There are many reasons to love Kiawah Island. It is naturally blessed with an abundance of animal and bird life. Ospreys and Bald Eagles roam the skies and Bobcats and Alligators stalk the ground and water ways. The beach stretches some ten miles and is consistently voted as one of the best 10 beaches in the U.S.A. Island life is tranquil and relaxing and guests mix with residents on many of the cycle routes and beach walks that stitch their way across the island. And that is before we even come to looking at golf...
It is barely believable that a golf course could be constructed on the marsh land that the Ocean Course cuts through, but somehow Pete and Alice Dye managed to do just that. The course itself is raw and breathtaking as Dye intended it to be. The overriding feature is the raised nature of the course above the protective dunes leaving the fairways open to the elements and meaning you rarely play the course without some wind. It also means picking sight lines can be difficult off the tee and makes taking one of the course caddies around with you an absolute necessity on your first few visits. The last 5 holes hug the beach and are some of my favourite golf holes that I have played anywhere in the world.
It has detractors who things such as it is too penal, too difficult and is based too much around target golf. Dye in general can be a polarising golf course designer. For me though, golf is all about jeopardy and with jeopardy comes beauty and excitement. The course will end up winning most days but is that necessarily a bad thing? That birdie or flushed drive will feel all the more sweet on a course like the Ocean Course and I for one would love to come back and try and to get the better of it.
Date: January 31, 2021