Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stay and play at some of the best golf courses in the country: Kiawah Island. You’ll connect with fellow graduates, parents, and friends of St. Olaf, hear an update from Athletic Director Ryan Bowles, get tips and pointers on your golf game from Sarah Bowles, and revel in the camaraderie of being active with fellow Oles.
Golfers of all skill levels are welcome! See more below for information about the courses — including the incomparable Ocean Course — and The Sanctuary, the luxury resort that will be home base.
Tackle a course played by the best in the world: the 2021 PGA championship was played at Kiawah’s Ocean Course.
To paraphrase the resort themselves, Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s unmatched golf experience offers an invigorating combination of distinctive golf courses and a spectacularly pristine natural setting. They offer five world-class golf courses designed by Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, Gary Player and Clyde Johnston. Using the Island’s unspoiled setting of rolling sand dunes, expansive saltwater marshes and tranquil maritime forests, each architect has created a unique expression of golf’s varied challenges and rewards.
We will play three courses, including a guaranteed round on the Ocean Course.
The Ocean Course
Host of the 2021 PGA Championship, The Ocean Course boasts the most seaside holes in the Northern Hemisphere with ten hugging the Atlantic and the other eight running parallel to those. Although it was originally planned to sit behind the dunes, designer Pete Dye’s wife, Alice, suggested raising the entire course to give players unobstructed views of Kiawah’s stunning coastline from every hole. One catch? This improved view made the course substantially more demanding as it also exposed play to the Atlantic’s brisk and unpredictable breezes.
Osprey Point Golf Course
What began as a members-only golf course on the island noted for its playability has evolved into a championship-level course with a world-class layout that was completely renovated in 2014 under the direction of course architect Tom Fazio. Today’s Osprey Point still delivers on its playability and natural beauty and gets rave reviews for its pristine conditions and elegant clubhouse.
Oak Point Golf Course
The proud recipient of the 2019 Charleston Golf Course Owners Association Course of the Year, Oak Point delivers a superior playing surface with its regrassing in Paspalum and greater strategic challenges through a refreshed design. Originally conceived by Clyde Johnston, a noted Southeastern golf course architect, Oak Point sits by the Kiawah River and Haulover Creek, surrounded by maritime forest.
Turtle Point Golf Course
After a comprehensive nine-month renovation led by Jack Nicklaus and members of his architectural team, Turtle Point reopened in late 2016 to rave player reviews. Sweeping improvements included regrassing with Paspalum, rebuilding of all bunkers, laser-leveling all tee boxes and reestablishing irrigation throughout the course.
Cougar Point Golf Course
Following an extensive 10-month renovation in tandem with Gary Player Design, Cougar Point reopened on October 1, 2017, to rave reviews—winning over Kiawah Island golfers with its dramatic marsh vistas and superior playability. Whether you’ve played the old Cougar Point or have never stepped foot on its greens, this renovated course is a must-play at the resort.
For more information on courses, please visit kiawahresort.com/golf
Once again, I paraphrase Kiawah Island’s web site: the Carolina coast offers countless vacation destinations and places to stay, but none equal to The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
Though the Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort opened off the coast of Charleston, SC in August 2004, the four-story hotel was designed to feel like it has been on Kiawah Island for centuries, evolving and expanding from one imaginary homeowner to the next.
For a full list of guest amenities, please visit Kiawah Resort’s Sanctuary Hotel guest amenities.
This program was custom designed to be active together, hear about the world of athletics at St. Olaf, and get tips and pointers on your golf game.
This itinerary is subject to change. Travel demands flexibility. We will strive to balance adaptability with remaining on schedule. Please trust that, when it is not possible to follow the plan laid out below, your program leaders will work to find substitutions that retain the quality of this Study Travel program. Various details may be added or changed due to information obtained while making reservations, or perhaps on site, especially because of the weather. Group meals are indicated by BLD.
Wednesday, July 13 Kiawah Island (BD)
Drive or fly to South Carolina and make your way to The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. We’ll start the program with introductions over appetizers and a welcome dinner.
Thursday, July 14 Kiawah Island (B)
Breakfast, followed by tee times starting at 8:30 am at Osprey Point. Lunch on your own and afternoon free. We’ll find a time to gather for golf tips and pointers from Sarah Bowles. Dinner on your own.
Friday, July 15 Kiawah Island (B)
Breakfast, followed by tee times starting at 8:30 am at Turtle Point. Lunch on your own and afternoon free. We’ll find a time to gather for an update from Athletic Director Ryan Bowles.
Saturday, July 16 Kiawah Island (BD)
Breakfast, followed by tee times starting at 10 am on the Ocean Course. Lunch on your own and afternoon free. Farewell group dinner.
Sunday, July 17 Departure (B)
Individual departures after breakfast.
