South Carolina Swinging


The Ocean Course
The Ocean Course, site of many major tournaments, is one of five distinct links courses at South Carolina’s Kiawah Island Golf Resort.


Golfers in the Northeast and Midwest looking for something a little closer than Florida or Hawaii should consider heading to South Carolina’s Kiawah Island Golf Resort. With five distinct courses for different levels of play, clients farther away may be tempted as well.

The most famous is The Ocean Course, a 7,296-yard, par-72 layout stretching nearly three miles along the extreme eastern end of the island. The course was designed by Pete Dye and opened just before the 1991 Ryder Cup was held there. (The tournament was dubbed the “War on the Shore,” and was decided with the last putt on the last hole. The U.S. beat Europe by one point.) The course has since hosted the World Cup in 1997 and 2003, and will host the PGA Championship in August of this year.

The Turtle Point Course, designed by Jack Nicklaus, is a better choice for higher handicappers, but it’s still a test at 6,914 yards from the back markers with five par-4s stretching 420 yards or longer. The 412-yard 15th hole—the middle of a three-hole oceanfront trio—is reportedly the hardest on the course, thanks to its small green hidden in the dunes.

Osprey Point is a good pick for those who want to golf in nature. Tom Fazio’s design works around four large natural lakes, a saltwater marsh and some serious forestry. (Think lots of oaks, pines, palmetto palms and magnolias.) The par-72 layout stretches 6,871 yards from the back tees. The par-4 ninth hole is a doozy at 453 yards, and a pair of threes are more than 200 yards.

Cougar Point is a par-72 layout designed by Gary Player, stretching 6,861 yards from the back tees and popular for a three-hole stretch on the front nine, close to the marsh and with top views of the Kiawah River.

And the Oak Point Course, designed by Clyde Johnston, is located just off the Kiawah gate. A “shotmaker’s course,” it is a par-72, and measures 6,701 yards from the tournament tees.

The Spa

The Resort’s Sanctuary Spa has 12 treatment rooms. The Signature Massage includes heat therapy with warm wraps placed across the neck, back and shoulders, followed by a massage. The Mint Julep Hydrating Facial uses essential oils of peppermint and spearmint and is good for sensitive skin. Reach out to Spa Director Missy Hughes ([email protected], 843-768-6284) with any questions.

Staying There

The Sanctuary Hotel at the resort is a top pick for accommodation. (The hotel’s Standard King rooms are reportedly some of the largest on the East Coast.)

Meeting demand from families, the hotel recently added connecting doors to its Ocean Front Suites for up to two extra bedrooms. (The combined rooms can sleep up to 10, or more with roll-away beds.) The hotel can guarantee connecting rooms.

The Governor’s Suite has an oceanview balcony and dedicated living and dining areas. The Presidential Suite has a four-poster king bed, a fireplace in the living room, a balcony and private concierge service.

The Resort also has close to 400 condos with one to four bedrooms and 80 homes with four to eight bedrooms.

Travel agents should reach out to Director of Travel Agent Sales Natalie Payne ([email protected], 843-768-2882).

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