Ranked: The best golf courses in the South

There are few constants in life, mostly just death and taxes. In the South, there’s also the summer heat and a diehard love for sports. It’s a potent combination that has birthed a bevy of championship-quality golf courses across the region.

From Georgia to Mississippi, here’s a look at some of the South’s top golf courses:

Augusta National

Home to the Masters Tournament, Georgia’s Augusta National is America’s premier golf course — a veritable battleground for the world’s top competitors each year.

“The Augusta National is the epitome of the type of course which appeals most keenly to the American taste, the meadowland course.” Robert Trent Jones wrote in “The Complete Golfer.”

“From tee to green there is nothing but closely cropped green turf. These broad expanses of fairway, punctuated with pines and dotted with flashes of white sand, give Augusta a clean, sprightly appearance. The Jones conception, incarnate in Augusta, was that the course should be a true test of championship golf, but, more than that, that it should be a pleasure for all classes of golfer to play.”

For those looking to experience the best that the sport has to offer, it’s tough to beat what Augusta National has to offer.

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According to Golf.com, the second best golf course that the South has to offer is just a couple states away. Up in North Carolina, countless players enjoy hitting the green at Pinehurst — one of the country’s top golf resorts.

Having hosted back-to-back U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open championships in 2014, Pinehurst has gone on to earn the reputation as the site of more golf championships than any other U.S. course. It’s 115,000 square feet of spectacular green.

The Ocean Course

Just one state down, in the South Carolina heat, The Ocean Course has earned a reputation as a world-class golfing hotspot. Located within the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, the course was designed for the 1991 Ryder Cup tournament and continues to be a pro-level challenge for interested players.

“From one round to the next, a player can experience up to an 8-club difference on holes depending upon the wind’s direction and strength,” the course’s website states. “Interesting fact: Because there are no prevailing winds on The Ocean Course, Dye designed two courses in one — one for an easterly and the other for a westerly wind.”

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Old Waverly Golf Club

Designed in 1988 by architect Bob Cupp and U.S. Open winner Jerry Pate, Mississippi’s Old Waverly Golf Club is 6,088 yards of fun.

“Since its founding in 1988, Old Waverly has been highly regarded as one of the truly unique private clubs in all of the US.,” the club’s website states. “Developed on the site of the historic Waverly Mansion, the club is a result of the vision of the George and Marcia Bryan Family, who sought to create a world-class destination for golf and hospitality in the heart of the Mississippi Black Prairie.”

For those looking for something fun, Old Waverly can be a great change of pace from courses more similar to The Ocean Course.