When Tom Fazio came to Kiawah in the mid-80s to begin work on the islands third golf course, Osprey Point, no less than Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus had already left their mark on popular resort. So the challenge was clear. But this was nothing new for the architect who would go on to become one of the most acclaimed in the history of golf course design. For you see, for Fazio, the goal has always been to do better the next time, whether youre competing against others or yourself.
Did he create Kiawahs best resort course at Osprey Point? The answer to that question is as varied as the golfers you ask, which speaks to the overall quality of golf at the resort. But one thing is certain; Fazio did create a course that many Kiawah residents and vacationers rank as their favorite. Thats because, though it is part of a hugely successful real estate development, Osprey Point is as much nature walk as it is golf course. Several major east-west lagoon systems cut through the property, not to mention numerous smaller tidal creeks and wetland areas. Fazio used all these natural hazards to maximum advantage aesthetically in a layout that includes surprisingly few forced carries. Only at the par-3 third and 11th holes is the golfer required to take the aerial route. Of the 13 other holes where water is in play, the trouble is kept to the side of otherwise generous landing areas and greens. At nine of those 13 holes, the hazard is on the left, while three put water to the right. The par-4 fifth plays no favorites, with water to the right off the tee, then left of the green, but actually neither comes into play for all but the poorly executed shot.
Bottom line is, Osprey Point a visual treat, whether you have a golf club in your hand or not. A product of the architects talent for blending golf and nature, it, no doubt, is one of the self-fashioned stepping stones that raised Fazio to the elite echelon of his profession.