It’s the wild barrier island setting that captivates all who visit Kiawah Island Golf Resort, just 33 miles from Charleston, S.C. Kiawah offers any kind of vacation a woman golfer could possibly want, and many reasons to warrant a place in the Top 10 U.S. Golf Resorts for Women 2015.
There’s the ultra-luxurious oceanfront Sanctuary Hotel with its acclaimed and serene spa (one panelist’s favorite anywhere), but there are also villas and private homes for rent to groups and families. A Ryder Cup and PGA Championship were played on Pete Dye’s famed Ocean Course, and “The Legend of Bagger Vance” was filmed there. Though the Ocean Course didn’t make our cut at 5,327 yards, panelists credited Alice Dye for making it playable for women. There are four other courses, each with at least two tees rated for women. Charleston is nearby, but, who would want to leave Kiawah Island?
TEES RATED FOR WOMEN: Cougar Point – Kiawah 5,604/72.4/130; Carolina 4,776/69.1/115. Oak Point – Kiawah 5,515/72.7/128; Carolina 4,954/69.8/120. Ocean Course – Kiawah 6,202/76.7/132; Carolina 5,327/72.7/124. Osprey Point – Kiawah 5,394/70.2/125; Carolina 4,746/67.2/113. Turtle Point – Nicklaus 6,210/76.6/139; Kiawah 5,789/73.4/132; Carolina 5,210/71.5/126.
AMENITIES: A dozen restaurants at the resort, and a great grocery store just outside the gates. Ryder Cup Bar overlooks the ocean and 18th hole at Ocean Course, site of 2021 PGA Championship. Caddies on the Ocean Course. Great bird watching and beach strolling. Two tennis clubs offering lessons, clinics and camps. Four pools, including one reserved for adults. Disc golf. Crafts. Water sports. Nature galore.
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Fall. But most times except the oppressive heat and humidity of July and August can be golf-friendly.
*2-2-2 COST: $1,200 in a one-bedroom golf villa; $1600+ at the Sanctuary.