Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 18
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Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 18
The final approach is a daunting one on the 18th hole of the Cassique golf course at The Kiawah Island Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
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Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 4
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Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 4
This elevated green is one of two greens that are rotated for play on the fourth hole of the Cassique golf course at The Kiawah Island Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 5
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Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 5
This green is one of two different par 3s that are rotated into play on the par-3 fifth hole of the Cassique Course at The Kiawah Island Club in South Carolina. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 7
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Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 7
Carrying the marsh is the worry on the par-3 seventh hole of the Cassique Course at The Kiawah Island Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 9
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Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 9
Any shots landing short of the middle of the ninth green on the Cassique Course at The Kiawah Island Club roll down a steep slope back into the fairway. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 10
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Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 10
Flying the three front bunkers are paramount to making par on the 10th hole of the Cassique golf course at The Kiawah Island Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 12
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Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 12
The 12th green of the Cassique golf course at The Kiawah Island Club sits in the shadow of the trees. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 13
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Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 13
The marsh makes for a scenic par-3 13th hole on the Cassique golf course at The Kiawah Island Club in South Carolina. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 15
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Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 15
The 15th green, the end of a special par 5 on the Cassique Course at The Kiawah Island Club, juts into a marsh. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 16
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Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 16
The par-3 16th hole on the Cassique golf course at The Kiawah Island Club has a slick green with a severe slope in its midsection. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 17
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Kiawah Island Club - Cassique golf course - no. 17
Club legend says that Sergio Garcia drove over the marsh onto the 17th green of the Cassique Course at The Kiawah Island Club in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor

Tom Watson's unique Cassique golf course shines at The Kiawah Island Club in South Carolina

JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. -- The Cassique golf course at The Kiawah Island Club is really three private courses in one.

Holes 4 through 6 can be reconfigured into three different loops -- named Nip-N-Tuck, Pulpit and Due East -- depending on the day. This flexibility shows off the uniqueness of this linksy Lowcountry layout designed by Tom Watson in 2000. The five-time Open Champion really knocked it out of the park with his solo design debut.

The fourth hole plays in two directions: Up the left side to a 360-yard par 4 that can be drivable from forward tees or up the right side through heavy mounding to a 370-yard par 4 ending at an elevated green. If you play up the left, the par-3 fifth hole climbs uphill to the other fourth green. If you play up the right, the par-3 fifth hole falls downhill to an entirely new green complex of kick points, bunkers and mounding. The par-5 fifth hole then tees off from either elevated tees or a set sunken near the marsh, providing two completely different looks and attack angles.

There are so many unique moments at Cassique. The ninth green is part mad-scientist, part genius. The front section slopes severely downhill, essentially acting as a wall. It repels any shots that don't carry the ridge line, spitting them back into the fairway. The scenic par-5 15th hole dives deep into the marshes.

Club legend says that Sergio Garcia drove the 17th green with a three-wood. As the crow flies over the marsh, the 430-yard par 4 plays much shorter, so it seems believable, although quite remarkable.

Finish a fantastic day at Cassique with lunch or dinner at The Pub, a cool hangout on the second story of the clubhouse.

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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