Island Greens: Kiawah, Hilton Head Coastal Golf Resorts

Title: Treasures by the Sea: Island Greens at Kiawah and Hilton Head Coastal Golf Resorts

Among the United States’ vast landscape of golfing greens, a few stand out, but none spark as intimate an affair with the azure ocean as the island courses at Kiawah and Hilton Head. Nestled along the sun-soaked coastline of South Carolina, these two coastal golf resorts offer lush greens, professional designs and scintillating ocean vistas that will make any golfer’s heart surge with anticipation.

Kiawah Island is home to multiple world-renowned layouts, including the Ocean Course, Turtle Point, and Osprey Point, each impeccably designed and maintained, providing a unique experience for golfers of all skill levels.

Built in 1991, The Ocean Course at Kiawah has seen its fair share of major golf championships – notably the Ryder Cup in 1991 and the PGA Championship in 2012. Embracing a true classic links-style layout, golf architect Pete Dye’s spellbinding design is considered one of the toughest and most beautiful courses worldwide. With daunting winds, fescue-covered sand dunes and a par-3 17th that clings menacingly to the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, this course is as ruthless as it is picturesque.

Turtle Point and Osprey Point, though slightly more forgiving, are no less mesmerizing. Turtle Point, carved deftly by Jack Nicklaus, is characterized by narrow fairway corridors, small greens, and strategically placed water hazards, demanding precision over power. Osprey Point, a Tom Fazio marvel, offers golfers a serene journey through forests and around four natural lakes, a rare sanctuary for bird-watchers and nature-lovers alike.

Hilton Head Island, on the other hand, located further south close to the border with Georgia, is a realm of legendary fairways. The gorgeous Harbour Town Golf Links and Palmetto Dunes are the stars here.

Harbour Town Golf Links, wrapping a prestigious marina, is one of the PGA TOUR’s favorite stops, annually hosting the RBC Heritage. This gem, conceived from the joint design genius of Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus; offers narrow fairways lined by timber, petite greens and holes cleverly hidden by mature trees. Its 18th hole, a 472-yard par 4 that treads along the Calibogue Sound, is celebrated as one of the most challenging closing holes on the PGA TOUR. It’s a thrilling conclusion that leaves golfers with vivid memories of lighthouse panoramas against a vast, sapphire backdrop.

Palmetto Dunes, with three courses, presents varied styles for diverse tastes. Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed the oceanfront course with its breath-taking penultimate hole by the ocean- a rare treat for golfers. George Fazio’s course is considered the toughest on the island, with intricate bunkers and water hazards. The Arthur Hills course, known for its exquisite natural beauty, remarkably blends with its surrounding maritime forest and exhibits challenging elevations and rolling fairways.

These island golfing destinations not only offer exceptional golfing experiences but also deliver a luxurious level of amenities and off-course activities. From the coastal cuisine of the Ocean Room at Kiawah, featuring the finest steaks and 1000 labels of wine, to the world-class tennis centers and miles of cycling paths at Hilton Head, there’s plenty to fill your time away from the greens.

The intrigue of island golf- wind, water, and sand, all conspiring to make each shot a thriller- is exemplified best on Kiawah and Hilton Head island golf resorts. So, from sunrise tee-times that blur into lazy afternoons by the sea, to twilights that echo with the distant crash of surf and chirping of frogs, surrender to the allure of coastal golf at these two iconic South Carolina resorts. Whether you’re an amateur swinger or a seasoned golfer, these courses undoubtedly promise a challenging and fulfilling golfing affair that you would hate to, and could never, forget.

6 thoughts on “Island Greens: Kiawah, Hilton Head Coastal Golf Resorts”

  1. Checked Kiawah’s Ocean course off my bucket list recently. Pete Dye is indeed a genius – that course made me question my golf skills more than I’d like to admit! And nothing quite equals that hairsbreadth from the ocean at the 17th hole. A brutal beauty indeed.

  2. Gotta love the South Carolina coastline! Especially Harbour Town Golf Links, being right by the marina is such a unique experience. And that 18th hole is no joke, I’ve lost more balls in the Calibogue Sound than I’d like to admit, haha. Great post, really captures the charm and challenges of these courses.

  3. This certainly makes me want to pack my clubs and leave for South Carolina this instant! I never knew golf could be this picturesque. Just a question though, are these golf resorts beginner-friendly? Or rather, beginner-tolerant, considering that I’m still perfecting my swing.?

  4. Great blog! I was fortunate enough to play the Ocean Course at Kiawah last summer. The view of the Atlantic on the par-3 17th is truly unforgettable. Although, the winds almost drove me to insanity. I guess that’s part of the challenge and charm of this course.

  5. What a detailed review of the golf courses at Kiawah and Hilton Head! I was lucky enough to play at Turtle Point and let me tell you, precision over power indeed. I’m more of a hit-and-hope golfer, but Turtle Point forced me to really think my way around the course. Now I feel like I missed out by not playing Osprey Point. Definitely next on my list. Also, has anyone tried the steaks at the Ocean Room? Worth a go?

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