Golf

Bob Gillespie

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

A woman’s place: Osprey Point, Abby Welch among ‘Best for Women’ by Golf Digest

Posted 7/10/2013 4:29:00 PM

In golf’s quest to “grow the game,” one of the often-underappreciated audiences is women. Not by Golf Digest, though, which annually ranks the nation’s “Top 50 Courses for Women,” recognizing golf facilities that make women a priority in course setup and design, staff makeup and amenities (apparel, etc.).

Since the magazine began its rankings, which are compiled by 100-plus women who assess tee options and course design, Kiawah Island Resort’s Osprey Point has been a regular entry. And 2013 is no exception: Osprey Point is 11th, with special mention made of instructor Abby Welch, who Golf Digest ranks among its Best Young Teachers in America.

Designed by Tom Fazio, Osprey Point is rated at 4 ½ stars in Golf Digest’s “Best Places to Play” readers’ poll and is considered one of South Carolinas best golf values. As with Kiawah’s other courses, Fazio made use of four lakes, saltwater marsh and dense forests of oak, pine, palmetto and magnolia. The course, which recently completed its June aerification, is in superb shape heading into July and August.

Because Fazio designed the course to be playable for all levels of player, it is very playable for average golfers, with large landing areas and few forced carries. Golf Digest requires its top 50 courses to have at least one set of tees at less than 5,300 yards, two sets of tees with Slope and Course Ratings for women, and minimal forced carries. The large clubhouse also stocks an extensive lineup of golf gear and clothing with special attention to women’s fashions.

But perhaps Osprey Point’s best selling point for women is Welch, a former captain of the University of South Carolina women’s golf team. She heads the Kiawah Island Resort Golf Learning Center’s instructional programs for both women and juniors, and is a lead instructor for many of the center’s schools. A PGA and LPGA certified instructor, she was nominated in 2010 for the Carolinas PGA Section’s Junior Golf Leader award.

Also since 2010, Welch – married to husband Greg since 2008 – has held a spot on Golf Digest’s Best Young Teachers list as one of the nation’s top 40 instructors under age 40. Besides schools and magazine articles, Welch offers private lessons as well. To contact Welch directly, call (843) 266-4030 or email abby_welch@kiawahresort.com.

For more information on Welch and Osprey Point, call (800) 576-1570 or go to www.kiawahresort.com.