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Oceans 18: South Carolina’s Kiawah Resort

For those of you who can drive for show (which is all of you, of course), playing from the back tees is a badge of honor. After all, who wouldn’t want to demonstrate how to launch a majestic 300-yard drive to the center of the fairway to the jealous masses looking on But before we play 18 at the stellar Ocean Course at Kiawah Resort, maybe we better talk about those back tees. At 7,873 yards, the longest version of the Ocean Course will put your distance and patience to the test.

From the day it opened, the Ocean Course has been a destination for golfers around the world. Designed by Pete Dye, the course opened just a few months before it hosted the dramatic 1991 Ryder Cup. In 2012, the course also played host to its first major when Rory McIlroy won the PGA Championship.

The resort itself is located on Kiawah Island, 10 miles of beautiful beachfront located about 27 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina.  And the resort designers knew exactly what they were doing when they decided to build a few golf courses there.

Many of the holes on the Ocean Course offer extraordinary views of the rolling Atlantic surf. Don’t admire the scenery for too long. This course will require your undivided attention.

The proximity to the water means that wind often plays a major role in your round, shaving yards off of your shots and challenging your accuracy. With the Ocean Course, Dye has offered you every truly great golf course’s dilemma—play it safe and your score will suffer, but going for glory can easily earn you a triple bogey or worse.

Kiawah Resort offers four additional courses for you to test your mettle. Turtle Point was designed by Jack Nicklaus himself, while fellow golfing icon Gary Player designed Cougar Point. Osprey Point was created by renowned course designer Tom Fazio. And Cliff Johnson’s Oak Point course may be the most scenic course of them all.

As great as the golf is at Kiawah Island, and it is exemplary, the resort may be even better. The Ocean Room is Kiawah’s premier steakhouse and serves as the exclamation point for any great vacation day. Several other dining options are available throughout the resort provide a high-quality dining experience for every taste.

Don’t leave without taking part in one of the resort’s amazing fishing expeditions in the Lowcountry. Experienced anglers may even want to head to the deeper channels to try to reel in a few sharks.

When the day is done, head to the Sanctuary Spa, one of the most highly regarded spas in the United States. The kids will appreciate the variety of activities available to them, including surf camp and nighttime laser tag.

Villas are available for rent as well as exclusive private homes on the island for maximum privacy. For a golfing vacation, Kiawah Resort is about as tough to beat as Jordan Spieth.

For reservations, visit kiawahresort.com.

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