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Lowcountry Legacies - Flash Backs

History of Charleston Sports

Over three centuries now, the Charleston region has been widely recognized for the history and culture of being "first" for a number of notable achievements in establishing various institutions for the betterment of society. Among those institutions, was the first municipal college, College of Charleston, established in 1770. Not as well known, is the rich history of sports and recreational activities in the region. For instance in 1786, one of the first golf clubs in America was organized. Now, the Charleston area has many world-class golf courses, many of which have hosted PGA and LPGA events. From the oldest waterways to the newest multi-million dollar state-of-the-art athletic facilities, the Charleston area continues to provide boundless sports-related opportunities for the enjoyment of the community and its visitors. Just in the last 25 years, the region has been the backdrop for many new regional, national and international events. And, it continues to receive well-deserved recognition for being a major player in the US sports travel industry.


USA RugbyClermont-Auverge Men’s Professional Rugby vs. USA Rugby Team (August 2008)
USA Rugby and Greenville based, Michelin NA brought the first-ever professional rugby match to the state of SC in 2008. On Saturday, August 9, Blackbaud Stadium was host to over 4,000 fans to watch the U.S. Men’s National Team against the French rugby union club from Clermont-Ferrand France, the Clermont Auvergne Rugby team. It was nationally broadcast live on ESPN Classic and was a huge success for all event organizers.



The 68th Senior PGA Championship (2007) –Senior PGA Championship
Denis Watson won his first golf tournament in 23 years, beating Eduardo Romero by two strokes. This event brought in more than $23 million through direct spending by non-resident spectators and expenditures by The PGA of America. It received 14 hours of live television coverage over four days – six hours on USA and eight hours on NBC. Extensive exposure served to further position South Carolina as the southeast’s premiere golf destination.

2005 PGA Club Professional Championship
Mike Small, the golf coach at the University of Illinois, won the event with a score of 289.

2003 World Cup November 11-16 -
The South African team of Rory Sabbatini and Trevor Immelman finished four strokes ahead of England and captured the 2003 title on The Ocean Course.

Inaugural UBS Warburg Cup –
November 15-18, 2001 – The U.S. team, led by Arnold Palmer, escaped with a thrilling 12.5-11.5 victory over the “Rest of the World” team (led by Gary Player) in a Ryder Cup-style format.

1997 World Cup – November 18-23 –
Team Ireland, consisting of Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley, took home the World Cup hosted by The Ocean Course. Colin Montgomerie claimed the individual honors.Ryder Cup

1991 Ryder Cup Matches – September 26-29, 1991 –
In one of the most enthralling moments the golf world has ever known, the U.S. defeats Europe by a single point in the “War by the Shore” when Bernhard Langer’s five-foot par putt slides past the right edge of the cup on The Ocean Course’s 18th green.

Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf (1996) –
Annika Sörenstam vs. Dottie Pepper – South Carolina, The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.



Davis Cup Semi Finals (2004) –
Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, SC, was selected as the site for the 2004 United States vs. Belarus Davis Cup semifinal, September 24-26. The semi-final tie is the first ever Davis CupDavis Cup to be played in South Carolina.

1998 Fed Cup at Kiawah Island Tennis Resort.

1990 U.S. Clay Court Championships at Kiawah Island Tennis Resort.



BOC Challenge 1994-1995

Around Alone 1998-1999

2006 Intercollegiate Sailing Association NationalsSailing

2006 Y-Flyer Nationals

2006 Sunfish Worlds

2007 E Scrow Nationals







Charleston Area Sports Commission