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How to play Kiawah’s Ocean Course without breaking the bank

Last weekend I knocked something off the bucket list. I made the 4-hour trip (south of Charleston) to play Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s Ocean Course, home of the 1991 Ryder Cup, 2007 Senior PGA Championship and the 2012 PGA Championship.

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I love Charleston, I love the beach and I love golf. I’d always wanted to play the Ocean Course, but being in my mid-20s and spending too much money on beer and rent and important things, the green fee of around $380 (plus a caddie tip) scared the heck out of me. When the weather began getting cold a few months ago, I started thinking there was maybe some sort of stay-and-play deal that could open the course up for someone like me. I mean, who is crazy enough to play golf in January, on a beach, with howling winds and unpredictable weather? Hello!

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I called Kiawah Resort in December and asked if they had any deals for a buddy and me. They told me we could stay at the Sanctuary for one night and get two rounds of golf for $450. $450 TOTAL, not per person. Insane. So, for $225 (plus the $70 recommended caddie tip), a buddy and I had the weekend of a lifetime: two queen beds in a Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond hotel and a round at the legendary Ocean Course, known as one of the toughest, if not the toughest, course in America and the current #3 in Golf Digest’s America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses.

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During the summer, an Oceanview Guestroom goes for $735 per night, and typically will have a two-day minimum. It’s also hot in South Carolina and the bugs are bad. No bugs last weekend. Sunny, not a cloud in the sky and the temperature was in the high 40s. Perfect January golf weather. Save yourself a handful of Benjamins and make this trip happen without breaking the bank.

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5 details you need to know:

(1) Deal is called the Golf or Gourmet Escape.

(2) We paid $450 total (after fees) for Oceanview Guestroom and 2 rounds at the Ocean Course.

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(3) Deal runs through 2/27.

(4) The hotel is the nicest place I have ever been, or will ever go.

(5) The golf was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. All 18 holes have a view of the Atlantic Ocean. 10 of those holes run right along the ocean. For the entire round, it felt like we were the only group on the course. This was golf at its finest.

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