Low Country Golf at Its Finest
Some places you visit in your life leave mystical and lasting impressions that resonate though your mind endlessly until you
give in and go back.
Just outside of Charleston, SC is such a place on Isle of Palms, Wild Dunes Resort. The city of Isle of Palms is on a small barrier island just east of Charleston bordered by the Intercostal waterway to the west and the Atlantic to the east. This small community only has a land mass of 4.4 sq. miles. Wild Dunes Resort is artfully developed on over half of the islands land area with an eclectic Low Country style and culture all its own. The narrow shape of the island is framed by ever changing sand bars that surround the shoreline constantly changing with the tides. It is a special place that draws you in and captures your heart and your soul.
It is only fitting that Wild Dunes with its charm and hospitality, is just a hop from the Low Country culinary capital of the south, Charleston.
Charleston is one of those places if you have never been, that is all about comfort food. Everything has a distinct flavor that resonates from the simplest of dishes embellishing taste and imagination. The names of native Low Country dishes are almost as colorful as the fresh local ingredients that go into them: She-crab soup, Frogmore stew, and Hoppin’ John, are just a few. The Low Country teems with aquatic life and for centuries local cooks have turned to the water for culinary inspiration. Crabs, shrimp, fish, and oysters form the basis of any traditional menu, and seafood dishes are offered at every meal.
It is only fitting that Wild Dunes is part of the Destination Hotels portfolio. Destination Hotels represents a different kind of brand in the hospitality industry. One that believes in independence over sameness. One that delivers local authenticity of experience versus a sea of sameness. One that truly champions the individuality of its properties. They operate a distinctive and diverse collection of luxury and upscale independent hotels and resorts. With over 40 properties from coast to coast their award-winning portfolio features 20 renowned golf courses, 19 indigenous spas and 105 exceptional bars and restaurants from coast to coast in the U.S.
Wild Dunes is a AAA Four Diamond Resort with accommodations in the exquisite Boardwalk Inn and The Village. There are also endless choices of oceanfront resort home rentals, condominiums and quaint island cottages. Dinning is available at a choice of facilities including The Sea Island Grill & Lounge, The Lettered Olive Restaurant & Lounge, The Grand Pavilion Bar & Grill and various other pool and golf clubhouse venues throughout the property. Wild Dunes also offers a fully catered dinner menu delivered right to your residence for up to 10 guests.
If you want a break from the fantastic golf, the resort offers one of the best tennis resort facilities in country with 17 Har-Tru courts. There are bicycle rentals, 4 resort pools, unlimited beach access, watersports including local sailing charters, a fitness center and a full service spa. The homes, cottages and hotels throughout the resort are all connected by endless paths to the ocean and make for a different route for a daily walk or stroll that never gets old. The homes and buildings in the resort are colored in a myriad of soft pastel colors calming your senses and settling your soul into relax mode. This is an easy place to be, no matter what mantra you have. It says sit back, open up and enjoy.
Golf at Wild Dunes is conveniently located close to all resort accommodations. Shuttles will pick you up and drop you back after your round. Wild Dunes Resort and the greater Charleston area is where Tom Fazio cut his teeth working for his uncle George. Wild Dunes was one of Tom’s first designs when he stepped off on his own as a course designer. In his career, Fazio has designed over 200 courses including 2 at Pinehurst NC, Lake Nona in FL, The Estancia Club in Scottsdale, Karsten Creek, OK, Ventana Mountain & Canyon in Arizona, Shadow Creek in Vegas and a host of other great venues.
The Harbor Course is shorter at only 6350 yards but requires exact placement of tee shots with its narrow fairways and a generous number of water and marsh hazards. Fazio altered the course after Hurricane Hugo in 1989 creating an even more open and scenic layout. The waterway holes 9-11 are spectacular to say the least. The Harbor Course has the intercostal just left off half of its holes. Not unusual to have boaters comment on one of your shots, Ahoy Nice Shot! The course is a par 70 with 6 par 3’s of which 4 have water in play. It’s a great track you will want to play a few times while there.
