Darius Rucker’s complete guide to the golf-rich city of Charleston

Darius Rucker

Twenty-five years ago, Hootie & The Blowfish released their Grammy Award–winning album, Cracked Rear View, with Darius Rucker belting out lead vocals. The band originally formed at the University of South Carolina back in the ’80s, but long before then, Rucker was also belting driver around various tracks in his native Charleston.

Golf has always played a big role in Rucker’s life. He rocked the reception at Tiger Woods’ wedding and was among the faithful at Arnold Palmer’s funeral. But it’s on course where he’s happiest.

“Golf is that thing that gives me a moment to just go ‘okay’ and breathe,” says the single-digit handicapper. “It’s a great way to take your mind away from anything going on off the course and to enjoy the outdoors with your buddies.”

Rucker always travels with his sticks and says that playing different courses on the road is his favorite way to experience each city. Hootie & The Blowfish are currently celebrating the Cracked Rear View anniversary through October with their nationwide “Group Therapy Tour.” When that’s over, you’ll find an appreciative Rucker back in Charleston, the town he’s always called home.

Sundown melts into Charleston Harbor.
Sundown melts into Charleston Harbor.
Mic Smith Photography LLC/Alamy

Beach Time

People always ask why I still live in South Carolina, and it’s so easy to understand once you visit. The genuine people, the laid-back energy and the natural beauty here are truly something special. I love the beach. There’s nothing that beats waking up in the morning and looking out to that view of Sullivan’s Island — especially at high tide! It’s also such a great community and a perfect place to raise our kids. I love walking and just enjoying this magical spot we get to call home. Whether that’s along the beach where we live or across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, which connects Charleston to Mount Pleasant, it’s a great way to enjoy the beautiful area and unwind. Getting to combine that with golf? Unbeatable.

Teeing it Up

Cassique and the River Course at the Kiawah Island Club are beautiful and always a good challenge, as is the Ocean Course. I love the Bulls Bay Golf Club in Awendaw and the Country Club of Charleston as well. If I want to get in a little practice time, we have a simulator at home, and our yard is basically a short-game area.

Cassique’s 15th green juts dangerously into Captain Sam’s Inlet.
Kiawah Island Real Estate/Patrick O’Brien

Off Course

I love going down to The Battery to walk around. King Street is great for shopping or for stopping to buy Belgian Gelato for a treat. There’s so much history here and some great tours, like Tommy Dew’s, that do a great job of showing that. Between the natural beauty and the history, you really can’t go wrong. I love FIG — it’s where I send anyone who asks for a Charleston dinner recommendation. Their Gnocchi Bolognese is to die for.

The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island is great, too. They have a more laid-back vibe since they’re out by the beach. For casual eats, TBonz downtown is awesome. There’s also one in Augusta. For nightlife, The Commodore in downtown Charleston is a classic. Their cover band is amazing — that’s the place to be on a Saturday night.

I love the Windjammer on Isle of Palms, too. We’ve played there in the past, and it’s a great place to have a drink and listen to great live music. And in Mount Pleasant, Art’s is always Art’s! And then, of course, on Saturdays in the fall I head up to Columbia to catch the Gamecocks at every home game I can! Charleston has always been home for me, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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