Turtle Point, South Carolina
1 Turtle Point Drive
Turtle Point, SC 29454
Par: 72, 7062 yards
74.2 rating, 144 slope
Architect: Jack Nicklaus
A year before The Ocean Course hosted the 1991 Ryder Cup, another of Kiawah Resort’s courses hosted an equally prestigious – if not quite so well publicized – competition matching professional golfers from opposite sides of the Atlantic. Turtle Point, designed by Jack Nicklaus, was the site of the 1990 PGA Cup Matches, the club professionals’ version of the Ryder Cup. Few outside golf’s inner circles knew it, but this was, in fact, the PGA of America’s way of auditioning an understudy for the role of Ryder Cup host venue, just in case The Ocean Course, where construction was just getting started in earnest, wasn’t ready come September of ’91.
That’s how much PGA of America officials thought of Turtle Point then, and the facility is even better today, thanks to the addition of an elegant and stately clubhouse, as well as a state-of-the-art teaching center. But structures aside, Turtle Point has undergone some subtle tweaks by the Golden Bear, himself, over recent years, further refining one of his early masterpieces. Still, the overall character of the course remains unchanged – fairways that place a premium on accuracy, bunkering that demands strategic thinking and small, subtle greens that require and reward precision, both with the approach and the putter. If that’s not enough, at holes 14-16, only the windswept dunes separate your golf ball from the Atlantic. So in some ways, this was the Ocean Course before there was an Ocean Course.
Loggerhead sea turtle, Leatherback sea turtle, American Alligator, Eastern Box Turtle, Common Snapping Turtle, Diamond Back Terrapin Turtle, Black Racer Snake, Yellow Rat Snake, Banded Water Snake, Eastern King Snake, Scarlet Sanke
Bobcat, Coyote, River Otter, Gray Fox, Racoon, White Tailed Deer, American Mink,
Bonnethead shark, Squid, Dolphin, Cannonball Jellyfish, Atlantic Flying Fish, Horseshoe crab
Least Terns, Royal Terns, Caspian Terns, Sanderlings, Pelicans, Osprey, Oyster Catchers, Semipalmated Plovers, Great Egrets, Green Heron, Spotted Sandpiper, Merlin, Wild Turkey, Osprey Bald Eagle, Laughing Gull, Woodpecker, Carolina Wren, Southern Mockingbird, Eastern Bluebird, Red-winged blackbird, house finch, Turkey Vulture, Snowy Egret, Kingfisher, Wood Stork, Painted Bunting, Blue Jay, Great Crested Flycatcher, American Crow, Great Horned Owl
HOW TO GET THERE:
By Plane: The closest major airport is the Charleston International Airport (CHS), which is serviced from a number of major US cities and airline hubs, including direct flights from Boston, NYC, Washington DC, Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, and others. Charleston International Airport is about a 45-50 minute drive from Kiawah Island. Private jets can access Kiawah Island via the Johns Island Executive Airport, a short 25 minute drive from Kiawah.
By Car: From I-26 towards Charleston, take exit 212B toward Savannah. Take exit 212B for I-526 W toward Savannah. Merge onto Interstate 526 W/Mark Clark Expressway. Turn right onto US-17 S/Savannah Hwy. Turn left onto Main Rd/State Rd S-10-20. Continue to follow State Rd S-10-20. At the traffic circle, take the 3rd exit onto Kiawah Island.