out-of-town players—if they can get a time, can play for under $100.

In addition to new grass and drainage, architect Troy Miller rebuilt the green complexes and bunkering according to the template holes developed by C.B. Macdonald and Seth Raynor in the early 20th century.

Raynor had spent time in Charleston in the 1920s building Yeamans Hall and the Country Club of Charleston, so his angular, identifiable features and shot strategies have a history in the area, even if Charleston’s public players haven’t had the opportunity to experience them. Now they can.

Miller’s renditions of the Raynor concepts—including gorgeous Redan and Punchbowl greens, among others—are loyal and adventurous. For Miller, it was especially gratifying to bring this new identity to Charleston Municipal because he grew up playing the course and lives in the neighborhood across the street. A youth tournament was being played the day I visited early in the year—Miller’s young son was playing in it—and 8- to 10-year-olds carrying their small bags filled up the course. It’s unlikely many knew who Seth Raynor was, but they were all getting accustomed to solving the problems of his particular architecture. The golf course looked like a park, or better yet, a playground. —Derek Duncan

About

Holes 18
Facility Type Public
Year Opened 1929
Designer J.M. Whitsett/(R) Troy Miller

Golf Digest Logo Panelists

Ratings from our panel of 1,900 course-ranking panelists

3.6

100 GREATEST/BEST IN STATE SCORES

Shot Options
6.6649
Character
6.6599
Challenge
6.5402
Layout Variety
6.5799
Fun
7.1293
Aesthetics
6.1996
Conditioning
5.7539

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