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Winter at Kiawah Islands Ocean Course

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The Ocean Course lives up to its billing. This meticulously maintained golf wonderland is worth the price of admission and will leave you with a life long memory of a great experience.

 

Winter in South Carolina is a bit of a tease. We get mornings in the 20s and afternoons in the lower 40s. The tease comes when you get that unexpected day or two in the 60s with beautiful warming rays from the sun. Any real southern golfer will always have the weatherman on speed dial! This week I got that call.

 

Two days of sun and 60 degrees in the forecast I loaded my car with clubs and bull dog then headed to Kiawah Island. Although I love Charleston and have visited countless times I’ve never trekked down for an island adventure. Every part of this trip was spur of the moment flying by the seat of my pants. I left Columbia Monday afternoon at 3:00 pm and made lodging as well as a tee time reservations while en route. Rolling the dice both reservations turned out wonderfully. I stayed in a Villa 2 miles from the course and tee time was locked in at 10am the next morning.

 

I woke up early Tuesday morning arriving at the course 2 hours before my start time. My thinking? If I’m going to spend 300 dead presidents for a round of golf I’m going to take in the entire Ocean Course experience. Upon arrival I was greeted by smiling faces and an extremely professional staff. They grabbed my bag and cart while I checked in with the Pro Shop. I told the attendant my tee time was 10 but I could go early if it’s available. He said, “well Mr. Sloan our first tee time is not until 9 but if you would like you can go out ahead of them right now.” I jumped on the opportunity like two hobos on a ham sandwich.

 

The Ocean Course is simply immaculate. They only allow walkers so the grass is “Masters like”. Akin to most resort courses they had numerous tees to choose from. As a matter of fact the Ocean Course has 5 sets of tees so as to allow for many different skill levels. I chose the Dye tees; approximately 6400 yards on Tuesday.

 

If you google “list of hardest courses in American” you’ll find the Ocean Course to be at the top of many of those lists. Yes, it lived up to that reputation and while it is challenging it is not unfair. If you are able to keep the ball in play you will be rewarded. If you are not........you are severely punished. I’m sure tournament week they amp it up several notches but when it’s prepped for the regular Joe my assessment is it’s manageable. This is not to say you won’t need an extra sleeve or two of balls for out of bounds usually means out of play.

 

The greens even in the colder weather are fast. I found their speed to make for extremely difficult chipping and reasonable putting. Fast greens mean; read the putt, start it on line, check your pace and you will hear it fall. Getting that same pace right while chipping was crazy difficult.

 

The course was designed with elevated tee boxes on every hole so that the Golfer can see the Ocean in the horizon. Truth be told I didn’t see said Ocean until he 11th hole. I think the elevated tees were Mr Dyes sick joke on us mere humans because while they didn’t necessarily give you a glimpse of the waters they did put you right into the teeth of the wind. High ball hitters beware!

 

After the round I stopped in the restaurant for the best $19 burger I’ve ever tasted. I left with a full belly, a full heart, and a satisfied soul.

 

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A 74 on that course is beyond stellar. The wind must not have been as extreme as when my brother played it and saw drives of 150 yards into the teeth of that wind.

I’d like to play that course someday, but it’s got to be with friends. Playing solo means the experience dies after I leave the course with no one to reminisce over it for years to come.


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A 74 on that course is beyond stellar. The wind must not have been as extreme as when my brother played it and saw drives of 150 yards into the teeth of that wind.

I’d like to play that course someday, but it’s got to be with friends. Playing solo means the experience dies after I leave the course with no one to reminisce over it for years to come.


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The wind was blowing but not to the extreme.


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I live in the area (Charleston) and go out to the course for lunch ever so often. The 17th hole (Par 3) is EXTREMELY daunting if there is a mild or more wind. It blows from the right side (ocean side). You have to hit the ball out over the water and have faith the wind blows it back across towards the green. You can't bail out left (if i remember correctly) bc its a big grassy hill.

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I live in the area (Charleston) and go out to the course for lunch ever so often. The 17th hole (Par 3) is EXTREMELY daunting if there is a mild or more wind. It blows from the right side (ocean side). You have to hit the ball out over the water and have faith the wind blows it back across towards the green. You can't bail out left (if i remember correctly) bc its a big grassy hill.


I hit a 3/4 hybrid with everything I had! It just made it to the front edge of the green. A little bit of luck on my side I rolled a 30 footer to within a grips length to cup.




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Played 9 again today. I’m up to about 72 holes with the S.C. now. While I’ve not employed all the functions I’m really getting use to having it on my hip. It’s almost like a woobbie blanket to a baby. I don’t really need it but it sure makes me feel warm and cozy.

I don’t like the keyboard. My fat fingers make searching for courses an adventure.


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15 hours ago, SteddyGolf said:

Played 9 again today. I’m up to about 72 holes with the S.C. now. While I’ve not employed all the functions I’m really getting use to having it on my hip. It’s almost like a woobbie blanket to a baby. I don’t really need it but it sure makes me feel warm and cozy.

I don’t like the keyboard. My fat fingers make searching for courses an adventure.


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I've found that when searching for courses, it is a load easier hitting the "nearby" courses tab at the top of the screen so I don't keep hitting the wrong letters. 

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For me the nearby courses function takes forever to populate


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Love the Ocean course...Here's a piece of advise for those who are warriors....Play one of the other courses first. Play the Ocean as a replay. It's half price. Ends up being 2 for 1. 

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