1 Sanctuary Beach Drive, Kiawah Island, South Carolina 29455, US
(843) 768-2121
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About Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Kiawah Island Golf Resort reigns as one of the premier golf destinations in America. It's got it all ... 10 miles of pristine beach, the 255-room, luxurious Sanctuary hotel, a spa, nearly 500 private villas and homes, the new Cottages at the Ocean Course, five championship courses, a tennis complex, multiple dining options and an inspiring recreation and nature program. The Ocean Course, host of the 1991 Ryder Cup and 2012 and 2021 PGA Championships, is the headliner by Pete Dye. Turtle Point by Jack Nicklaus and Cougar Point by Gary Player are among the other choices.

Facts

Price Range$$$$
Property Class★★★★★
Year Opened1976
Number of Units300-500

Amenities

RestaurantsFine, Bar, Casual, Buffet
Room TypesRoom, Suite
PoolIndoor
TennisYes
Fitness CenterYes
Practice FacilityYes
Beach AccessYes
Golf School/AcademyYes
Banquet SpaceYes
SpaYes

Services

Kids ProgramYes
Room ServiceYes
ConciergeYes

Rules

Is the resort pet friendly?Yes
Is resort stay required for a tee time?No

Golf courses at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Images from Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Reviews

4.5
111 Reviews (111)

Reviewer Photos

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Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Used cart

Ocean Course Experience

It's definitely a 'bucket list' course to play for the average golfer. I booked a reservation only because my family and I were in the area and was able to get an afternoon tee-time. I played from the Kiawah tees (whites) and the course was challenging, but manageable.

The weather was sunny and breezy (it's an ocean course). The conditions were fantastic and it showed.

The staff was as expected in a high-end environment. The check in was quick. I was then referred to the starter when I was coupled with my caddy for the day.

If you get the opportunity, request Jamison to be your caddy!! Not only did we share Long Island roots (we lived in the same area), but he is very personable, knowledgeable about the course, and was full of anecdotal stories to make the day more interesting.

I can't say this for many rounds, but time did fly by and when we arrived at 18, I was disappointed the round was over.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 110
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 100 Contributor
Florida Advisor
First Time Playing

A Religious Experience

Golf of this quality is unheard of for a regular public course player. The carpet like grass showed no blemishes, the bunkers are uniquely crafted to present an aesthetically pleasing walk and a tormenting test should you find yourself in one. Greens were pure and course is looking absolutely prime in the wake of the upcoming major championship. The price is worth it. Play this course.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 6
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Used cart

Typical Resort Track

This is your typical beach resort course with 3 novelty holes on the ocean. The course is in very good shape but the layout is so-so at best. All fairways are lined with homes with some OB but mostly red staked penalty areas. All of the Kiawah courses now have Paspalum greens with is a good surface when it's not dormant. They have been over seeded with rye and putt about as true as you can expect for dormant grass. They also hold a shot from the fairway very well. The holes on the ocean (14 - 16) are 2 short par 3's and a short par 4. Lots of ponds and lagoons (many inhabited by gators). Cougar and Osprey Point are much better layouts and better tracks overall.

Conditions Average
Value Good
Layout Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 42
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Missouri Advisor
Top 1000 Contributor
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Second Best Course at Kiawah Island

I think Cougar Point is the second-best course in the Kiawah Island group, behind only the amazing Ocean Course. Cougar is exactly what you would want in a resort course – a challenging but fun time. The conditions were great. The greens were lush but almost shaggy, and you really had to hit putts to get them to the hole.

The second hole is a little par-3 that is right next to the road that brings you onto the island. The pathway is busy with walkers, bikers and car traffic but nothing distracting. In fact, the alligator patrolling the lake caught our attention more. The third is a beastly par-5 but very picturesque that bends around a lake. After that hole, you have to drive through a tunnel that brings you to the most beautiful holes on the course. The fourth takes you to the edge of the river, and No. 5 plays right by the marsh. The green at five sticks out into the marsh and is a great place to take a picture. The par-3 sixth is also scenic with an easy carry over scrub brush.

The track turns back inland but nine and 10 play around a nice lake. The 11th hole is notable as the opening scene in the movie “The Legend of Bagger Vance”. Unfortunately for me, just like Jack Lemmon in the movie, I hit a snap hook into the trees on the left!

