After the 3rd Major of the year, we golf fans are left with just one more major championship to drool over until the long hard wait for The Masters next year although we do have the Ryder Cup to look forward to. All this talk of Major golf events has got us thinking about one of the USA’s most excellent golf courses, the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island which held the Ryder Cup in 1991 and the PGA Championship in 2012 & 2021.
Kiawah Island is situated in the charming surroundings of South Carolina on a natural barrier island. Decades of careful planning and cautious development have ensured the island’s natural features have stayed intact while one of the world’s best golf courses has taken shape. Pristine sandy beaches, rugged salt marshes and an abundance of wildlife have remained at Kiawah and since golf course construction began and they have been joined by hordes of golfers, eager to sample the five beautiful golf courses designed by the likes of Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, Gary Player and Clyde Johnston.
The star attraction at Kiawah Island is The Ocean Course however it is safe to say that this is not the only reason to consider Kiawah for your next American Golf Holiday.
Here are the 7 wonders of Kiawah Island…
The Ocean Course
The Ocean Course is the headline act at Kiawah Island, and it is a course which has a rich golfing history. The 2007 Senior PGA, the 1997 and 2003 World Cups, and the 2001 UBS Cup have all graced the Ocean, but the highlight without doubt was the 1991 Ryder Cup matches, dubbed ‘The War on the Shore’, which culminated with Bernhard Langer missing ‘that putt’.
The Ocean Course is the jewel in Kiawah’s crown and is an absolute must during any golf holiday to South Carolina.
The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island is only the fourth course to host all of the PGA of America’s major tournaments. This honour befits the standard of Pete Dye’s 1991 creation, which is frequently buffeted by the prevailing Atlantic winds which make this course, in the eyes of many in the know, the toughest in America.
If you think you’ve got game, we challenge you to take on the mighty ocean course!
The Sanctuary Hotel
Although Kiawah Island is better known for its outstanding golf portfolio, the accommodation options should not be overlooked, least of which The Sanctuary Hotel. The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island is located on the perfect white sand of Kiawah Island’s coastline, and is a 5* luxury retreat that captures the spirit, history and charm inherent to the Charleston area.
Although there are a number of different accommodation options at Kiawah Island, the Sanctuary Hotel is the pinnacle and our recommendation for the Kiawah Island Golf Holiday.
The first floor is raised some 20 feet to provide guests with unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean and the 255 guestrooms are of the very highest quality featuring amenities including four-poster beds and private balconies from which you can enjoy the intoxicating sea breezes that roll in from the Atlantic.
The Sumptuous Spa
There are few better places to head after a round of golf than a luxury spa designed to eliminate the stresses and strains of everyday life and guess what? The Sanctuary Hotel has one of the best around!
After a long, hot day battling it out with the Ocean Course, or any of the five courses for that matter, the Sanctuary Spa is the ideal haven for relaxation and recharging the batteries.
Lavish surroundings, traditional massages and top class facilities make this the perfect place to unwind after a day spent battling it out with the fearsome Ocean Course. Be sure to arrive early (and stay late) to take advantage of the mineral hot tub…the prefect place to recharge the batteries in preparation for the night ahead.
10 World Class Restaurants
Southern hospitality comes alive inside the Kiawah Island’s numerous top class restaurants which, thanks to their rich diversity, will cater for each and every taste. Your private table may overlook splendid surf, lagoons, gardens or fairways, while you dine on exquisitely prepared award-winning native foods complemented by the perfect wine or beverage.
The Atlantic Room is just one of ten restaurants available at Kiawah Island. No matter your mood you will find something to suit your tastes at Kiawah Island.
Head to The Atlantic Room for a special night out and for the amazing sea views or to the resort’s signature restaurant, The Ocean Room, the only American restaurant to earn both Forbes four star and AAA for diamond awards. Wherever you decide to eat, it will be a gastronomic experience of epic proportions!
Be One with Nature
Even something as simple as a walk along the beach at Kiawah Island is an unforgettable experience. Collect seashells, skim stones or ride a bike on the way to experience the wonderful ecosystem of this coastal region. For those who want to learn a thing or two the resort offers numerous ways to interact safely with the Low country.
The flora and fauna at Kiawah Island is fascinating and during your time away from the golf course, exploring it is an exciting yet relaxing way to spend the day. Just watch out for the Alligators!
Classes on birds and other wildlife, walking tours, paddling adventures, and fishing and pleasure boating charters are all available.
Saving Shots with your Caddie
One of the charms of playing the Ocean Course, much like the St Andrews Old Course, is walking and talking to your caddie will be an entertaining experience. The Kiawah Island caddies are among the most well trained, experienced in the country and are sure to have the odd golfing anecdote or two to keep spirits high throughout your round.
Having a caddie on any of the 5 courses at Kiawah Island is of great use. Prepare to lose plenty of golf balls if you don’t listen to their advice!
From experience, I can tell that the first they point out on the Ocean Course is that it plays at least 10 shots harder than your home course. They were clearly exaggerating though as I knocked round in just the nine over my handicap! In all seriousness though…caddies will save you countless shots as they suggest clubs you wouldn’t dream of hitting from various points around the course and pointing out putting lines that you won’t believe until you hear that sweet little rattle!
Although it will be hard to tear yourself away from the Kiawah Island resort complex, a visit to Charleston is an absolute must for anyone embarking on a South Carolina Golf Holiday. The slogan “history lives” rings true with the city’s cobblestone streets and amazing old-world architecture.
A day trip to Charleston will give you a healthy dose of South Carolina charm.
Charleston played an important part in the history of the USA, particularly during the Civil War, and as such is a paradise for lovers of history. Filled with charming restaurants and shops as well as the vibrant nightlife hotspots, Charleston is a city that can be easily explored on foot. An absolute must for a day away from the resort.