After a nine month renovation, the new and improved Turtle Point Golf Course reopened October 1, 2016 to rave reviews from members and guests. Late in 2015, Jack Nicklaus, along with the members of his architectural team, surveyed the course and made recommendations for the improvements. Renovations included refurbishing green complexes, re-grassing the greens, tees and fairways with Paspalum (the same salt-tolerant strain of grass that is on The Ocean Course, Osprey Point and Oak Point), rebuilding all bunkers, laser leveling all tee boxes, including the range and reestablish irrigation throughout the course.
Rated 48th on Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Course List Turtle Point is a low-profile golf course that delivers a high caliber golfing experience. Players from the Carolina Amateur, the Carolina PGA, the South Carolina Amateur and the 1990 PGA Cup Matches will all agree that the Turtle Point Golf Course is a true test for strategy and accuracy.
Jack Nicklaus once said that his number one goal in golf course design was to “make the player use his mind ahead of his muscles – to control his emotions sufficiently to really think through his options before drawing a club from the bag.” To that we say, welcome to Turtle Point Golf Club at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, one of Jack’s early designs and steeped in the finest traditions of classic golf course architecture.
Because of its traditional design, many of the better players visiting Kiawah Island Golf Resort would rather play Turtle Point than any of the other courses on the island. With narrow fairway corridors, small greens, strategically placed water hazards and plenty of out-of-bounds, Turtle Point calls for great accuracy and intelligent strategies. Players not driving the ball well will struggle for par. Since it is one of the longest courses on the island, proficiency with fairway woods and long irons is a must. So is the ability to scramble.
Like many of Jack’s early courses, the greens on Turtle Point are small. So players need to be able to hit shots high if they want them to stop. The course calls for players to be able to shape their shots both left-to-right and right-to-left. They will need to be proficient with every club in the bag and won’t necessarily hit a driver on every hole. And true to Jack’s playing philosophy, Turtle Point plays best hitting to specific landing areas to get the best angles into the greens.
Turtle Point experiences a lot of wind, as do all of the courses on Kiawah Island. The wind blows in different directions throughout the day. Trees protect many areas at Turtle Point so players won’t always sense how the wind might affect their shots. Local knowledge is very important in dealing with these phantom winds. This exciting course was selected to hold many important championships including the Carolinas’ Amateur, the Carolinas’ PGA, the South Carolina Amateur and the 1990 PGA Cup Matches, the club professionals version of the Ryder Cup. When players go down the list of what makes a great golf course, whether it’s shot values, memorability, design variety, resistance to scoring, aesthetics or any other criteria they may use, Turtle Point is sure to score high.