Ryan Bowles serves as the Athletic Director at St. Olaf College. Ryan has been at St. Olaf since 2015 and oversees the college’s 27 sports, including men’s and women’s golf. During his time on the hill, the college built an indoor golf simulator facility for the benefit of the golf programs, allowing the teams to practice for competition during the long Minnesota winters. Prior to his arrival on the hill, he was an Associate Athletic Director at the University of Maryland, where he oversaw the Division 1 men’s and women’s golf programs for the Terps. While he loves all sports, he is an avid golfer and fan, following each of the professional golf tours on a weekly basis. He looks forward to playing Pebble Beach in particular, adding to the list of courses that have hosted major championships that he has played. He also looks forward to having more chances at defeating his wife in golf, which he still has not done.
Sarah Bowles, a native of Chanhassen, Minnesota is an accomplished golfer. She earned all-state honors her senior year of high school and attended Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina on a Division 1 golf scholarship. She played on the golf team all four years and remains active in the sport. She has won four consecutive club championships at Northfield Golf Club and plays in a variety of Minnesota Golf Association tournaments across the state. Although an accomplished golfer, she plays the game for the fun and camaraderie it provides. A former collegiate athletic administrator herself, she now works from home and raises the couple’s three-year-old son, Thomas, who is beginning to learn the game as well.
Expect to cross an item off your bucket list! You’ll be playing 3 unparalleled courses, while staying at a deluxe resort, and sharing the company of fellow Oles and honorary Oles.
Golfers of all skill levels are welcome. Reservations will be for 18 rounds of golf on three days during the program. Riding carts are included if you request one. Caddies are only available on the Ocean Course but are also included, though tips are on your own. (See Program Fee for recommended amount.)
As a condition of participation in this program all attendees must have received a COVID-19 vaccine and received a booster shot at least 2 weeks prior to attending the program. The Centers for Disease Control now say all adults can and should get a booster shot once they are six months past their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two months past their single Johnson & Johnson dose. If, by departure time, you are not yet 6 months past your second dose or 2 months past your single J&J dose, you will not be required to have a booster. Because changing conditions may result in additional or different participation restrictions, we will strive to keep you promptly informed of any changes resulting from the ongoing pandemic.
This is not your local course and a night at the Super 8. We’re including 18 holes at 3 top-notch courses each and a 4-night stay at a luxury golf resort.
The program fee is $6,368 per person. Based on double occupancy, it includes
- an update on St. Olaf athletics from Ryan Bowles
- tips and pointers on golf from Sarah Bowles
- deluxe hotel accommodations at The Sanctuary inclusive of all taxes and resort fees
- roundtrip airport transportation to/from the Charleston international airport
- welcome dinner, mid-program dinner, and farewell dinner
- breakfast each morning at The Sanctuary
- three world class deluxe golf rounds including 18 holes, range access, and all taxes and fees
- Riding carts upon request
- Caddies and forecaddies (excluding tips)
- program-exclusive deluxe souvenir
Participants are solely responsible for all expenses not specifically included in the program fee. Examples of excluded expenses are: transportation between your home town and Charleston airport • Caddie tips • Baggage insurance • travel insurance • Gratuities to housekeeping staff • Laundry • Dry cleaning • Phone charges • Room service or other items of a personal nature • Expenses incurred during free time or non-group activities • Lunch and dinner, unless specifically included on program itinerary • Items not specifically listed above as included.
The non-golfer program fee is $4,789 per person, based on double occupancy.
The supplement for single occupancy is $1,530.
Caddies are only available on the Ocean Course and there are no fees for caddie services, but the recommended gratuity is $100/player for walking caddies and $50/player for forecaddies (not included in the program fee).
A $950 per person deposit is required upon registration. See the full Payment and Refund Schedule below.
This schedule is based on payments St. Olaf College must make to program vendors to guarantee group rates. We highly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance at the time of registration to recover your payments should you need to withdraw from the program.
Because of ongoing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, it is possible that a program could be postponed. In such a case, while we will strive to make full refunds when we can, there are certain expenses that may not be refunded to either St. Olaf or the participant.
Deposit due: $950 upon registration
Refund if you cancel: No refund
Balance due: April 1, 2022
Refund if you cancel: No refund
Cancellations must be in writing.
Prepare for your adventure by checking out a variety of resources, including frequently asked questions, general health information, safety overview, and more.
Book your travel! I am delighted to share that our 2022 Golf program is an official GO.
As a condition of participation in this program all attendees must have received a COVID-19 vaccine and booster. Because changing conditions may result in additional or different participation restrictions, we will strive to keep you promptly informed of any changes resulting from the ongoing pandemic.
Meanwhile, feel free to purchase your flights. We strongly recommend you consider adding flight cancellation insurance to that purchase. Here are some additional notes:
— The program starts and ends at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
— You should time your travel to arrive at The Sanctuary by mid-afternoon on Wednesday, July 13. We will start the program with introductions over appetizers and a welcome dinner.
— Feel free to depart The Sanctuary any time on Sunday, June 17. (A breakfast voucher is included that day.)