Inspired by Irish and Scottish links-style golf courses, the 6,960-yard course lies along the Kiawah River and its creek and marshes. The first six holes at Cassique have been described as though they’ve been “air-lifted from Ireland’s southwest coast.” A replica of The Spectacles bunkers from Carnoustie guards one green, and approaches reminiscent of holes at Ballybunion and Cypress Point frame two others.
As with such classic seaside settings, Cassique offers little protection from ocean breezes, so the course’s holes can be played in numerous ways depending upon the conditions and the creativity and skills of the golfer.
Tom Watson design
Opened in 2000, Cassique is the first solo course design in North America by Tom Watson, five-time winner of the British Open. See the course map.
The course hosted the 2002 Kiawah Children’s Hospital Classic, 2003 Palmer Cup, 2004 UBS Cup, and 2009 US Mid-Amateur Championship. It is consistently ranked on the Golf Digest Top 100 Modern Courses and the Golfweek Top 100 Residential Courses.
Cassique is home to the Kiawah Island Club Golf Academy, dedicated to improving Club Members’ overall golf experiences and suited for players of all abilities and ages. The Golf Academy offers a variety of game-improving programs focused on technique, golf fitness, mental training, and club fitting.
Reminiscent of a 19th-century English country manor with stone-surrounded windows, copper guttering, and slate roofing, the Cassique clubhouse offers commanding views of the golf course and the tidelands surrounding the Kiawah River. The dining experience at the restaurant and pub are also spectacular, with a menu designed exclusively by James Beard-award winner Consulting Chef Tom Colicchio.
Cassique’s capable staff and concierge oversee every club detail from rooms for private functions, to expansive men and women’s locker facilities, and a full-service golf shop.
The River Course provides a challenging and inspiring 7,039-yard test. Eight holes play along the Kiawah River and Bass Pond, with the other fairways and greens along marsh savannas, ponds, and oak-filled maritime forests.
The River Course site, which extends a mile or so along the Kiawah River, was the location of the first English settlement on the Island in the 18th century. In 1999, it was fully certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.
Tom Fazio design
Originally opened in 1995, Tom Fazio extensively renovated his course in 2006, with the re-grassing of all 18 greens in ultra-dwarf Bermuda, a complete rebuilding of four putting surfaces, and re-grassing of all 18 fairways, collars, and tees with Emerald, a new greens-grade dwarf Bermuda never before used on fairways and collars. Bunkers also received extensive rebuilding to make significant strategic and visual changes to the course. See the course map.
The course hosted the Kiawah Children’s Hospital Classic in 2000 and 2001. Since opening, the course has garnered numerous accolades including that of Golf Digest’s 1996 top five new private courses in the nation. It was also listed on “America’s Best Top 100 Residential Courses” by Golfweek magazine in 2012.
River Course Clubhouse
The dark cedar-shingled River Course clubhouse sits on an ancient bluff overlooking the Kiawah River to the north and Bass Pond to the southeast. Amenities include a golf shop, dining room, grille room and bar, veranda, living room, men’s and women’s lounges with locker areas, and fitness center. Two adjacent red clay tennis courts are always in top competition conditioning.