Kiawah Island Golf
There are 5 world-class golf courses on Kiawah that are open to the public. Each are challenging to play and beautiful to admire. The courses that are open to all Kiawah guests are Oak Point, Cougar Point, Turtle Point, Osprey Point, and the Ocean Course (home of the 2012 and 2021 PGA Championships). The prices vary depending on the time of year and the course that you play.
Golf Courses Around Kiawah Island
Kiawah’s most celebrated layout is often regarded as the most difficult golf course in the world to play. The Ocean Course is a bona fide masterpiece, though it was cursed in its infancy the same way the Eiffel Tower was maligned when it was constructed. No matter the threat or the bet, don’t even think about playing it from the back tees. You can go back there and have the most miserable day of your life, or you can pick the forward tees and have one of the grandest days you’ve ever enjoyed on a golf course. It’s pretty much up to you. Every hole has some form of lateral obstacle in the form of bunkers, water, waste areas or some combination of those hazards. Designed by Pete Dye, the Ocean Course was the host of the 1991 Ryder Cup Matches, the 1997 and 2003 World Cup of Golf, the 2007 Senior PGA Championship, and the 2012 and 2021 PGA Championships. With all 18 holes offering panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, it’s likely The Ocean Course would have earned widespread acclaim had no tournament ever been played there. Located at the Eastern end of Kiawah Island, The Ocean Course negotiates along 2-3/4 miles of pristine oceanfront property. According to Pete Dye, “There’s no other golf course in the Northern Hemisphere that has as many seaside holes.” The Ocean Course is a par 72 course and from the championship tees, it stretches to 7,876 yards (7,202 m) with a slope rating of 155 and a course rating of 79.1, the highest in the country according to the United States Golf Association.
Kiawah’s Turtle Point is not an extremely difficult course to play – however, holes 14, 15 and 16 are quite a bit different from the rest of the course, and are simply stunning with the spectacular 3-hole stretch woven through rolling sand dunes directly along the Atlantic Ocean. There are many houses lining the course, and alligators lurking in the lagoons – so be sure to take extra balls with you. The layout offers a combination of length and accuracy. This Jack Nicklaus design has led to its selection for several important championships including the Carolinas’ Amateur, the Carolinas’ PGA, the South Carolina Amateur and the 1990 PGA Cup Matches, the club professionals version of the Ryder Cup. After a full renovation in 2016, Turtle Point now offers a low-profile design with fairways and green settings blended into the existing landscape.
Osprey Point is one of the most popular golf courses to play on Kiawah. While it offers lots of water on the left of its generous fairways, it is just a fun layout to play! The course is in immaculate shape, scenic and provides a lot of challenge. The greens are in fantastic shape, yet just a little on the slower side. The Tom Fazio layout, went through a facelift in 2014. At Osprey Point, Fazio used a superb natural canvas to create a masterpiece in playability and variety. The setting for the course features four large, natural lakes, fingers of saltwater marsh, and dense maritime forests of live oaks, pines, palmettos, and magnolias. Into that backdrop, Fazio blended a par-72 layout that takes advantage of its setting.
The most playable course on the island and well-maintained. It is neither boring or easy, yet offers stunning views – the holes along the marsh/river are especially gorgeous. If you want a stress-free round to enjoy a beautiful golf course and hang with your friends and family while you’re getting your golf in, this is it. No course on the island, however, has undergone more changes than Cougar Point, an executive course by Gary Player previously named Marsh Point, that Player happily stretched into a 6,875-yard par 72. The most recent renovation was in 2017.
Kiawah also owns Oak Point, a Clyde Johnston golf course located just off-island at Kiawah River Estates. Greens fees are much lower than for courses on Kiawah. A bit above average skill level required as it offers water hazards and gators on almost every hole. Most of the course was in very good to excellent condition. The greens are in excellent condition. It’s a fun course to play with “risk reward” holes and “right in front of you” holes.