Kiawah Island Club Cassique Golf

At Cassique, Tom Watson Lets Nature
Take Its Course

In designing his debut North American course, golf legend Tom Watson worked in direct concert with Kiawah’s gorgeous natural terrain. His signature 7,050-yard test ranges through maritime forest and along marshes where the Kiawah River and the Atlantic Ocean meet. Lessons learned from a career highlighted by five British Open Championships informed the creation of the par-72 links-style course. Because the walkable layout, conjuring tracts popular on Celtic courses, offered little protection from ocean winds, Watson fashioned holes that could be navigated in a variety of ways, depending on weather conditions. Hence, a golfer’s personal creativity plays a key role in conquering Cassique.

At Cassique, Tom Watson Lets Nature Take Its Course

In designing his debut North American course, golf legend Tom Watson worked in direct concert with Kiawah’s gorgeous natural terrain. His signature 7,050-yard test ranges through maritime forest and along marshes where the Kiawah River and the Atlantic Ocean meet. Lessons learned from a career highlighted by five British Open Championships informed the creation of the par-72 links-style course. Because the walkable layout, conjuring tracts popular on Celtic courses, offered little protection from ocean winds, Watson fashioned holes that could be navigated in a variety of ways, depending on weather conditions. Hence, a golfer’s personal creativity plays a key role in conquering Cassique.


Championship Status

Cassique is named for the legendary Native American chieftains who once hunted the Island. Since opening in 2000, the course has garnered a roster of accolades worthy of its namesake. Beginning with its first year ranking on Golf Digest’s prestigious “America’s Best New Private Courses” list, Cassique consistently lands placement on Golfweek’s “Top 100 Residential Courses” and Golf Digest’s “Top 100 Modern Courses” rankings. In 2018, Watson’s signature design beat out some heavy competition in being named one of the “Top 50 South Carolina Golf Courses” by the South Carolina Course Rating Panel.

National acclaim has resulted in a myriad of influential tournaments unfolding across Cassique’s greens, including the 2002 Kiawah Children’s Hospital Classic, 2003 Palmer Cup, 2004 UBS Cup, 2009 US Mid-Amateur Championship,2013 Carolinas PGA Section Championship, and the upcoming 2023 USGA Four-Ball Championship.

Golf Learning Center: The Shape of Swings to Come

Located at the north end of the Cassique driving range, the state-of-the-art Golf Learning Center pairs cutting-edge golf technology with dedicated professional instruction. Carol Preisinger, one of Golf Magazine’sTop 100 Teachers in America” for 15 years running, leads a team of spirited professional golf instructors dedicated to improving Members’ abilities. Here, everyone from the golf guru to the weekend player can up their game, lower their score, and renew their appreciation of the sport. Certified fitting pros are always on hand for personalized club and ball fittings with top brands including Callaway, Mizuno, Ping, PXG, TaylorMade, and Titleist. Our highly decorated Golf Fitness Director has received every credited accolade the Titleist Performance Institute offers and our Club Fitting Director was named one of the “Top 100 Fitters” by Callaway.

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Golf Learning Center: The Shape Of Swings To Come

Located at the north end of the Cassique driving range, the state-of-the-art Golf Learning Center pairs cutting-edge golf technology with dedicated professional instruction. Carol Preisinger, one of Golf Magazine’s “Top 100 Teachers in America” for 15 years running, leads a team of spirited professional golf instructors dedicated to improving Members’ abilities. Here, everyone from the golf guru to the weekend player can up their game, lower their score, and renew their appreciation of the sport. Certified fitting pros are always on hand for personalized club and ball fittings with top brands including Callaway, Mizuno, Ping, PXG, TaylorMade, and Titleist. Our highly decorated Golf Fitness Director has received every credited accolade the Titleist Performance Institute offers and our Club Fitting Director was named one of the “Top 100 Fitters” by Callaway.

