One of our favorite places to visit are the barrier islands found along the South Carolina coast just south of Charleston. This is a magical place of incredible beauty and just the right amount of seclusion where you can feel special ... but still easy to get to. While the entire coast here from Myrtle Beach to Hilton Head is dotted with legendary golf courses, Kiawah Island is special for the fact that it isn't an overdeveloped resort area. Here, among the waves, white sand beaches, and sea grass you can relax and enjoy a great golf getaway.
The perfect destinations for me are the ones with challenging golf courses and Kiawah Island is one of them. The island with its world-class golf, lavish vacation homes and breathtaking landscapes, has become one of our most popular golf destinations for golfers. The lavish homes and resort itself allows visitors to enjoy the lush and beautiful island that seems to have been a natural creation just for vacations. The history of Kiawah Island is as fascinating as its present.
The first people living on the island were the Kiawah Indians. Captain George Raynor, a pirate who had two ships, and made his home anchorage a small creek on the backside of Kiawah Island was the first owner of the island. In 1682 Raynor took his ships south, hoping to find a scattered Spanish convoy. Three weeks later, he returned in Kiawah Island’s Charles Town as a very rich man. He finished with pirating and in 1699 due to the ex-pirate captain generous donations, the Lords Proprietors granted Raynor his hiding place, the Kiawah Island. Rumors of pirate gold buried on Kiawah island still exist today.
The Treasures of Kiawah Island Golf Resort
You may not find pirate gold these days on the island, but you’ll definitely find other treasures. I have played several rounds at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort and each time it was a great experience. I enjoyed exploring the five gems of this resort, the five, skillfully-designed golf courses.
The Ocean Course
The Ocean Course, considered by many one of the best and the most challenging golf courses in the world,was opened in 1991, has consistently hosted major championships over the years, as well as the famed 1991 Ryder Cup, dubbed the “War by the Shore”.This world-class golf course was designed so that the golfers can have a breathtaking view of the shoreline of the ocean. Several golf publications like the Golf Magazine and the Golf Digest named this course as one of the best and the toughest courses in the United States. This Pete Dye masterpiece has to be on the bucket list of any serious golfer.
Turtle Point was reopened in 2016 after a nine-month renovation led by Jack Nicklaus, aka the Golden Bear and his architectural team. It certainly is a great golf course and one that all of our customers enjoy playing. The clubhouse F&B is great, especially the bar with an expanded outdoor back deck. The menu is great. You’ll find good food at Tomasso’s as well.
If you can only play two courses at Kiawah, I recommend my favorite “O’s”, Ocean course and Osprey point. I love that Osprey has a lot of water and winds and a few open holes with long, marshy views. The course has plenty of strong holes, every hole except No. 8 has water.
For some off-course fun, the beer selection is really amazing at the restaurant as well!
Oak point is considered the easiest of the five courses. The course has been improved a lot over the years following recent renovations. The conditions are as good as the other courses. Oak Point is perfect to warm up before taking on Ocean course, it can really build up your confidence. The course has scenic finishes to each side along the Kiawah River.
I think what Gary Player has done at Cougar is a really amazing. There are some really fun holes, but the highlight actually comes with the three Kiawah River holes; it’s scenic and fun to play. A brand-new clubhouse is on construction at Cougar. The opening will be in Spring or Summer 2019.
The Ocean Course will be the home of the PGA Championship in 2021 and considerably upgrades are coming to the resort for this major golf event. Some of you may not know that prior to the 2012 PGA Championship, the Kiawah Golf Resort has renovated all five of their 18-hole golf courses. While playing golf at Kiawah Island you literally walk in golf legends footsteps like Rory Mcllroy, Payne Stewart, Seve Ballesteros, and many others. Golf at Kiawah Island is championship golf. Simply put, Kiawah is a first-class golfing experience and, for me, the perfect place for a memorable golf getaway.