Berkeley Hall, Bluffton
This community’s inland location avoids the slog from the interstate all the way into Hilton Head, though the inner edge of the property does provide deepwater homesites with private docks. Two mature courses, both Fazios and both tough to score on.
Golf: 36 holes (Tom Fazio).
Homes: From $560,000.
Homesites: From $40,000.
The Cliffs Communities, Travelers Rest
Colleton River Plantation, Bluffton
The architectural review board is the conscience of any planned community. At Colleton River the board has high standards but permits diversity. The result: a stylish streetscape throughout this mature, thirty-six-hole Lowcountry haven.
Golf: 45 holes (Bruce Borland, Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus).
Homes: From $649,000.
Homesites: From $99,000.
Daniel Island, Charleston
An ambitious master plan drives the “island town” of Daniel Island, where new Urbanist principles have served the project exceedingly well. Its golf profile gets a boost in 2009 with the arrival of the Nationwide Tour Championship.
Golf: 36 holes (Tom Fazio, Rees Jones).
Homes: From $394,000.
Homesites: From $165,000.
Dataw Island Club, Dataw Island (New)
The clubhouse’s twin curving staircases and white balustrades set a graceful tone. Dataw’s tidal creeks and reedy marshland harbor herons, egrets and purple martins. Two courses, Cotton Dike and Morgan River, provide an unusual wealth of hole variety. Members round out the sports-fitness regimen with tennis, kayaking, swimming and croquet.
Golf: 36 holes (Tom Fazio, Arthur Hills).
Homes: From $280,000.
Homesites: From $50,000.
Golf Club at Briar’s Creek, John’s Island (New)
As one of the younger golf communities in the Carolina Lowcountry (its Rees Jones course opened in 2002), Briars Creek belongs to a sustainability-focused era. Certified by Audubon International, the club revels in its location on the Atlantic flyway and alongside tidal creeks that brim with biodiversity. In May of 2008 it held a grand opening for its tasteful, thirteen-thousand-square-foot clubhouse.
Golf: 18 holes (Rees Jones).
Homesites: From $500,000.
Kiawah Island Club, Kiawah Island
Long Cove Club, Hilton Head
The first kids to fish and kayak along the waterways of Long Cove are now old enough to bring their own children down for vacations. Members have a fund that makes grants targeting health, hunger, housing and education. The golf course hosted a U.S. Open qualifier last May.
Golf: 18 holes (Pete Dye).
Homes: From $650,000.
Homesites: From $240,000.