Where old friends meet and new ones are made.
In working as part of the Traveling Golfer team we have exhibited at hundreds of golf shows assisting or representing several of our clients over the years. It is like music to my ears when I hear the words “Dave you are working the Santee booth today.” It is almost like a day off, making new friends with people that have been to Santee and want to go on and on about the great time they had and great deal they got for the winter getaway.
In fact when someone comes to the booth that has not been to Santee it is only moments before someone does come by and is more than eager to tell that person all about his or her experience and of course the great deal. It really does come down to that, doesn’t it? Getting what you paid for and often more.
They don’t call it “America’s Value Golf Destination” for nothing! You tell me! Where else can you go to stay and play 18 holes of golf with a power cart, overnight accommodation and continental breakfast for $59 USD? In my own backyard, green fees alone start at $59 and that’s without a cart let alone food and a room to flop in.
You are not going to find the glitz and glamour of many other destinations here. This is a former truck stop along Interstate 95 that has been transformed into a MUST STOP for golfers. This sleepy little town of 800 or so will provide you with a comfy cozy place to put your head down at night, good golf, good food and the only stop and go traffic happens if one of the traffic lights happens to be red. If you’re looking to play that 2nd round of the day here, you are likely not looking at any more than the cost of the cart.
Getting around in Santee is simple as it’s about a one mile stretch of road that crosses over I-95 that pretty much has it all including the 3 golf courses that are right in town. There is certainly no need to be concerned about drinking and driving here either, whether you are staying in one of the local hotels or motels or the well appointed villas you are pretty much within stumbling distance of all bars and restaurants.
Whether you are a group of 2 of 22 you are likely to leave Santee with more friends than you came with. It is just that kind of place. The after golf hangout is the ever popular Coasters Bar and Grill that serves up big ass beers at happy hour for all of 2 bucks. This Cajun style roadhouse / sports bar serves up anything from chicken wings to southern dishes like fried alligator, seafood gumbo, blacked shrimp, pecan crusted sea bass and a Jack Daniels Steak which I swear is the best damn steak I ever tasted. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
One of my other favorite places to dine is Captain Kirk’s Steak & Seafood Grill is most famous for their prime rib dinner but make sure you tempt yourself to some of the freshly prepared fish dishes that come either, blackened, fired or broiled… and yes it is the Captain that is doing the cooking.
Last on my list but certainly not least on my list is Clark’s Restaurant & Pub another popular gathering spot for golfers wanting to quench their thirst and reminisce about their game in an Old English style décor. Clark’s Restaurant is one of the only white table cloth establishments that serves up an amazing filet mignon with bourbon glaze and equally tasty mango pecan roast pork, but make sure you keep room for Clark’s famous selection of home-made desserts.
When you are coming south trying to get away from the cold and snow…what do you want to see? Sunshine, blue sky and most of all GREEN GRASS. Well the folks in Santee get it as you will see for yourself with tee boxes, fairways and greens over seeded.
By far the most popular courses are the 3 right in town:
Lake Marion Golf Club – located in the heart of Santee and walking distance to most accommodations. This par 72 stretches out to 6,670 yards from the tips was rated as 3½ stars by Golf Digest. Lake Marion offers generous pine tree-lined fairways, five water hazards and 47 bunkers to test your accuracy.
Santee Cooper Country Club – Lake Marion’s sister course and only a few hundred yards down the road. Another 3 ½ star par 72 that is serenely tucked into the tall pines and flowering Craig Myrtle trees.
Santee National Golf Club – about a mile away and boasts being a 4 star Golf Digest rated course. A par 72 reaching 6858 yards with a rolling terrain that meanders through tall pines and mossy live oaks and encompasses five lakes.
There are 5 additional courses on the north side of Lake Marion all within 20 – 25 minutes. You will want to make sure that Wyboo is on your list there. If you care to venture up to 45 minutes away you have a choice of another 6 to 7 courses in the Summerville area on the way to Charleston.
If you want to take an afternoon off from golf, there is world-class fishing on Lake Marion and Moultrie Lake where you can catch striped and largemouth bass, crappie, bream and some of the largest catfish that you have ever seen. They also have bike trails, hiking paths, canoe and kayak rentals if you want to explore the 450 miles of coastline that these two lakes have to offer. And there is a Factory Outlet Mall here if you feel compelled to add to your wardrobe.
On my visits to Santee I like checking out the license plates in the parking lot. It is pretty amazing! I often feel that I am still in Canada since half the cars are from either Ontario or Quebec. I will challenge your golf friends to see if they have ever heard of Santee and you’ll be surprised at the number who have been there or know someone who has and loved it.
Santee is located on Interstate 95 just north of I-26, approximately 1 hour west of Charleston, 1 hour east of Columbia for anyone interested in flying to Santee.
by Dave Finn
SanTee It Up!
Where old friends meet and new ones are made.