Many golfers express similar sentiments
about picturesque seaside golf courses.
When you merge the natural beauty of the
ocean with lush, green fairways, the result is
an inspiring turf masterpiece.
The Southern U.S. has some of the nation’s most scenic and iconic oceanfront golf
courses. Fortunately, too, they’re located at
meetings-oriented resorts or near exciting
meetings destinations. Here are some of the
best waterside beauties in the South.
Ocean Course at Kiawah Island
Designed by golf architect icon Pete Dye,
the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort
has more waterside holes than any other
course in the Northern Hemisphere, with
10 directly along the Atlantic Ocean and the
other eight parallel to those.
“In addition to the unique and beautiful
setting, what makes the Ocean Course so
popular is that players of all skill levels can
have an enjoyable round if they play the tee
length that matches their skill levels,” said
Brian Gerard, director of golf for Kiawah
Island Resort. “Elevating the experience
is a walking caddie program that’s truly
Situated 21 miles from historic Charles-
ton, S.C., Kiawah Island Resort has hotel,
villa and private home accommodations,
35,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor
meeting space and four other courses:
Turtle Point, Osprey Point, Oak Point and
Palmilla Beach Golf Club, Port
Located along the Gulf of Mexico, the
Palmilla Beach Golf Club at Palmilla Beach
Resort near Corpus Christi is the only true
links-style course in Texas.
“Palmilla Beach was designed by Arnold
Palmer, and it has three holes that run along
the ocean and three that frame Corpus
Christi Bay,” said Chris Thomas, general
manager for the Palmilla Beach Golf Club.
“No matter how many times you play here,
with the wind and the links style layout, it
Palmilla Beach Resort, a 40-minute drive
from Corpus Christi, has condo, villa and
home accommodations and can handle
group golf events for 16 to 130 players.
Kiva Dunes Golf Club, Gulf Shores,
Designed by former U.S. Open champion
Jerry Pate, Kiva Dunes takes full advantage
of the magnificent oceanside terrain in Gulf
Shores, a popular coastal meetings destination in Alabama.
“The mass appeal to most players is the
uniqueness of Kiva Dunes,” said Mark Still-
ings, general manager at Kiva Dunes. “It has
much more of a seaside links feel than most
other courses in our region. The course has
spectacular beauty with native vegetation,
sand dunes, plenty of wildlife, undulating
greens, links-style bunkering and the com-
mon presence of wind.”
For meetings, Gulf Shores has several
waterfront properties with meeting space,
15,000 total guest rooms, 14 other golf
courses and a wide range of restaurants.
Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club,
Opened in 1929, the Naples Beach Hotel
& Golf Club course, located across the
street from the Gulf of Mexico, is a legendary Southwest Florida layout. It recently
received a $9 million redesign and reconfig-uration by golf architects John Sanford and
“The course has been totally redesigned
and modernized to stand up to today’s
equipment and technology,” said John Sanford, president of Sanford Golf Design. “It
was a great pleasure working with Jack Nicklaus, who played the course when he was 10
years old. It’s a fun and exciting layout.”
Golf legend Arnold Palmer once said, “What other people may find in poetry
or art museums, I find in
the flight of a good drive.”
THE NAPLES BEACH HOTEL & GOLF CLUB
BY EDWARD SCHMIDT JR.