Tom Fazio briefly seized the spotlight at the Kiawah Resort, designing Osprey Point — the resort’s third golf course — which opened during 1988. Pete Dye’s Ryder Cup-hosting Ocean Course would open the next year, however visitors to Kiawah Island still seek out Fazio’s contribution to its crown.
The course is perhaps the most widespread of the resort’s offerings, wandering almost from the north side of the island all the way to the south shore. Although it lacks the coastal views of the Ocean and Turtle Point courses, Osprey Point brings more water into play than the others combined. A series of ponds dot this area on the island and Fazio uses them to provide both challenge and strategy to players.
Canvasback Pond is among the most prominent, beckoning players along hole nos. 10, 17 and 18 (a lengthy par five along the water), but the most intimidating tee shot — not just at Osprey but perhaps the entire island — comes at No. 9. The long par four (460 yards) may only allow GIRs for those who hug the lake off of a Cape-style tee shot, while avoiding a centerline bunker that presses the shore.
Osprey Point is a Fazio design. The first hole is welcoming, water left trees right but an expansive fairway. The second hole is a 489 yard par five. Very reachable, there is water left, 4 bunkers distributed randomly on the right and one greenside left. Really a par 4 1/2. The first par is mid-length with a carry over a swamp. The green sits right behind a long front facing bunker. The 4th is a long par four, fairway bunker left and treelined both sides. The green has bunkers left and right. The fifth is a big dogleg right. Favor the left side off the tee for the best angle into the green. The 6th is a long par three with water and a bunker running down the entire left side. The 7th is a fun short par four. Laying up by aiming at the left fairway bunker is probably the smart play. Not I, I tried to carry the right fairway bunker that starts about 125 yards out. The par 5 8th bends left. For your first two shots favor the right side and you will be left with an attack wedge. The 9th is the longest par 4, dogleg left with a water carry and water all the way down the left side. There is a strategically place bunker in the center of the fairway that starts about 200 yards out from the green. Right of the bunker is the safer play, but left gives you a much shorter approach.
The back starts with a long demanding par four. Fairway bunker left, the green is slightly elevated with two small bunkers front right. The 11th is a long Florida par 3 all carry. The 12th is a par five dogleg right. There is BAB on the inside elbow that has a large oak tree in it. The green is protected by a bunker left and two right. The 13th is a short par four, large fairway bunker right. The fairway bunker left is in play. Ideal drive is right, as there is a speed slot there and should leave you a wedge in. The elevated green falls off right with a deep bunker left. The 14th is a short par 4 with fairway bunkers left and right that hourglass the fairway. Either bomb it or layup. This is a wide and narrow green. Good birdie hole. The mid-yardage par 3 15th looks more intimidating than it is. There is a BAB that runs from the tee to the green and another one left of the green. This is a two-tiered green. The 16th has a fairway bunker left with a wide landing area right. The approach is downhill and the fairway narrows significantly with a water hazard right. The 17th is a long par four with water all down the left side and treelined right. The finishing hole is a par five with water down the left side. As the hole bends left around the water hazard it drops down. There are two pairs of twin bunkers right and a long trench bunker left.
One of the better courses at Kiawah.
Have played here a few times. I hold a special place in my heart for Osprey as it yielded my 2nd time I broke 70. 5 birds and 2 bogs. The greens are in fantastic shape but predominantly flat. The terrain also is flat with water intruding fairly often to define your playing corridors. A lovely finisher par 5 which offers some risk reward as the green sits along a tidal pond and requires the aggressive player to carry it to challenge it in two. It's a great tune up before taking on the Ocean.
Just like a previous review definitely better than Turtle Point. Greens where well maintained and quick. Fairways nice a juicy. Played here in the fall/early winter and the course was stunning. Great challenge. Would I Play here again? Yes, but make sure you make your way to the Ocean Course.
I recommend playing here over turtle point.
Osprey Point is one of three auxiliary resort courses on Kiawah Island, in addition to the championship Ocean Course and two private layouts – River and Cassique – associated with the Kiawah Club. Of those three, I’d argue it’s the best, narrowly edging out Turtle Point, but this site has them ranked the other way in the South Carolina rankings. I played the course for the first time in a very long time on a recent trip, though my family went to Kiawah a lot when I was growing up, so I was very familiar with it to start with.
The course is a typical resort layout – each hole is lined by either marsh, ponds, or houses, and there are several street crossings between tees and greens. Most holes exist in that sort of vacuum, but there are a few good ones nonetheless. The difference between Osprey Point and Turtle Point, for me, lies in the three great short par fours the former course features. #7, #13, and #14 all are 355 yards or fewer and give the player options off the tee – but none of them are pushovers. (Turtle Point’s shortest par four, by comparison, is 385 yards.) Other notable holes at Osprey include #9, a long dogleg left par four over water with a strategically placed centerline fairway bunker, #11, a 200+ yard par three over water to a green split in two sections by a large hump, and #18, a dogleg left par five featuring a heavily mounded fairway and interesting layup options. The rest of the three-shotters on the course are nothing to write home about, however.
A good golf course but not a great one, Osprey Point is probably only worth your time to play if you happen to be staying on Kiawah Island (and are paying resort prices).
Played August 24, 1993, September 2, 1994, June 30, 1999, August 22, 2006, & August 19, 2019