On Thursday, May 1, Osprey Point closed for the summer for major renovations. Since 1988, the Tom Fazio-designed Osprey Point has been a guest favorite on Kiawah Island. Using the natural beauty of the maritime forest on the eastern side of the island, it gracefully weaves its way around four natural fresh-water ponds to provide players of all levels challenging yet enjoyable rounds of golf. It has hosted numerous championships including the 2000 Eastern Regional PGA Club Professional Championship, and the Golf Digest magazine’s “Best Places to Play” give it a near perfect 4 ½ star rating.
By Bob Gillespie, South Carolina’s PRT Golf Insider
When it comes to a national audience, few publications these days exceed the coast-to-coast reach of USA Today. So when its readers were asked to pick their top golf destinations in the world, it speaks volumes that a pair of South Carolina locations ranked 1-2 in the newspaper’s month-long voting.
On March 9-13, teams from around the country converged on Kiawah Island Golf Resort to compete in the 15th Annual Kiawah National Pro Am sponsored by Club Car. One pro and three amateurs took on four of the resort’s courses – The Ocean Course, Turtle Point, Osprey Point and Cougar Point.
The eighth annual installment of Golf’s Fifth Major, the Friendship Cup, was held March 6-9 at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. The 36 hole tournament consisting of 92 teams playing in a two man best-ball format was contested at the world-renowned Ocean Course, site of the 2012 PGA Championship, and Cougar Point, the resort’s Gary Player design. While The Ocean Course has remained the constant throughout the first seven years of the event, 2014 marked the first time that Cougar Point was used in the rotation. It did not disappoint, as the players raved about the condition of the golf course and the variety of the layout, adding another group of guests who believe Cougar Point to be the resort’s hidden gem.
Natalie Payne of the resort staff handles our special events. She put together our yearly “Women’s Golf Getaway.” While not a traditional golf tournament, this weekend provides exceptional value for women golfers of all levels of play. Two LPGA Professionals along with our full instruction staff are on board providing tips and instruction found nowhere else in a weekend like this. Guests enjoy instruction from some of the best golf pros in the country, plus golf rounds and relaxation on Kiawah Island. With different options for experienced golfers and beginners who may have not held a club before, each participant receives valuable golf knowledge and takes home wonderful memories.
As many of you know, we have an Ocean Course app available on the Apple App Store (Search “Kiawah Island Ocean Course”) or for Androids at Google Play ( https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bestapproach.kiawah). This is a complete GPS assisted yardage calculator for use when playing our favorite course. It also has a lot of other useful information.
Just so you know, current and forecasted temperatures for the Kiawah Island area are 50s and 60s. Now’s the prefect time to get out of the snow and get your game in shape for the spring golf season! See if you can beat Rory McIlroy’s final round 66!
Check out our recently released History of Ocean Course Championships online video. Narrated by CBS golf commentator (and winner of the 1991 Open Championship), Ian Baker Finch, the video uses interviews of course designer, Pete Dye, as well as interviews of a number of the legendary PGA Tour professionals who took part in championships held on The Ocean Course. Events include the nerve-wracking tension of the 1991 Ryder Cup, the come-from-behind win by Dennis Watson at the 2007 Senior PGA, Rory McIlroy’s run-away victory at the 2012 PGA Championship and much, much more.
The video will run on the in-room and in-villa channel on the resort and will be featured on the resort’s website.
While most golf courses have a lot of grassy areas and between its holes, not so on The Ocean Course. If you look at the total Ocean Course acreages, it’s not that much – just a tiny bit over 85 acres. It’s mostly dunes, ponds and marsh out on the Eastern tip of Kiawah Island. Here’s the total yardage on The Ocean Course:
Jarett Berman used to work in Charlotte in the sports department at WCNC, the NBC affiliate. He helped cover the run-up to last year’s PGA Championship. He’s since moved to Miami to be a sports producer at WSVN-TV. So, when it came time for his marriage proposal to his girlfriend, Kim (an avid golfer), he thought of no better place than Kiawah Island and The Ocean Course. We thought it was a great idea and Head Professional Stephen Youngner, 1st Assistant Professional Josh Waganman and the rest of the staff helped out along with Jarett’s friend and WCNC-TV’s Morning News Anchor and Reporter, Ira Cronin. Here’s a write up from FTVLive.com (a web site that covers “gossip and news from inside TV newsrooms across the country”):