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4.4
37 Reviews (37)
5 Stars
32
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
4
2 Stars
1
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.4
Value
3.5
Layout
4.7
Friendliness
4.9
Pace
4.3
Amenities
4.9
70.2%
Recommend this course
33 out of 37 reviews
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Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.0
4 Reviews (4)
5 Stars
2
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
2
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.0
Value
2.8
Layout
4.5
Pace
4.0
Amenities
4.8
StaffFriendliness
4.8
50.0%
Recommend this course
2 out of 4 reviews
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Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.3
6 Reviews (6)
5 Stars
4
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
2
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.3
Value
3.3
Layout
4.7
Pace
4.2
Amenities
4.8
StaffFriendliness
4.8
66.7%
Recommend this course
4 out of 6 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 18
Type Resort
Style Links
Par 72
Length 7356 yards
Slope 144
Rating 77.3

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.

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

4.4
37 Reviews (37)

What Golfers Are Saying

The 19th Hole is Great For:
Drinks 16
19th Hole Scenic Views 15
Dinner 14
Course Challenges Include:
Bunkers 13
Forced Carries 12
Plays Long 9
This course/club is great for:
A Bucket list/Top 100 Pick 16
Wildlife/ Scenic Views 15
Advanced Golfers 13
This Course's Location is:
At a Resort 13
Worth the Drive 10

Numbers based on reviews tagged with attribute.

Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

A treat every single time

There’s a reason this is on almost everyone’s bucket list. It brings so much to the table, and even though it’s known for being a difficult test I find it more playable each time I have had the chance to play it. Make sure you leave time to enjoy a drink after the round looking over the 18th and the ocean in the Ryder Cup Room.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
3.0
First Time Playing

Not worth the price

We had the opportunity to play here on a Monday afternoon . Playing later in the afternoon was our plan so that we could take our time and enjoy the views and course. Quite a disappointment as we found the greens in poor condition and very, very slow. It was like putting on shag carpeting. The layout was very nice and there was plenty of views to take in. Our mandatory caddie was very poor, rode on our cart, didn’t clean our clubs, didn’t provide sight lines and continually gave us wrong reads on the green. To top it all off he had the guts to ask for a bigger tip at the end of the round. This was quite a disappointment and I would not recommend playing here.

Conditions Average
Value Poor
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Handicap 0-4
Plays Once a month
3.0
First Time Playing
Hot weather

Most Overrated Course I've Ever Played

Now, with that headline, you would think I had a terrible time. I didn't, it's an enjoyable and challenging-but-fun Pete Dye course.

But to call this a "bucket list" experience, and to rate it a Top 5 you can play in the US, is to WILDLY overrate it. It's a good course with classic Dye bunkering and green complexes. But it's in the middle of nowhere, the conditioning is spotty in places (tee boxes were muni-level poor), and it boasts near-Pebble-level pricing for an experience that is nowhere near. It's not even close to worth the money.

I don't know where it should be rated, Golf Digest, but I know it ain't #4. Better than Spyglass? Are you serious?? Bethpage Black? Pinehurst #2? I could go on, but I imagine there's a maximum character limit here.
Put it this way: there are 3 tracks in Bandon, Oregon, that are FAR better golf courses, and you could make a solid argument for a 4th.
AND THEY ALL HAVE BETTER VIEWS.

So about those vistas...
I was astounded - and pretty angry, frankly - at the marketing material claiming an ocean view from every hole. This is totally false. The front nine is played through marshland (still lovely, but not the Atlantic). Then on the back nine, you hear the waves crashing throughout, but you rarely ever see the water besides peek-a-boos from the tee boxes (14th Hole is one beautiful exception). Even the beach-side final 4 holes are bizarrely blockaded by a sand dune, so feel free to shank your tee shot right in order to get a good look.
Frankly, it should be called the "Hear-But-Not-See-The-Ocean Course".

All in all, the experience is fine -- great staff, excellent service, good golf course. It's just not remotely close to worth the price of admission.

The clubhouse is striking, though - and it's got the best views on the property, by far. Be sure to enjoy a post-round drink so you can finally get a good look at the ocean.

Conditions Average
Value Poor
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 250 Contributor
Chicago Milwaukee Advisor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather

The Ocean Course is a MUST!

The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island is something special. We played on the golf and gourmet package which is a heck of a deal. $150 for a night stay and round is crazy.

The course is amazing. Greens and fairways are top notch. The rough well their is none everything just runs into waste areas which are very playable.

Front nine I liked No. 2 and No. 3 the best although the hole are great but very visually tough. No. 2 is a great par 5 where you need to pick the right area to land your tee shot then the shot towards the green you must miss a fairway bunker and avoid the waste area as you hit to an elevated green. No. 3 is a shorty but is no slouch must require 2 good shots and then some work on the green.

The back nine is so cool. You start playing along some beach mansions and then finish 14-18 along the ocean or if your me on 16 play from the beach cause your tee shot was so bad.

This place is just amazing I highly recommend it to any golfer who likes tough courses, I also recommend a caddie as they were a huge help especially when they tel you not to look for balls in the spots with the gators HA HA.

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

Bucket list place to play !!!!

I wouldn't recommend this course for just a hacker just because of the price of the greens fees. From the second you pull up to drop off your clubs you are treated like a Pro golfer. My caddie for the day came out grabbed my clubs, cleaned them and had them out at the driving range before I got out of the car. The course is amazing and calls for every shot you have and some that you don't. The day I played it was windy and hot, but they have towels on your cart and free water at every hole. The greens are beautiful and pure and have no grain in them so deciding line and speed were easier to decide, even for me. I love the way the course makes it ways around the dunes and waste areas using all natural features. It was also cool knowing all the pros that had played all the holes you had. The caddie was well worth it because of some of the demanding tee shots and where to hit it, if you didn't know you could be in alot of trouble. The whole back 9 run along the ocean and the views were awesome. The 18th hole back to the huge clubhouse makes you think about the pressure you would have leading a golf tournament. As soon as we got back to the clubhouse my caddie took my clubs off the cart and cleaned them. When I got ready to leave after stopping at the 19th hole for a cold drink (or three) he took my clubs out to my car and he started it so It would be cold for me when I got in. This could be considered a once in a lifetime experience.

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

Amazing!

Round was interrupted by a storm but that did not change the fact that this course is amazing. The course conditions were perfect besides the water from the storm. Our caddie was friendly and very helpful. I was in awe the entire round. What an experience. I hope to play again someday and would recommend this course to everyone.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
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
California Advisor
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
Top 500 Contributor
Mississippi Advisor
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
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