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Three fully functional hitting bays boasting the latest technology, a golf fitness facility, and a club repair area serve to accelerate performance at every level. 3-D motion analysis, launch monitors, and pressure mats provide data to diagnose efficiency of motion, club metrics, and brain function. The fitness area strengthens a Member’s golf-related abilities including flexibility, core strength, and balance.

Since opening, the Golf Learning Center has strengthened the athleticism and confidence of countless Club Members and many American heroes, as well. As host to PGA HOPE’s largest program in the Carolinas, the facility has introduced military veterans with disabilities to the recreational therapy inherent in a great round of golf.



The Social Scene

Resplendent views of the Cassique course and the Kiawah River’s enveloping tidelands are showcased at the Cassique clubhouse. Bearing a 19th-century English country manor aesthetic, the venue serves as the social heart of the community. Across 30,000 square feet, exceptional offerings abound. Both the celebrated Voysey’s and Tom’s Pub are ideal spots to enjoy a meal or grab a drink after 18 holes. Elegantly appointed locker rooms ensure that transitioning from the greens to social gatherings is effortless. At Cassique’s golf shop, Members find a vast selection of equipment and accessories along with men’s, women’s and junior apparel.  Here, you’ll find everything to enliven your day on the course, from clubs, range finders, and golf bags to wind-breakers, shoes, and hats. Golf retail is also just a click away through the shop’s online store. Payment for online orders is charged to the Member account.

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Ready To Conquer Cassique?

The layout of Watson’s tournament-ready Cassique course accounts for its unique playing experience. The Front 9 offers true links-style play – popular across Ireland and Scotland, but decidedly rare in coastal South Carolina. (And Hole 9, the pros warn, has a false front that will “bring you back to Ireland.”) A very different feeling attends the Back 9, where the holes are tree-lined to start before opening up to marshlands and the Kiawah River. The course boasts several noteworthy spots: Mount Watson was once the highest elevated point in Charleston County. From here, players can see how much land they’ll cover while playing the course. Hole 15 is widely celebrated for its resplendent ocean and marsh views – especially dazzling at high tide.   

For hole-by-hole tips, our Player’s Guide is an excellent resource for your best game at Cassique.



Hole 1
Hole 1

Hole 1 / Par 4

Yardage

  • Gold400
  • Blue385
  • White365
  • Green330
  • Red305

Intimidating tee shot to start the round with an array of bunkers in the fairway — being in one of these bunkers can be very penial. Players are usually left with a mid-short iron into the green that slopes front to back. The middle of the green is the safe play.

Hole 2

Hole 2 / Par 5

Yardage

  • Gold535
  • Blue515
  • White480
  • Green430
  • Red375

A good drive will leave you with a decision to go for the green or lay-up. If you decide to go for it, you must get it all the way there or it will roll back into a hazard. Good hole to ease into the round and get you in the red numbers early.

Hole 3

Hole 3 / Par 4

Yardage

  • Gold450
  • Blue425
  • White390
  • Green370
  • Red340

Long par 4 with a bunker hidden over the hill. Positioning yourself down the left side of the fairway gives you the best angle to hit a close mid- to long-iron into the green. Playing for the middle of this green gives you the best chance at making par.

Hole 4

Hole 4 / Par 4

Yardage

  • Gold360
  • Blue345
  • White310
  • Green295
  • Red270

A shot ranging from 240-270 is needed on the tee before the fairway runs out. The green is protected by bunkers, mounds, and a large slope mid-green. Playing for the middle of the green depending on which tier will leave you a good look at birdie.

Hole 5

Hole 5 / Par 3

Yardage

  • Gold160
  • Blue150
  • White135
  • Green125
  • Red100

Surrounded by deep sod-stacked bunkers, this green slopes from right to left. No matter where the pin is located the undulation of the green will funnel your ball close to the hole. This is one of the prettiest and most picturesque holes on the course.

Hole 6

Hole 6 / Par 5

Yardage

  • Gold570
  • Blue525
  • White485
  • Green440
  • Red420

Teeing off from Mt. Watson you can see a good lay of the land and see how much ground you get to cover throughout your round. A good drive to a split fairway will leave you with options to go for the green or lay up.

