Ocean at Kiawah Island Resort

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4.6
31
5 Stars
28
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
2
2 Stars
1
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.6
Value
3.9
Layout
4.7
Friendliness
4.9
Pace
4.6
Amenities
5.0
79.9%
Recommend this course
29 out of 31 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
5.0
1
5 Stars
1
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
5.0
Value
5.0
Layout
5.0
Pace
5.0
Amenities
5.0
StaffFriendliness
5.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
1 out of 1 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
4.3
3
5 Stars
2
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.3
Value
3.7
Layout
4.7
Pace
4.7
Amenities
5.0
StaffFriendliness
5.0
66.7%
Recommend this course
2 out of 3 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 18
Par 72
Length 7356
Slope 144
Rating 77.3
Type Resort
Located at the eastern end of Kiawah Island, the Ocean Course meanders along 2 3/4 miles of pristine oceanfront property. According to Pete Dye, "there's no other golf course in the Northern Hemisphere that has as many seaside holes." Believe us when we tell you that this is a "must play, bring lots of balls along" experience for any golfer visiting the Charleston area.
Tee Par Length Rating Slope
Tournament 72 7356 yards 77.3 144
Ocean 72 6779 yards 73.6 138
Dye 72 6475 yards 72.0 134
Kiawah 72 6202 yards 70.9 132
Kiawah (W) 72 6202 yards 76.7 132
Carolina (W) 72 5327 yards 72.7 124
Scorecard for The Ocean
Metrics:
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Tournament M: 76.8/153 395 543 390 453 207 455 527 197 464 3631 439 562 466 404 194 421 579 221 439 3725 7356
Ocean M: 73.9/148 375 528 367 432 185 377 505 170 415 3354 378 521 420 371 171 391 555 197 421 3425 6779
Dye M: 72.4/139 W: 78.6/143 365 501 319 401 177 345 493 166 406 3173 360 506 412 364 161 381 540 182 396 3302 6475
Kiawah M: 71.1/134 W: 77.0/140 357 495 310 396 171 331 484 151 399 3094 347 476 398 333 151 358 491 168 386 3108 6202
Carolina W: 75.1/136 306 419 268 328 117 299 432 105 344 2618 310 440 326 312 132 306 447 122 314 2709 5327
Handicap 15 3 9 1 11 13 7 17 5 18 10 8 12 14 16 4 6 2
Par 4 5 4 4 3 4 5 3 4 36 4 5 4 4 3 4 5 3 4 36 72
Handicap (W) 9 1 11 3 15 13 5 17 7 12 4 6 10 16 14 2 18 8

Course Details

Year Built 1991
Fairways Paspalum Grass
Greens Paspalum Grass
Golf Season Year round
Architect Pete Dye (1991) Alice Dye (1991)

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes
Clubs Yes
GPS No
Pull-carts Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Caddies Yes
Golf School Academy Yes
Teaching Pro Yes
Pitching/Chipping Area Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Credit Cards Accepted VISA, MasterCard, Amex, Discover Welcomed
Metal Spikes Allowed No
Fivesomes Allowed No
Single Allowed No
Walking Allowed Yes
Dress code Proper attire is required.

Best of Lists

Reviews

4.6
31

What Golfers Are Saying

The 19th Hole is Great For:
Drinks 15
19th Hole Scenic Views 14
Dinner 13
Course Challenges Include:
Bunkers 12
Forced Carries 11
Plays Long 9
This course/club is great for:
A Bucket list/Top 100 Pick 15
Wildlife/ Scenic Views 15
Advanced Golfers 12
This Course's Location is:
At a Resort 13
Worth the Drive 10
Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

2 Juniors LOVED the ocean course

I was down in Kiawah for the first time with my family. I have two very high level junior golfers 7 and 9 - they are playing in the junior worlds at Pinehurst in early August so we decided to give the Ocean Course a try. We were required to have a forecaddy and we were able to use carts after 10 (cart path only) - We were treated first class from the moment we pulled up. The only hickup (if you can call it that) was the look of dismay on the caddy’s face when he saw my 7 / 9 year old daughter - when my 7 year old chipped in for birdie on 1 and the other one drove her first drive 150 down the middle and bacially played par golf from the JR world lengths - the caddy took the girls under his wing and went well above any expectations - the girls played other courses at Kiawah but this was defiantly the highlight and I could not relay more of a high class enjoyable day.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
3.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather

Nice amenities....but overrated course.