The rest of the back nine is solid with some tight fairways, nearby houses and water in play. The course gets tough on 15 and 17 with difficult angles to reach the green. The closing hole is challenging with a long approach shot over the corner of the lake, as the green sits near the clubhouse.

Like all the Kiawah courses, Cougar Point is pricey. If you can, try to avoid the peak times or try and get a package deal to reduce costs. But if I could only play one course at Kiawah Island that wasn’t the Ocean Course, I’d choose Cougar Point.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 42
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Missouri Advisor
Top 1000 Contributor
First Time Playing
Cold weather
Walked

Best Course I’ve Ever Played

Simply put, the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island is the best course I have ever played. It is also the most beautiful and most difficult track I’ve been on. The views along the Atlantic Ocean are amazing and need to be seen by all golfers at least once in their life. A must-play and bucket-list course with incredible wildlife on the course.

We lucked out and played on a cool and not too windy day. The first few holes “ease” you into the round and are more of a parkland/marsh type course. As you turn back towards the clubhouse on hole six and are by the ocean, that is when the round really gets scenic and even more difficult. FYI, the distance from the ninth green to the 10th tee is far.

The back nine is where the course shines. Pictures and videos do not do it justice. The par 3s on 14 and 17 are brutal yet so beautiful. The tee box on 14 sits up high at the far end of the course and is an amazing viewpoint. The green on 14 is like a volcano and seems impossible to hit, while the 17th green just looks like an island in the lake and is even more difficult to play. To close the round out, the 18th green has a great view of the back of the clubhouse.

In general, the fairways are wide but if you get off line, it gets hard to find your ball. I’d suggest bringing more golf balls than you think you might normally need, but you will likely find a bunch, too! The greens are big and were in perfect condition but a little slow.

As with many bucket list courses, The Ocean Course is really expensive to play but worth it. (I actually did not list the exact date we played because we were lucky and got a “special” rate through a Kiawah Island property owner.) If you can combo it with another of the resort’s courses, you can get a cheaper rate.

Can’t emphasize it enough, though… Every golfer needs to play The Ocean Course at least once in their life!

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 124
Handicap 20-24
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Top 100 Contributor
First Time Playing

Another great Kiawah course

Played Turtle Point today at Kiawah Island. I played as part of their golf or gourmet package where you get a round of golf and dinner credit for each nights stay. It’s a great off season deal-for $200 a night you can get a round of golf, $50 dinner credit and a 1 br condo. We did the same thing this time last year and I played Cougar Point and the Ocean Course. Turtle is probably my 3rd favorite out of those 3-the Ocean Course is iconic and Cougar Point is more player friendly-however, Turtle Point is still a really solid course. The tees and fairways were in great shape. The greens were good. But pretty slow I thought. The course is a good mix of short and long holes. There is a lot of water, however there aren’t many forced carries. Most of the water is on the side and offers a bailout. It seemed to me most of the water was on the left. And the bailout was to the right. But not every time. The greens were good. Not great. They were slow and had a lot of ball marks I thought. There are 3 holes right near the ocean. However Bc of the dunes you can’t actually see the ocean and that was disappointing especially if you’ve played The Ocean Course. But you can hear it. And it’s a beautiful course. The staff was really friendly and it’s a fun course to play. I couldn’t afford the full rack rate. But with the deal I got it’s a great option.

Conditions Good
Value Fair
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 48
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 1000 Contributor
First Time Playing

Amazing golf experience!

Played the beautiful Ocean Course on a brilliant Monday morning. The golf course is extremely hard but fair. Good shots are rewarded and there is room for a little off-line shots as well. Greg our caddie was awesome and kept me out of trouble. The turf and green complexes were in suburb condition. The clubhouse is understated but fits right in the low country vibe of S Carolina
Well worth the fees and a must play!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 11
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
1.0
First Time Playing

Worst of the Kiawah courses by far

Skip this one. its still 260 bucks for 18, the greens are slow, the views are limited (10 or 11 of the holes look like suburban municipal courses), and its not that close to the island. storno (30 m away) has an equivalent course with 20 percent of the price tag. ocean course and osprey point are miles ahead

Conditions Average
Value Poor
Layout Fair
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 12
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Always a great experience

Played nine holes late in the day on Cougar Point. Perfect time to play. Nice to have the nine-hole option any time during the day, especially if you are on a family beach vacation.

