Turtle Point at Kiawah Island Golf Resort
|Kiawah (W)||72||5746 yards||73.7||131|
|Governors (W)||72||5310 yards||70.8||123|
|Carolina (W)||72||5064 yards||69.3||120|
|Tournament M: 73.0/134||403||523||395||206||533||387||178||474||417||3516||530||392||440||520||171||375||177||364||426||3395||6911|
|Turtle M: 71.3/132||372||501||369||189||510||375||158||444||376||3294||512||362||422||503||160||342||164||348||403||3216||6510|
|Nicklaus M: 69.9/129||341||489||349||180||504||361||129||415||342||3110||501||343||410||477||148||328||143||316||386||3052||6162|
|Kiawah M: 68.1/125 W: 73.7/131||327||469||325||174||450||322||111||365||320||2863||467||319||390||462||133||313||125||302||372||2883||5746|
|Governors M: 65.6/115 W: 70.8/123||327||398||325||129||413||322||93||308||320||2635||434||319||345||405||118||313||107||302||332||2675||5310|
|Carolina M: 64.4/112 W: 69.3/120||277||398||295||129||413||264||93||308||299||2476||434||263||345||405||118||306||107||278||332||2588||5064|
Golf Advisor: Top 25 Off-course amenities in the U.S.
What could have been
For much of the Golf course, Turtle Point delivered on a very well manicured Golf Experience, and absolutely loaded with Gators sunbathing if you're into that.
The par 3 14th tucked behind a the sand dunes up against gorgeous beachfront houses was a great Golf hole with winds dead into your face.
Then, we reached the hole #15 par 4 of which we were all admiring the Ocean Front Hole, when the round took a turn.
We had the absolute grumpiest Ranger approach the tee, and inform us that we need to pick up the pace because we're playing a half a hole behind. I'll spare the rest of the conversation, but this wasn't the first interaction we had at Turtle Point with grumpy old Men who have no idea how fortunate they are driving around Kiawah on a Golf cart all day and getting paid for it.
That aside, an above average Golf course that probably wasn't close to the value, but because of the location can garner it.
Great Course, Location and Conditions
Played this course with a range handicaps and everyone had a great time. Much of the course has the feel of an inland course, with the closing holes along the beach. Put it on your list to play.
Missed My Target
A nice course but not worth the rate. The layout is fair - and the three ocean holes were fun - but after trekking out to Kiawah Island I had hoped for a little better experience.
The fairways were in great shape and the greens were too, with a few minor exceptions. However, a number of tee box areas and areas around greens were in rough shape.
My biggest complaint was the number of distractions. A group teeing off from the family tees and cackling and laughing while I was putting; a car alarm blaring; kids riding bikes through the course right in my line to the hole; people in the house across the pond from the 11th green with a screaming and crying toddler; leaf blowers; nail gun popping off the 10th fairway; people walking by the 13th green yelling to their friends during my putting stroke; people wandering down the path on the 15th, oblivious that they were right in the line from the tee box; a gaggle of young girls having a group photo by the 17th green; and other similar distractions.
I'm no elitist - I play courses that wend through communities regularly and am used to occasional distractions - but Turtle Point was plainly the worst that I have seen in this regard, even more so than the average muni.
Finally, I was not impressed with the staff with whom I interacted. I generally got the sense that they could have cared less that I was there.
I would not play this course again.
More ocean golf at Kiawah
There is only one Ocean Course at Kiawah, but there are two courses on the ocean. Nicklaus' Turtle Point has a unique stretch of holes from Nos. 14-16 that are tucked between the ocean dunes and some prized real estate. The remainder of the course is much flatter and winds through shady corridors. Turtle Point was the recipient of far more fairway thanks to the recent renovation, so if you haven't played it since 2015, you can expect much more playability off the tee.
Greens are generally raised with a lot of runoff areas that are shaved. I found that most of my approach shots that missed ended up on grass as opposed to bunkers.
The clubhouse F&B is excellent, including a bar with an expanded outdoor back deck with a great menu for both food and cocktails. It is a happening scene there especially on the busy spring morning I was there. Tomasso is also on sight for dinner that is a little more formal.
All in all, Turtle has spectacular views and exemplary facilities but I actually liked the 18 holes at Cougar Point a little more in totality.
It's easy to compare one golf course to another when there are five great public courses to choose from. I think it would be unfair to compare this course to the Ocean course. They're designed differently, and they play very different, and in fact you rarely see the ocean while on this course.
Course was in great shape and all the amenities and services that Kiawah does well are still true of this course. I didn't think the layout was that interesting. Some courses have very memorable holes that stay with you forever. Turtle really didn't have that for me. 7 was a nice par 3 over water, 14-16 are on the ocean, but on the whole I'll remember Turtle as a nice course, and a very good course, but not an all time great course. It plays very honest too - smaller greens require accurate iron play, but I felt you could get away with some lousy tee shots here.
The layout of this course is very bland. Many of the holes are very similar. The last few holes near the ocean are very good, most of the others are forgettable.
The course is in nice condition, but this is my least favorite of the Kiawah resort courses.
Go play Oak Point, Osprey or the Ocean Course, don't waste your time playing this course.
Straight Off the Tee is the Key!
I really enjoyed this course which surprised me because I met some golfers the day before I played that said "it was too narrow, unfair, too hard, etc."
I had a great time while playing from the forward tees. Yes, some fairways are narrow but not all of them are "too narrow."
The one hole that was really narrow was the 16th hole (see photo) but it was a lot of fun to play!
I would say if you have a really bad hook or slice you will have a hard time but if you are normally straight off the tee, have a mild fade, or mild draw, you will love this course.
the picture looks more like hole #14 on Turtle Point.