Big Pete Dye fan. Have played his courses all over the country. Ocean Course was on the bucket list. I'm from snow country so this was my first round of the year, so shooting a score wasn't really on the agenda. But just wanted to see how hard and scenic this place was.......

The clubhouse and staff are outstanding. Venue is incredible. Amenities in clubhouse were top notch. I had been on Kiawah Island all week and saw the other courses and they looked to be in wonderful condition (this was later confirmed by my playing partners). Weather was great, light winds. Met my playing partners----seem like nice people. Should be a fantastic, memorable experience on the course.

Meet my caddie, knock the rust off the Mizuno's and off we go to take the 5 minute ride to the first tee. Step onto the first tee and......

The course is sorta brownish? Hmmmmmm......

Tee it up, hit one down the middle and have 105 in. Wedge comes up short but hey, its early and nerves. Hit a little spinning chip to 2 feet. Kick in par. I'll take that on one of the countries toughest golf courses........

Continued to play golf holes, hoping for the course conditions to improve (they didn't), and waiting for the 'wow' factor to hit me. It just never did. To me this is not even close to Pete Dye's best work, nor is it that difficult. I hit 10 of 14 fairways (two I missed by a couple yards and two I pull hooked and chalked that up to the first round of the year yips). The wind, which the caddie said was a 'normal' day, was two clubs. Greens rolled well and were fast. Maximum break I had on a putt all day was a foot and a half. Most were two balls outside. This is tough course?????? Sure, if the wind blows 30 mph. Go play your muni in a 30 mph wind and tell me its a cakewalk. Any course is tough.

Ocean views???? Ok, the back nine, but the front nine was very ho hum. Sorry, I've seen more scenic. Bunkers were hard pan or "a little firm" as my caddie put it. I was is two that were unraked and getting out wasn't a problem but you had to catch in perfectly to keep from blading in over the green. Most high handicappers will struggle with that shot big time.

I'm sorry, but it just didn't do it for me. I think the people who are members there like to believe their course is the most scenic and most difficult course and that's how its portrayed, but IMHO, its not.

Save your money (a lot of money) and play somewhere else. The members will appreciate that and so will your wallet.

Caddie was fine, did a great job. Ever notice most of the scenic pictures of the course are overhead views? There's a reason.

Conditions Average
Value Fair
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

Demanding

You'd better bring your a game when you play this challenging course.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 500 Contributor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather

Breathtakingly great

Kiawah is a world class facility and the Ocean course met every expectation. Every hole is ocean view, and each presents a different challenge. And everything about the course was in perfect condition. Also, the bunkers on Ocean don't count as hazards, and they present a unique challenge.

From the moment I got to Kiawah, I was treated like a VIP. Staff was super friendly. My caddie was amazing and very helpful - these greens are really challenging and he knew exactly where to put the ball on every hole.

Superb practice facility, amazing food and bev and great pro shops. Can't recommend enough. Well worth the money. Hope to go back sometime.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather

Hardest Course I've Ever Played

This is hands down the hardest course I've ever played. That said, it's a tremendous golf course. The greens are fantastic. Not too fast and not a ton of break, so you can make some putts. The hardest part is off the tee. Pete Dye is so deceptive with sight lines, that you really have to trust the line and be aggressive. Everything about this place is first class. The views are amazing. The caddies are tremendous. I can't wait to go back.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

Bucket list course

The Ocean Course is definitely a bucket list course. If you are any where near Kiawah Island, knock it off your list.

I hope that you can experience this course on one if its signature windy days and I also hope you can play it on a calm day. It can be tough to take in the awesome views while you are grinding on a windy day.