Hole 7

Hole 7 / Par 3

Yardage

  • Gold235
  • Blue200
  • White175
  • Green135
  • Red110

A lengthy par 3 that typically plays into the wind. If in between clubs, leaving the ball short of the green is the smart and safe play. This will leave you with the easiest up and down. When high tide is up, this green almost turns into an island green.

Hole 8

Hole 8 / Par 4

Yardage

  • Gold345
  • Blue315
  • White290
  • Green250
  • Red240

One of the shortest/hardest holes in South Carolina. Leaving with anything below a Par is stealing one from the field. A driver is not needed from the tee to a rolling fairway into a peanut shaped green. Hitting to the middle of this green is always a smart play.

Hole 9

Hole 9 / Par 4

Yardage

  • Gold420
  • Blue410
  • White375
  • Green355
  • Red290

Any shot shape can be played from the tee with a large oak at the beginning of the fairway. If you don’t hit your approach shot all the way onto the green, you will watch your ball slowly roll back to you. Par is a good score.

Hole 10

Hole 10 / Par 4

Yardage

  • Gold400
  • Blue390
  • White355
  • Green345
  • Red330

Your aim off the tee is between the mounds into the valley (there is more room left than there appears to be). Playing to the center of the green will leave you a good look to any pin. This green is surrounded by three deep sod-stacked bunkers.

Hole 11

Hole 11 / Par 5

Yardage

  • Gold575
  • Blue555
  • White525
  • Green490
  • Red455

A three shot hole from any tee box, this dogleg left is the longest hole on the course. The green is three-tiered, making some hole locations very tricky if you are not on the correct tier. Going long over the green could find the hazard.

Hole 12

Hole 12 / Par 4

Yardage

  • Gold390
  • Blue375
  • White360
  • Green345
  • Red275

Finding the fairway is a must. Any shot that strays left or right has a chance of being blocked out by trees or finding a fairway bunker. There is a large slope in the middle of the green and it’s protected by two bunkers.

Hole 13

Hole 13 / Par 3

Yardage

  • Gold175
  • Blue155
  • White150
  • Green120
  • Red110

A hole that opens back up to the marsh and typically plays into the wind. Finding the green is objective number one because any shot that misses will be left with a difficult up and down. Par is a good score.

Hole 14

Hole 14 / Par 4

Yardage

  • Gold445
  • Blue405
  • White395
  • Green345
  • Red305

A lengthy par 4, getting over the mound in the fairway will gain you an extra 15-20 yards of roll. Hitting “between the field goal post” of trees behind the green will always find a shot that leads to the center of the green.

Hole 15

Hole 15 / Par 5

Yardage

  • Gold540
  • Blue520
  • White480
  • Green450
  • Red420

Grip it and rip it off the tee. Any drive that doesn’t find the fairway bunkers will leave you with an option to go for the green in two. In addition, strategically placed bunkers in the middle of the fairway make for a difficult lay-up.

Hole 16

Hole 16 / Par 3

Yardage

  • Gold185
  • Blue170
  • White155
  • Green135
  • Red120

This hole typically plays a touch longer than the yardage given. The two-tiered green is protected by bunkers on the left and right and a hazard if too long over the green. Center of the green is a smart play.

Hole 17

Hole 17 / Par 4

Yardage

  • Gold430
  • Blue385
  • White355
  • Green345
  • Red320

A large dog-leg right, you can go for the green if you are a long hitter or find the fairway and have a mid-iron in. The green is skinny in width but long in depth and surrounded by a waste bunker.

Hole 18

Hole 18 / Par 4

Yardage

  • Gold435
  • Blue415
  • White400
  • Green310
  • Red290

A difficult finishing hole. Finding the fairway still makes for a challenging shot into the green. An elevated mound in the center right of the green makes it tricky. Any shot favoring the left of the green can find the water.

For more hole-by-hole tips, view our Player's Guide

Kiawah Island Club is home to two private, championship-level courses.