The secret to saving 49% on Kiawah's Ocean Course rates

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Best public golf courses on the Atlantic Ocean

Here's one thing I promise you won't hear during the media blitz surrounding this week's PGA Championship:

How you can play the host site, Kiawah Island Resort's Ocean Course, at a 49 percent discount.

No, you don't have to play in oppressive heat and humidity -- you can score this discount during prime seasons.

You don't even need to be a resort guest.

You just have to take advantage of a little-known policy change regarding replay rounds.

Previously, you were unable to schedule replay rounds on the resort's marquee Ocean Course - you could only make a same-day request, with no guarantee you'd get it.

Now, even non-resort guests can book Ocean Course replays in advance - and a "replay" of Kiawah golf can take place on any of its courses; you're not locked in to the one you just played.

This means you can play another of the resort's four courses first, then "replay" the Ocean Course for $175 as opposed to the non-guest rate of $343, a savings of 49 percent.

Not bad, especially considering golf package guests must pay a $120 surcharge to play the Ocean Course and/or $175 to replay it.

If you're planning on heading down there, keep in mind the course will be closed for aerification on August 20th and again for overseeding between October 29-November 2.

Craig Better is one of the founding editors of Golf Vacation Insider. In addition to traveling to 15 foreign countries, he has twice traveled across America to play golf courses in all 50 United States. Prior to joining Golf Vacation Insider, Craig was a freelance writer who contributed to GOLF Magazine, Travel + Leisure Golf, Maxim Magazine,, and co-authored Zagat Survey’s book, America’s Top Golf Courses.
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I just played the Ocean Course with seven friends. our experience was phenominal. Beuitiful course and first class treatment. Our forecaddy, Patrick, was very knowledgeable, respectful, enthusiastic and justa good guy. I cannot wait until I get another chance to play this course. I will definately walk next time, riding took away from the experience.

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I would like to comment on a recent visit to the Ocean Course at Kiawah. The August issue of Golf Magazine included an article on the highly experienced and very competent caddies at the Ocean Course. I employed a caddy for my round, and he did not come close to the quality and experience described in the article. I have played at several top courses and have worked with top quality caddies, including those at Bandon Dunes, so I am aware of what a caddy should and should not do. This young man was nice enough, but he was lackadaisical about giving yardages and was totally ineffective at reading putts. The Ocean Course has many elevated greens that require a precise approach shot. His inaccurate instructions as to yardage and which club to hit caused me to overshoot several greens and incur double and triple bogies. He did not carry a wet towel to clean the ball, and he didn’t keep a scorecard. Another factor, which wasn’t his fault, was that he had to double as forecaddy for the two people I played with who were riding in a cart. This double duty took his attention away from me in a manner that reduced his effectiveness as my caddy even more. Overall it was a disappointing experience. I would suggest that anyone planning a trip to the Ocean Course be cautious about employing a caddy and also that they clarify with the pro shop whether they will have the exclusive services of that caddy.

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No, regular greens fees at the other courses are between $100 and $200

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So the regular greens fees for the other 4 resort courses run upwards of $250-$300?

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Glad we could be helpful, John, and that you were able to take advantage of this timely nugget!

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Just want to thank you for the great tip. I just booked a 7:30 a.m. time on Turtle Point, then a 1:30 p.m. time on the Ocean Course. I verified that the replay rate was $175. I have a business trip scheduled to Charleston in October and had already booked a time on the Ocean Course at $375 plus a caddy fee, since I was going to play in the morning. The overall cost would have been $455-$475 with the caddy fee and tip. By contrast I will now pay $175 plus about a $35 tip for my forecaddy. When you figure it that way, my savings will be actually be about $250 which is more than 50%. Of course, I will be paying the regular green fee on Turtle Point, so it will still be a $500 day, but hey, I get to play two great courses for the price of one! Thanks again!

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I'd start with the main reservation line. Given the tournament this week, you can't ring into the Ocean Course pro shop the way you normally can.

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Do you just contact their pro shop or reservation line to make these arrangements?

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this is fantastic news! thanks for sharing.

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If you are planning on playing the Ocean Course, don't be macho man and play the tips, unless you are a scratch player. If you are a middle to high handicapper, you will not have a good time, playing from where the pros play. This is a fabulous layout and an enjoyable round of golf, but it is a monster when the wind is blowing. I am a 4 handicap and I played the middle tees. Still a very tough test of golf.

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The secret to saving 49% on Kiawah's Ocean Course rates