As always at Kiawah, the course was in perfect condition. Greens were almost perfect, marred only by inconsiderate "golfers" who fail to repair their ball marks. Greens putted true and surprisingly slow compared to other courses I've played recently. Good shots checked up quickly on these lush greens. Fairways, traps, tee boxes were perfect.

The beauty of Kiawah Island is revealed by all the courses. Some courses take you out near the ocean, others into the marsh, but always surrounded by the wonders of nature. It's easy to be distracted by the beauty of the course and it's surroundings. Errant shots are subject to out of bounds or into natural hazards.

Love the these courses; love the whole place for that matter. Can't wait to go back.

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 12
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
3.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Excellent Conditioning, So-so layout

Pros: The golf course is in excellent shape and this is reflected in the fairway uniformity, bunkers were in great shape and the greens rolled extremely smoothly if not a little slowly. The personnel working at the course are very friendly and helpful and want to make this a great experience for you.

Cons: All that said, there are really only 3 scenic holes on the golf course (4, 5 and 6 that are on the Kiawah River) and Holes 7 (90 degree dogleg right) and 8 (completely unmemorable straight ahead par 4) are more bad than good. Then a host of fairly average holes until 17 and 18 kind of wake you up. The rest of the course is hemmed in by trees and/or houses. Also, the price tag on this course is exceptionally high for what you get but there is not really an affordable option nearby.

Summary: High-end resort style experience, conditioning and price tag with a less than stellar layout and design.

Conditions Excellent
Value Poor
Layout Fair
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 26
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Spectacular

This place was spectacular! First Kiawah Course I’ve played other than the Ocean Course. Fairways were lush and greens were like carpet. Very fun and challenging course and the holes had great variety. Staff was excellent and made sure you had a great day out. Can’t wait to return to Kiawah, it truly is golfer paradise. Only downside is the pro shop was still closed due to COVID.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Ocean fun

I recently had the pleasure of enjoying a round on this course, I was attending a 2 day event sponsored by the AMTOUR. I was able to play two very good courses on the island, Turtle Point and the Ocean course. I will say the Ocean course is all it's billed to be both challenging and rewarding in the awesome views from the course. I would highly recommend playing this course if you ever get the chance or opportunity

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

Course was in perfect condition...
Never had a bad lie in fairway and greens rolled true with good speed.....must play course...

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

GCamtour major at Turtle point

We played day2 of Kiawah major in relatively calm wind with 1030 tee time.
Course played relatively difficult over the 3 ocean holes which are beautiful, tight and challenging at the same time.
Green speed was around 9, course in great shape for the time of the year.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

AM Tour - tournament play

After playing Ocean Course the previous day I was expecting. an easier day. The course was much more challenging. that expected. Fairways were wide enough, just trouble on both sides almost the entire way. Water, sand, OB all came into play. Enjoyed the great condition of the course and layout. Great to see the ocean on a couple holes as well.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Walked

Turtle point in fantastic shape

I've played Turtle Point several times and this year the course was in the best shape ever! The greens would hold good shots and they were fast but not crazy fast and putts rolled where you hit them. The fairways were in great shape. This is one of the top courses that we play in GCAT. I will come back every year to play the Ocean Course and Turtle Point!

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Walked

Loved the course

Facility from entrance to exit was immaculate. Course played tough but very forgiving off the tee. The caddy was outstanding and I suggest anyone who plays the course for the first time get this experience as well. Will definitely save you strokes and make your leisurely walk more memorable.

Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 15
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Walked

What a Bonus

I played a 2 day Golf Tour AM event. The first day we played the Ocean Course. Enough said there. The second day was Turtle Point and what a great bonus. Given that is was the off season the over seed on Turtle actually made some of the conditions even nicer here. The fairways and tees were pretty darn lush for the first day of March. We had perfect weather. Make sure to take a caddie if you can. Just makes the golf experience much richer. This course had a little more trouble off the tee if you don't hit it straight but coming back to the beach on the par 3 was another bonus. Just cannot recommend this experience enough. Enjoy!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Brilliant

I have had the good fortune of playing many great courses and don’t understand how this course is not ranked in the top 5
Incredibly fair for any level with sensible teeing options
Multiple ways to play most holes that work for long hitters or those who are not so long
Fantastic condition, even more significant considering it’s location and the challenges presented.
I remember the holes because they were all different
Even when playing badly the views and location made it difficult not to thoroughly enjoy a day’s golfing. Not many courses can say this

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
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