Kiawah Island. It doesn’t get much better does it?
With miles and miles of incredible Atlantic Ocean coastline and one of the best beaches in the country, the Kiawah Island Golf Resort just outside Charleston is a natural on any potential golf trip to the southeast.
The resort provides guests with a wide variety of accommodation options ranging from 255 ultra luxe oceanfront rooms at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, an AAA Five Diamond property, to a selection of more than 500 fully-appointed one to four-bedroom villas and private homes at The Villas at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
While the amenities and activities at the resort are truly endless, highlights include five championship golf courses, world-class tennis facilities, the full-service Spa at The Sanctuary, separate adult and family swimming pools, fishing, nature walks, canoeing, kayaking, biking, cookouts, a health club, and 24-hour front desk service.
With more than ten restaurants spread across the resort, not only is there certain to be something appealing to everyone, but you could never eat at the same place twice during your entire stay.
Steak lovers must visit the Ocean Room Restaurant at the Sanctuary – the only steakhouse in the country to earn a Forbes 4 star and an AAA 4 diamond rating. Alternatively, The Sushi Lounge and bar is also located at The Sanctuary, with a bar also on-site for after dinner thirst quenching drinks.
Additional dining options across the resort and Kiawah include: Mingo Point Oyster Roast and BBQ offering delicious food and live music alongside the Kiawah River; fresh offerings at the Sushi Lounge and bar at the Sanctuary; poolside dining at The Night Heron Grill; and clubhouse restaurants at the golf courses – The Atlantic Room, Ryder Cup Bar, Cherrywood BBQ, and Tomasso at Turtle Point.
Five Must Play Courses
All five of the championship golf courses at Kiawah are just minutes away from the villas and possess their own unique style and personality.
The Ocean Course: Steeped in Ryder Cup lore, the par-72, 7,356-yard Pete Dye-designed Ocean Course is on everyone’s must play list – or should be. The course, which will host the 2021 PGA Championship, not only sports breathtaking views but also constant and unpredictable winds off the ocean which are part of what makes the course such a challenge. The beautiful views of the ocean are not the only water players will face as the wet stuff comes into play on nearly every hole at the Ocean Course. Ten holes are routed directly on the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean shoreline, with the remainder weaving their way through the surrounding dunes and marshes.
Turtle Point: With the par-72, 6,911-yard Turtle Point course, designer Jack Nicklaus left much of the heavy lifting to Mother Nature as the track is marked by fairways and greens that seamlessly blend into the terrain. The course can play long and boasts five par-4 holes that stretch out to more than 400 yards each (one pushing 500). You’ll need both length and accuracy to score well here.
Osprey Point: The par-72, 6,902-yard Tom Fazio-designed Osprey Point course, lengthened and renovated back in 2014, features four lakes, saltwater marshes, and thick patches of magnolias, oaks, pines, and palmetto palms. Osprey Point can be enjoyable for any level golfer with a variety of tee options. Playing from the back tees provides the greatest challenge with several risk-reward opportunities (or traps depending upon how you look at them), doglegs, and hazards. Long and short hitters alike will be challenged here.
Oak Point: A shot-makers playground, the par-72, 6,701-yard Clyde Johnston design has been referred to as a “Scottish-American” style course. Crafted on the land of a former cotton and indigo plantation and bordering Haulover Creek and the Kiawah River, Oak Point features undulating fairways and tricky greens. While the bombers can certainly score here, it’s a course designed for the thinking golfer and players with the ability to place their shots. The course was renovated in 2015.
Cougar Point: The par-72, 6,814-yard Gary Player-designed course, the first resort course in the Charleston area, emerged from a renovation in 2017 adding 600 yards of length to the original layout. The course calls for strength, finesse, and brains as many of the holes call for strategic shot placement to avoid trouble, particularly the shorter par-4’s. Generous fairways and open access to greens allow longer hitters to go after some holes.
If you can drum up ten friends, you can take advantage of the Kiawah Ryder Cup package which for about $1,000 a person includes: three nights of accommodations; three rounds of championship golf, of which one round will be played on The Ocean Course; a one-hour opening/closing reception with complimentary beer and wine; breakfast each morning; a team golf shirt (red or blue); on-island transportation; and all taxes and service charges (excluding the caddy gratuity on The Ocean Course).
Buddy Trip Cost
Travel (by car)
50 minutes from Charleston, 3 hours from Myrtle Beach, 5 1/2 hours from Atlanta
- The Sanctuary Spa
- Kiawah Island Tennis Resort
- Walking Tours
- The Lobby Bar
- The Ryder Cup Bar
- The Ocean Club
- Jasmine Porch
- Loggerhead Grill
- Beaches & Cream
- The Atlantic Room
- Tomasso at Turtle Point
- Cherrywood BBQ
- The Night Heron Grill
- The Market at Town Center
- Mingo Point Oyster Roast and BBQ
- The Ocean Course: Pete Dye (1991)
- Turtle Point: Jack Nicklaus (1981)
- Osprey Point: Tom Fazio (1988)
- Oak Point: Clyde Johnston (1989)
- Cougar Point: Gary Player (1976)