Pics of Ocean Course

https://flickr.com/photos/92239680@N08/sets/72157633914033442

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Birmingham Advisor
Top 10 Contributor
First Time Playing
Windy weather

Bring your A game

This course is known for the brutal closing stretch of finishing holes by the shoreline, but I was amazed at how the inland beginning of the round resembled something out of an African savanna. The caddy I had was very helpful with clearly stating proper lines to take off tee, which is extremely important to scoring on this course. The entire course is mostly exposed, so plan on playing in windy conditions. Driver is not necessary off every tee. The fairways provided a great deal of roll out and greens were receptive to run-up approaches. I had read where the paspalum greens were tricky to chip and pitch to. I did not find that to be the case. The closing holes are spectacular, as advertised. Depending on the wind direction, the last 4 holes can play maddeningly long. The par 4 18th will play as a par 5 for most players. Wildlife is abundant on the course. The pro shop is one of the best-stocked I've seen, with a variety of options. The Ocean Course also provides the best "19th Hole" experience I've encountered to date. The Ryder Cup bar is fine, but I would highly recommend grabbing a drink and heading out to the lawn behind the clubhouse that sits beside the putting green and adjacent to the 18th green. You can sit in an Adirondack chair there and stare out at the ocean, watch golfers on the practice green or watch players finishing their round. Sunsets here are hard to beat.

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Boston Advisor
Top 25 Contributor
Previously Played

The best of the best

After playing almost 300 courses in my life and playing the ocean course 24 years ago and again today it is the best course I have ever played. The layout, the condition and the staff are all phenomenal. It is an amazing experience to play this course but make sure you play it from the tees that suite your game. The practice area is awesome the views are amazing and even the Ryder Cup Bar is the best 19th hole I have ever been to. If you're a true fan of the game and want to play the best of the best add The Ocean Course to your bucket list

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Featured
Atlanta Advisor
Top 50 Contributor
First Time Playing

Ocean Course is a must play for any golfer!

The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island is unlike any other course I have ever played and I absolutely loved it! From the moment we drove in, the caddies assisted us with our bags and answered all of our questions to make sure we took full advantage of our experience. The clubhouse was appropriately sized but incredible nonetheless. My buddy had the breakfast sandwich which he raved about the entire day and I had a turkey sandwich at the turn which was good. The pro shop was stocked with anything you could want and it was difficult not to spend my life savings in there!

As for the golf, words can't express how awesome this course is. However, I'll do my best. The range is flat and simple but the wind is treacherous and can really actually help you prepare for the fist fight of a golf round you're about to experience. Once we warmed up, our caddie took us on a cart to get to the first tee where we were dropped off and greeted by the starter. Shane was our caddie and I'm so glad we had him there guiding us through this course cause it was tough! The wind was gusting at about 20-30mph but it was sunny and 55 degrees so it was good weather just made certain holes play a LOT longer than normal. But others were downwind which gave us a slight advantage. The greens were super quick but rolled perfectly true, as you would expect on a big time course like this. I will say this, if the wind doesn't blow, this course can play fairly easy, as the fairways are open and there aren't many trees at all. But that's a big IF!

All golfers need to make the trip to play the ocean course at least once in their lifetime. It's a special place and is a blast to play.

Tip: Grab more club than you need and maybe one more. I never hit a shot that was too long but I definitely had a few that were short. Also, putt every chance you get because the majority of the grass is so closely mowed that it will act like a green and chipping into the wrong spot can lead to high numbers quickly on these greens.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Amazing Course! Gorgeous Views!

This is a bucket list course! The views are incredible from the moment you step through the doors into the clubhouse. The caddies were great and the course was in great shape, especially considering how wet this winter has been. You have to try your luck at this course. The wind was howling when we played and this course is a beast in the wind. I can't wait to return.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

target golf

My favorite golf course I've played. The views are amazing, and the golf course can be tough. I enjoyed the challenge.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather

Bucket List Item

My wife and I went for a long weekend and I was able to tackle the Ocean Course. It lived up to the reputation, as it was in pristine condition and played challenging but fair. I played the Ocean tees with Robert as my caddie (highly recommended!) and cannot wait to go back again. The entire experience was second to none. The resort is outstanding and the Ryder Cup Bar is one of the best 19th Holes I've ever drowned my post-round blues in.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 20-24
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Mississippi Advisor
Top 250 Contributor
First Time Playing
Excellent weather

