Can the most desired vacation destination be the Best GOLF Vacation destination in the world? YES!
When you are at the top of:
- Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards
- AFSR Travelers Choice Awards
- Travel & leisure – Worlds best Awards
- Southern Living’s South Best Awards…can there be more?!
For us golfers there sure is – Welcome to Kiawah Island Golf Resort a resort like no other on an island like no other. Five courses including The Ocean Course, a Pete Dye design, with ten holes bordering the Atlantic Ocean, just may be more than any other course in the Northern Hemisphere. If it is not on a rankers list of top courses it should be!
Kiawah is located about 35 miles south west of Charleston which, in my humble opinion, is one of the most beautiful cities in America and can’t be too far off considering the above awards. Founded in 1670, often referred to as the Holy City, Charleston is cited for beauty, rich history, amazing cuisine, vibrant nightlife, great and unique shopping, charm and romance.
In case you did not know…it was featured in the movie, The Legend of Bagger Vance.
Kiawah is a small island and in addition to the five public access courses they has two private ones as well. A variety of accommodation styles are available, from charming villas to the 5 star luxury of the Sanctuary Hotel. Perhaps a Private Home or Oceanside Cottage is more your style, you can be spoiled…booking directly with the resort has its benefits!
The Ocean Course is the star of the show but on a recent visit we also played the Clyde Johnston designed Oak Point Golf Course, renovated in 2015, earning 4.5 stars in Golf Digest’s Places to Play, with a magnificent new clubhouse just added this year. A true shot makers course, where Scottish links meet South Carolina’s Lowcountry. Johnston guides you around marshes and lagoons, through maritime forest while navigating along the banks of both the Kiawah River and Haulover Creek.
The Ocean Course at Kiawah is ranked the #4 Public Golf Course in the U.S. and Ranked 25th amongst the 100 Greatest U.S. Golf Courses by Golf Digest. It may have been the 1991 Ryder Cup that brought the Ocean Course to the forefront around the world. Known as “The War by the Shore”, it has be called one of the top five tournaments of the decade by Golf World magazine and No. 18 of the most defining moments in the entire history of golf by Golf Digest magazine. For three days, the U.S. and European Ryder Cup Teams waged a memorable duel on the shores of Kiawah Island. After 28 matches and numerous lead changes, the moment to decide which team would secure the Ryder Cup trophy came down to a six-foot putt, missed by Bernard Langer.
In 2012 a young lad from Northern Ireland named Rory came to the Island fought off the gusty winds better than the round 2 leaders, one so called Tiger, had claws at the time and the other, Vijay to win the 2012 PGA Championship by 8 shots, capturing his 2nd major title.
Hosting the Ryder Cup and PGA Championship has been hugely beneficial for Kiawah and for the entire area. People still come to play The Ocean Course because of the Ryder Cup. The drama surrounding the ’91 Cup is largely responsible for the current popularity of the Ryder Cup and its format.
The Ocean Course was originally designed to sit behind the dunes, designer Pete Dye’s wife, Alice, suggested raising the entire course to allow players unobstructed views of Kiawah’s beautiful Atlantic coastline from every hole. This improved view, however, made the course substantially more demanding as it also exposed it to the area’s brisk and unpredictable sea breezes.
The other Courses that you might want to consider playing to extend your stay at Kiawah:
- Turtle Point: A Jack Nicklaus design that makes you think your way around rather than just grip it and rip it!
- Osprey Point: A Tom Fazio design which was originally a members only club.
- Cougar Point: A Gary Player design with dramatic marsh views and risk reward holes.
There is no shortage of courses if you are staying in or around Charleston or neighboring Summerville either. Designers such as Arnold Palmer, Rees Jones, Arthur Hills, Tom Fazio, and Robert Trent Jones Sr. have left their mark at resorts such as Wild Dunes with two Fazio Courses, The Harbor and The Links.
Charleston National, RiverTowne, (two personal favorites) The Links at Stono Ferry, Coosaw Creek, Dunes West, Seabrook Island (Ocean Winds and Crooked Oaks), Legend Oaks, Wescott Plantation and many others that should be on your wish list, all within half an hour or so of each other.
To find out more or for a quote visit: https://kiawahresort.com/#start
For any assistance either at Kiawah or around the great Charleston area you may also contact Ricky Saucier at Golf Packages of South Carolina www.golfpackagesofsc.com 1-888-501-0954.