Recently, my wife and I returned from a road trip. Our destination was a few days on Sanibel Island in southwest Florida. But we didn’t play any golf there- the courses were too expensive considering their quality and we had other things to do. So this post is not about the pleasures of winter golf in Florida.
On the way down, however, we stopped for a night on Kiawah island. I had been to Kiawah once before, on the way home from visiting my late father in Sebring Florida. My wife, two daughters and I stayed in a condo somewhere on the island. I arranged to play the Nicklaus course, Turtle Point, which was across the road from where we stayed. I don’t remember much of that round. It was a very nice course, but it was in the 30s with a strong wind and I was in a golf cart- winter golf and golf carts do not mix! On top of that, I was suffering from a hernia and by the time I was finished, I could barely walk across the road to get back to the warmth of our condominium.
This year, however, we planned ahead and chose a date to be at Kiawah that promised better weather. Kiawah was offering a package this year called the “Golf or Gourmet Escape.” For $300 we got a room in the Sanctuary Hotel and two rounds of golf at any of the five Kiawah courses. The Pete Dye Ocean Course was a $100 upgrade. Note this is $300 TOTAL, not per person. If you assume $150 for the hotel room, then you are paying $75 each for a round on the Kiawah course of your choice. Both prices are a bargain. Even the basic room at the hotel was beautiful, with a balcony and a view of the ocean if you worked for it a bit. We had brought snacks with us so that was enough for breakfast with the free good coffee in the lobby. We had dinner at the Ryder Cup bar at the Ocean Course- a great choice. We got the last table and the bar was mostly still occupied (there was a little daylight left) with golfers. The last bit of light allowed us to see the 18th hole at the Ocean Course and walk out to the immaculate (even in winter) putting green. Because it happened to be “restaurant week” in nearby Charleston, I got a 3 course meal prepared at the posh Atlantic Room restaurant next door to the bar for $40. It was a delicious bargain- stuffed quail, grouper and white chocolate bread pudding. Oh, I forgot, this is a golf blog…
The following morning we played 18 holes at Osprey Point, a Tom Fazio design. I’m not normally a great Fazio fan, but this was a very nice resort course. Everyone was friendly and unpretentious and the course was in terrific condition. Totally renovated in 2014, the course now has Paspalum fairways and greens- both were excellent. My wife (a high handicapper) and I both really enjoyed ourselves. Houses don’t intrude and there are nice marsh views. I really want to return with a group of golfing buddies and play three or four courses, including the Ocean Course.
This package is offered November 15-March3. And it gets even better. If you share a room with a golf buddy and stay at a villa condo instead of the Sanctuary Hotel, the price drops to $200/night. A round of golf at a great course and a night’s sleep for $100 per person? Are you kidding me?! Thank you, Kiawah.