Kiawah Island Club - River golf course - no. 17
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Kiawah Island Club - River golf course - no. 17
The par-3 17th hole is the most scenic spot on the River Course at The Kiawah Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
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Kiawah Island Club - River golf course - no. 6
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Kiawah Island Club - River golf course - no. 6
The par-3 sixth green of the River Course at The Kiawah Club juts into a pond. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kiawah Island Club - River golf course - no. 7
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Kiawah Island Club - River golf course - no. 7
The seventh hole on the River golf course at The Kiawah Club -- a 482-yard par 4 -- is nicknamed "Long. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kiawah Island Club - River golf course - no. 8
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Kiawah Island Club - River golf course - no. 8
The scenic 547-yard eighth is the hardest handicap hole on the River Course at The Kiawah Club in South Carolina. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kiawah Island Club - River golf course - no. 9
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Kiawah Island Club - River golf course - no. 9
The ninth green is one of the largest on the River Course at The Kiawah Club in South Carolina. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kiawah Island Club - River golf course - no. 12
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Kiawah Island Club - River golf course - no. 12
A pond guards the par-3 12th hole called "Hope" on the River Course at The Kiawah Club in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kiawah Island Club - River golf course - no. 13
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Kiawah Island Club - River golf course - no. 13
The water that crisscrosses the fairway isn't the only issue on the par-5 13th hole on the River Course at The Kiawah Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kiawah Island Club - River golf course - no. 18
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Kiawah Island Club - River golf course - no. 18
The 18th green of the River golf course at The Kiawah Club sits near the posh clubhouse. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor

The Kiawah Island Club in South Carolina: The River Course reopens after renovation

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- Tom Fazio's million-dollar renovation of the 7,119-yard River Course in 2015 enhanced the original course at The Kiawah Island Club.

Fazio returned to his 1995 design to rebuild bunkers, add new women's tees on certain holes and replace turf. Perhaps the most important upgrade is the new comfort station, where complimentary treats such as homemade sliders and wraps and drinks are served.

The River Course is as scenic as it is tough -- challenging enough that PGA Tour professionals Ben Martin and Russell Henley call the club home. Six holes skirt the Kiawah River, although water hazards and marsh lurk almost everywhere in true Lowcountry style.

The memorable eighth hole, a 547-yard par 5, tees off over (or around) a big tree along the water's edge, which runs the entire right side of the hole. The landing zone on the second shot narrows considerably. Whether you're going for it in two or using a wedge as your third shot, hitting the green (and avoiding water) is an impressive feat.

The 17th hole -- a 213-yard par 3 called "River" -- brings the round full circle with one last scenic shot with nothing but marsh as a backdrop.

No expense was sparred to keep members and guests from feeling at home before and after rounds. The sprawling clubhouse houses a men's locker room with a TV nearly the size of most movie theaters.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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The Kiawah Island Club in South Carolina: The River Course reopens after renovation
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