Kiawah Island, South Carolina
1000 Governors Drive
Kiawah Island SC, 29455
Par: 72, 6932 yards
73.3 rating, 135 slope
Architect: Tom Fazio
When Tom Fazio came to Kiawah in the mid-80s to begin work on the island’s third golf course, Osprey Point, no less than Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus had already left their mark on popular resort. So the challenge was clear. But this was nothing new for the architect who would go on to become one of the most acclaimed in the history of golf course design. For you see, for Fazio, the goal has always been “to do better the next time,” whether you’re competing against others or yourself.
Did he create Kiawah’s best resort course at Osprey Point? The answer to that question is as varied as the golfers you ask, which speaks to the overall quality of golf at the resort. But one thing is certain; Fazio did create a course that many Kiawah residents and vacationers rank as their favorite. That’s because, though it is part of a hugely successful real estate development, Osprey Point is as much nature walk as it is golf course. Several major east-west lagoon systems cut through the property, not to mention numerous smaller tidal creeks and wetland areas. Fazio used all these natural hazards to maximum advantage aesthetically in a layout that includes surprisingly few forced carries. Only at the par-3 third and 11th holes is the golfer required to take the aerial route. Of the 13 other holes where water is in play, the trouble is kept to the side of otherwise generous landing areas and greens. At nine of those 13 holes, the hazard is on the left, while three put water to the right. The par-4 fifth plays no favorites, with water to the right off the tee, then left of the green, but actually neither comes into play for all but the poorly executed shot.
Bottom line is, Osprey Point a visual treat, whether you have a golf club in your hand or not. A product of the architect’s talent for blending golf and nature, it, no doubt, is one of the self-fashioned stepping stones that raised Fazio to the elite echelon of his profession.
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
Birds: 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.