The Links Course at Wild Dunes is a spectacular track that just finished a major renovation of cart paths, irrigation and new TifEagle on all the greens, and re-bunkering on a number of holes. As part of the renovation, Fazio had to deal with the hand mother nature gave him on the spectacular par 18th hole. Through storm erosion she took about 40 % of the entire 18th hole including the dog-leg right section of the fairway and the entire green complex. Tom decided to convert the finishing hole to a Par 3 with the green complex adjacent to the ocean.
Director of Golf, Jeff Minton said, “Members have been thrilled with the changes. Few courses have a better collection of par 3s. The 192 yarder at no. 12 squirts through a narrow passage in the dunes. The setting around the 198-yard 16th hole was cleaned up, revealing views of the ocean. The 185-yard 18th hole stares off into a sea of blue.” The course is a firm challenge from the tips and one of the most scenic courses in the Carolina’s.
For the higher-handicap player, Fazio lays out a vast amount of real estate to accept drives, even with cutouts left or right, where most golfers tend to drift. He also provides a run-up alternative at every hole, albeit sometimes off to the side. Fazio was sparing in his bunkers. Perhaps he wanted to distinguish himself from Uncle George, whose courses were riddled with traps at every opportunity. Fazio greatly relied on strategic Spanish moss-covered live oaks at Wild Dunes Links Course. In its three decades, the Links Course is often mentioned among “top” courses in South Carolina.
“We’re fortunate, being on the Atlantic Ocean,” said Jeff Minton, director of golf and sports for Wild Dunes Resort. The course’s advantage over its nearby competitors of Kiawah Island, Patriots Point and Rivertowne is that it’s a links course and how the course is designed into the dunes,” Minton said. Fazio mimicked the swales of the dunes into the course, adding mounds and undulations to fairways and greens alike. “Plus, having 16 through 18 on the Atlantic Ocean is pretty special,” Minton said.
Wild Dunes and Charleston, SC are very special places indeed and well worth numerous visits by golfers and sports enthusiast alike. From sunrise to sunset the region offers more to do than most major resort areas anywhere but just relaxing here is an art in itself to be mastered.
The culture, ambience and food are just the tip of what southern hospitality is all about in Low Country. Stop, smell and listen to the sounds of life by the sea, and experience it all at a slower pace at Wild Dunes. wilddunes.com / Charleston.com
About Wild Dunes Resort, A Destination Hotel
Nestled on the northern tip of Isle of Palms, a lush barrier island off the coast of South Carolina, Wild Dunes Resort, A Destination Hotel, is located 30 minutes from the charm and grace of historic downtown Charleston. The Resort occupies 1,600 acres of oceanfront paradise with a variety of accommodations ranging from the AAA Four-Diamond Rated Boardwalk Inn and The Village at Wild Dunes to private condos and luxury home vacation rentals. Offering a year-round menu of championship golf, nationally-ranked tennis, award-winning recreation, spa services and restaurant options, Wild Dunes Resort has been distinguished by many publications and associations as a top destination for families, golfers, tennis lovers, and meeting and event planners. Visit Wild Dunes Resort online on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
About Destination Hotels
Destination Hotels (Destination) is a collection of luxury and upscale independent hotels, resorts and residences across the United States. Offering authentically-immersed and enriching experiences, each property is individual at heart, yet connected by a commitment to drawing upon the best of each location. Highly distinct, the Destination experience is always memorable and matchless; guests will feel the locale in a genuine way through each property and during the engaging moments cultivated both in and outside of them. Continuously growing with more than 40 properties from coast to coast, the award-winning portfolio features 20 renowned golf courses, 19 indigenous spas, and 105 exceptional bars and restaurants. Destination Hotels are true to our place; diverse by design. For more information, visit www.destinationhotels.com. Follow us on Twitter: @Destination. Like us on Facebook: DestinationHotels.