One of America's Very Best

For a course that's ranked No. 3 in Golf Digest's list of Top 100 public courses, it seems weird to suggest that the Ocean Course might actually be underrated, but that truly might be the case. I've played Pebble Beach, and the Ocean Course is absolutely on that level. If one is "better" (whatever that means) than the other, then it's purely a matter of personal preference. Both are perfect expressions of the land on which they rest. One thing about the Ocean Course that you can't say about Pebble, though, is that every hole on the Ocean Course is different. And remarkably, there are no gimmick holes, and I never felt like the course was unfair. Throw in the beautiful scenery, and you've got a course that is as close to flawless as I've ever seen. You could play it every day without getting bored.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Golf Advisor
Previously Played
Good weather
Used cart

A most inspiring round

I've been blessed that both my rounds on the Ocean course - one in February about five years ago and this one in November - have been relatively calm days with a manageable two-club wind. I can't imagine trying to survive a gusty, cold day on such a demanding course. My playing partner remarked he had never seen a course so manicured in the playing areas, yet so gnarly and treacherous on the perimeter. The fairways are actually forgiving if you take the cautious lines pointed out by the caddies. It's the approach shots to plateau greens that make scoring difficult. The par-3 17th hole might be more famous, but to me the par-3 14th hole is the more amazing hole. It kicks off the closing stretch on the Atlantic Ocean. And the table-top green is so intimidating. Nobody gets in your head better than Pete Dye.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather

one off the bucket list

OMG, IDK what to say, just as beautiful as you would expect. Listen to your looper, the course knowledge is invaluable. Yes, it's expensive but cheaper than pebble. Everything here is top notch. Great staff, great golf, great views, great food.

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Golf Advisor
Previously Played
Poor weather

Special!

Lower scoring expectations and enjoy a bucket-list experience in a memorable setting.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Good weather

Unbelievable

Everything about this course will exceed your expectations! Staff, facilities, course, views are all fantastic

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Featured
First Time Playing
Excellent weather

Wow...wow...wow

I literally do not have the words to describe the once in a lifetime experience I had last Friday. I have a list of golf courses I want to play in my life, and this has been #3...(Pebble #1 and St. Andrews #2. I was blown away by my experience...starting when I drove up to when I made my final putt on 18. The staff was friendly, the course was beautiful, the greens rolled true, the wind blew, it played like it was the hardest course in the country. I played the tips, and was advised against it, but I wanted a challenge and I received it. My caddie was extremely knowledgable, and helped a lot. Some words of wisdom. If you are not a low handicapper, don't play the tips, enjoy the day and play it forward. Buy a yardage book. Some of the shots you cannot see where you are hitting, and its great to have a view from the perfect yardage book. Caddie helps a ton, but I'm a visual golfer, so also referred to my book. Also...listen to your caddie. What he says...goes, because he is right. I had Mike as my caddie, and he has caddied over 2000 rounds at this course, and he was the bomb. I will definitely go back and play this course in the future. I cannot recommend it enough.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
2.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather

FOREWARNING - Own Your Round

On the first tee box, our caddies did everything they could to force our group (single digit handicaps) to play the WHITE tees. We had been warned about this, but were still unprepared for the guilt trip the caddies would lay on us about wanting to play more than 6300 yards. Everything about this course centered on a "factory-like" experience of getting golfers through 18 holes as quickly as possible. I have played most of the great public and private golf courses in the country and without exception, found the greens at The Ocean Course the longest and slowest I have ever played....including the muni's. The reason we received? If we allowed the greens to play faster, rounds would take a lot longer. While I would love to compliment the natural beauty of the site itself, I find it difficult given we were constantly aware of the fact that we had chosen to play the BLUE tees (6700 yards). Note that 3 of 4 golfers shot their handicap. The foolish statements made by caddies on the first hole that 6300 yards at Kiawah was like 7000 on most courses were absurd. OWN YOUR ROUND AND SET THE TONE WITH YOUR CADDIES ON THE PRACTICE RANGE.

Conditions Average
Value Poor
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
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