kiawah & wild dunes

Discussion in 'Tennis Travel' started by scrappy, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. scrappy

    scrappy New User

    Jun 12, 2012
    anyone have recent experience (have seen some old posts) with the tennis centers on kiawah island (through the kiawah island golf resort) or at the wild dunes resort on isle of palms? both got top ratings on, but hoping people here can help compare the two in terms of (1) the quality of the junior programs, (2) likelihood of 4.0+ level adult players being there in august, and (3) the quality of private coaching for adults and kids. any other feedback such as specific pros to request, how hard it is to book courts, how crowded it gets, whether clinics are well run, how friendly/helpful coaches are, etc. would be appreciated also.

    since the resorts are relatively close to each other, we may end up visiting both, but trying to figure out how much time to spend at each. thanks in advance.
  2. Chivo

    Chivo New User

    Jun 14, 2012
    Not sure when in August you're planning your trip, but Kiawah is hosting the PGA Championship the 6th-12th..everything will be full and traffic is going to be a nightmare!! Only one road on and off island.
  3. wrxinsc

    wrxinsc Professional

    Jul 10, 2010
    Cackalacky South
    Both are great. I know a bit more about Wild Dunes having played state championship matches at that location. Nice facility. I have friends that have played at both locations for tournaments / usta championship matches and they speak very highly of Kiawah.

    Both great vacation spots and solid golf offerings too of course.
  4. scrappy

    scrappy New User

    Jun 12, 2012
    thanks for the responses. we're aware of the pga madness, so will be avoiding that. great to hear that people continue to have very positive experiences at both wild dunes and kiawah. we may just split our time between them pretty evenly.

    wrxinsc: any suggestions for which pros to request for private lessons?
  5. vinouspleasure

    vinouspleasure Rookie

    Mar 6, 2004
    we've stayed at kaiwah in august about eight times over the past 16 years. we've thought about WD but have never been. Here are some thoughts about the tennis and resort:

    - it's going to be hot, humid and buggy. bring insect repellent and use it thoroughly anytime you step outside. And carry it with you on the island. If you head into the ocean or pool and think you're not going to be absolutely devoured by the time you get back to your room, think twice.

    - rent bicycles - Inexpensive and there are well-maintained bike paths that take you everywhere.

    - restaurants - the quality in the restaurants is high as is the cost. Outside the gates is a great, large, gourmet. grocery. also, try the restaurants in bohicket marina, rosebank cafe is our favorite. Get to charleston for great, great food. Kiawah does have a weekly bbq, used to be ayce bbq oysters, pig and cobbler, it's gotten expensive but the quality was off the charts each time we went. If you are a bbq lover, there's good mustard-based bbq to be had in the area, give a shout and I'll send you some recommendations.

    It's worth pointing out that a lot of the kids from the south are back in school late aug, so the resort is less crowded and prices move down. You might want to figure out when they drop prices (if you're flexible with dates).


    you'll want to play in morning and evenings. It can sometimes be hard to get courts in the morning, reserve the day before. Also, there are a limited number of pros, so you should reserve clinics/lessons the day before.

    they have a stroke-a-day clinic where they go over the basics of a stroke. You could have any range of players in a clinic and you're not going to get much out of it if they have 4 beginners. On the other hand, when my wife and I have been the only people in the clinic, we've received top-notch instruction. sometimes we call the morning of or the night before and sign up if nobody else has (you can call the tennis centers to see)
    . if we find two other strong people in the clinic or drill session, we try to get them to sign up in advance with us so we can all play at the same level.

    they also have drill clinics where you hit a ton of balls. The pros keep it moving and it's fun. The live ball drills are fun but again, the mix of ability in these clinics can make it tough to enjoy live ball play. when it's just my wife and I in the clinic, the pro has always played in and of course it's a lot more fun. we do these everyday we're at kiawah.

    the courts and the facilities are immaculately maintained.

    The pros play a set of doubles every week and they invite spectators. The level of play is very high, they give away small prizes, definitely worth watching.

    The pros themselves are very good. Roy Barth was a highly ranked singles and doubles player, I'm not sure if he still teaches but he's usually out and about. In the middle of a volley clinic he took me aside, spent 10 minutes with me and totally changed the way I thought about volleying. To this day, volleying is the strongest part of my game. Roy's son Jonathan is a smart guy, maybe a little edgy imo, is best for the drill session as he really gives you a great workout. David Boyd is a gentleman, patient teacher, never has a bad word for anyone and is very encouraging. He has always been our first choice for the teaching clinics.

    My son played in their "junior tournament tough workout" camp a couple of times. It was, I think, a better deal back then (probably four years ago), he enjoyed the program, made friends but no real improvement in his game. The reason this could still be a good deal is that your son gets free court time if he's in camp for 3 or more days. This means you and your family get free time if your son is on the court.

    they have a board with people's phone numbers and ratings. You'll have no problem finding 4.0 players. I'd suggest starting with a 4.0 player rather than a 4.5, it's going to be hot, the courts are slow and unless you're in great shape, make it easy for yourself until you get acclimated.

    I've tried to cover your questions, feel free to ask specifics.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012

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