Kiawah Island Resort (Ocean)

  • 4
    Golf Digest public ranking:
  • 5
    Golf Magazine public ranking:
  • 21
    Golf Digest ranking:
  • 25
    Golf Magazine ranking:

Kiawah Island, South Carolina | Kiawah Island Resort (Ocean)

Architect: Pete Dye
Year: 1991

1 Sanctuary Beach Drive
Kiawah Island, South Carolina 29455
(888) 854-2924

Course Access: Public

driving range available
motorized golf carts and caddies available
affiliated resort accommodations

PGA Championship - 2012
Ryder Cup - 1991


Tee Yardage Par Rating / Slope

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Read more about the Kiawah Island Resort (Ocean) Experience

The Itinerant Golfer

Kiawah Island Resort (Ocean)

Back when I started this Top 100 quest, one of the first courses I played was Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course. I didn’t take many photos during that round and it was raining a few years later when I played the course again, so the end result is that I’ve never had many photos of The Ocean Course on this site. With all the excitement for the 2012 PGA Championship I decided that I should make a trip down to South Carolina with my camera and check out the course one more time. I contacted some friends in North and South Carolina to see if they were interested and before I knew it everything was planned. It was a whirlwind trip that ran just a little less than 24 hours. I left Richmond at 6PM on a Friday and arrived in Charleston just after midnight. We were staying at Matt’s sisters… More >

The Itinerant Golfer

Kiawah Island Resort (Ocean)

The Ocean Course on Kiawah Island started off my end of the year trip to South Carolina and Florida for my final rounds of the year. I was most excited about this course out of the three I would be playing. This Pete Dye designed course played host to the 1991 "War by the Shore" Ryder Cup, the 2007 Senior PGA Championship and will host the 2012 PGA Championship. The brand new clubhouse pictured below had just been finished prior to the Senior PGA Championship at the end of the summer. There was a 15-20 foot picture window looking out to the ocean right when you walked in the front door. Very nice.     I'd heard stories about how tough The Ocean Course was and how the wind could wreak havoc on a golf game, but on the day we were there the sun was out and the wind… More >

  • Brandon Webb

    Played the Ocean Course on June 9, 2016. Tremendous test from the Dye tees. You must have an idea about your lines off the tee before you go, so studying the course guide on the resort’s website and reading the tips it provides is a must. You truly do need to drive the ball well, although you don’t need as many drivers off the tee unless you are into the wind. On downwind holes, I found that even though it is tempting to try and drive it even further down the fairway, you can have as much as two clubs less anyway, so 4 irons and 3 woods worked just fine. Two things stood out to me about what makes this such a stern test: 1. You must stay out of the waste areas that predominate nearly every hole. Though you can ground your club throughout, it takes a great pair of hands and a great deal of skill to negotiate these hard-packed sandy areas, especially around the green. I made 4 big numbers on my card and every one of them were a result of finding a waste area. My advice for any player that is not a 5-handicapper or less is to take your medicine in these. Play to fat areas of greens because it is difficult to gauge how the ball is going to come out. The worst thing you can do is get cute and hit it into another one. I would know! 2. As with most other Dye courses, second shots can be difficult to commit to because from the fairways almost every green looks so small. Trust your number and the amount of green in front of and behind the hole, despite what it appears to the naked eye. The paspalum greens rolled very good and aren’t grainy like Bermuda. Wind affects putts here more than normal because of the exposed nature of the greens and the steady winds. I had read beforehand that the paspalum made for “sticky” greens, meaning you could really throw chips in with a lot of spin and they would hold. I didn’t experience this. In fact I though bump-and-runs were still effective. Finally, this was my favorite 19th hole experience that I’ve had yet. The clubhouse and Ryder Cup Bar spill out onto a modest lawn, complete with Adirondack chairs, where one can enjoy a beverage as the sun sets with views of the ocean, putting green and 18th green.