Courses

Best golf courses near Kiawah Island, SC

Below, you’ll find a list of courses near Kiawah Island, SC. There are 15 courses within a 15-mile radius of Kiawah Island, 9 of which are public courses and 6 are private courses. There are 15 18-hole courses and nine-hole layouts.

The above has been curated through Golf Digest’s Places to Play course database, where we have collected star ratings and reviews from our 1,900 course-ranking panelists. Join our community by signing up for Golf Digest+ and rate the courses you’ve visited recently.

Kiawah Island Golf Resort: The Ocean Course
Often considered to be the first course designed for a specific event—the 1991 Ryder Cup—this manufactured linksland-meets-lagoons layout might well be Pete Dye’s most diabolical creation. Every hole is edged by sawgrass, every green has tricky slopes, every bunker merges into bordering sand dunes. Strung along nearly three miles of ocean coast, Dye took his wife’s advice and perched fairways and greens so golfers can actually view the Atlantic surf. That also exposes shots and putts to ever-present and sometimes fierce coastal winds. The Ocean Course will forever be linked with Phil Mickelson and his improbable victory at the 2021 PGA Championship.
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Kiawah Island Golf Resort: Cougar Point
Public
Kiawah Island Golf Resort: Cougar Point
Kiawah Island, SC
3.8
90 Panelists
Renovated by Gary Player in 2017, Cougar Point reopened as a brand-new marshland course design at Kiawah Island Resort. Generous fairways and vast greens coupled with risk-reward par-5s and abundant water hazards make this golf course extremely playable. Plus, you’ll undoubtedly spot a gator or two.
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Kiawah Island Golf Resort: Turtle Point
Public
Kiawah Island Golf Resort: Turtle Point
Kiawah Island, SC
3.4
131 Panelists
In 2016, Jack Nicklaus led the renovation of Turtle Point, regrassing the course with Paspalum, reconstructing all of the bunkers, and improving the irrigation efficiency. This Kiawah Island resort course now features increased shot variety and requires strategic play with several hidden water hazards.
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Kiawah Island Club: Cassique
Private
Kiawah Island Club: Cassique
Johns Island, SC
Kiawah Island Club’s Cassique Course (pronounced Kah-seek) was created by Hall-of-Famer Tom Watson and his crew from old farm fields along the tidal marshes of the Kiawah River. As a five-time Champion Golfer of Year, Watson wanted his design to demand the “touch, feel and imagination” of links-style golf, so he framed most holes with choppy faux dunes, rumpled the fairways and installed some of his favorite links features: a burn a la Turnberry, Carnoustie-inspired Spectacles and a Hell Bunker from St. Andrews. With the front nine in open land and the back nine among trees, Cassique poses bump-and-run opportunities everywhere, and even has a couple of blind shots.
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Kiawah Island Club: River
Private
Kiawah Island Club: River
Johns Island, SC
Built half a decade before the club’s other 18, Cassique (ranked 166th on our latest rankings), The River Course at Kiawah Island Club features an exquisite river setting. The course flows gently through forest and along lagoons the first six holes, then becomes truly great from seven to nine, with two holes playing around big Bass Pond and the ninth running along the marshy edge of the Kiawah River. The back nine repeats the rhythm, with play again beginning in forest and along ponds before a dunesy stretch scattered with live oaks and vast expanses of sand. The River Course concludes appropriately with 17 and 18 along the tidal wetlands of the Kiawah River. There’s nothing particularly original in the architecture of The River Course, as Fazio has done variations of these holes before. It some ways, it’s The Greatest Hits of Tom Fazio.
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Country Club of Charleston
Private
Country Club of Charleston
Charleston, SC
4.2
96 Panelists
The Country Club of Charleston is one of the best courses in South Carolina. Discover our experts' reviews and where the Country Club of Charleston ranks in our rankings
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Kiawah Island Golf Resort: Osprey Point
Public
Kiawah Island Golf Resort: Osprey Point
Johns Island, SC
3.9
112 Panelists
Renovated in 2014 by Tom Fazio, several holes at Osprey Point run parallel to water hazards and deep bunkers provide ample defense against greens of varying sizes. Nestled in the natural Lowcountry salt marsh, this track’s stunning classic-style clubhouse also adds appeal.
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The Golf Club At Briar's Creek
Private
The Golf Club At Briar's Creek
Johns Island, SC
3.7
76 Panelists
The Golf Club at Briar's Creek in Johns Island is one of the best courses in South Carolina. Discover our experts' reviews and where Briar's Creek ranks in our rankings
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Charleston Municipal Golf Course
Public
Charleston Municipal Golf Course
Charleston, SC
3.6
48 Panelists
A thrifty but artistically ambitious renovation reopened in 2020. The 92-year-old working-class golf course has always been popular, but flooding, wet turf and excessive tree growth negatively impacted playability. Between an allocation of funds from the city (which continues to oversee operations) and private donations collected through an organization called “Friends of the Muni,” approximately $3.5 million was raised, enough to enact significant upgrades without raising green fees. Residents can walk for around $20, and out-of-town players—if they can get a time, can play for under $100.In addition to new grass and drainage, architect Troy Miller rebuilt the green complexes and bunkering according to the template holes developed by C.B. Macdonald and Seth Raynor in the early 20th century.Raynor had spent time in Charleston in the 1920s building Yeamans Hall and the Country Club of Charleston, so his angular, identifiable features and shot strategies have a history in the area, even if Charleston’s public players haven’t had the opportunity to experience them. Now they can.Miller’s renditions of the Raynor concepts—including gorgeous Redan and Punchbowl greens, among others—are loyal and adventurous. For Miller, it was especially gratifying to bring this new identity to Charleston Municipal because he grew up playing the course and lives in the neighborhood across the street. A youth tournament was being played the day I visited early in the year—Miller’s young son was playing in it—and 8- to 10-year-olds carrying their small bags filled up the course. It’s unlikely many knew who Seth Raynor was, but they were all getting accustomed to solving the problems of his particular architecture. The golf course looked like a park, or better yet, a playground. —Derek Duncan
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