Played Kiva Dunes for the first time as it was recommended by a pair of golfers we were paired with at another golf course. The said the course was the best in the area, but not for someone that shoots 110 for 18 holes. They were correct on that. What I do not understand is how this course only has a course rating of 67.8/119 from the white tees. I've played a lot of courses in the US and Hawaii and this one is one of the tougher ones I've played. Granted it was a very windy day, but with the number of bunkers, water hazards and tough green to putt, this course is a challenge. Course conditions were the best we've played in the area, other than it appeared the bunkers had not been raked that morning. What amazes me is that golfers pay this kind of money to play and then have no idea of what the rake is for in the bunker. I was in about three bunkers and there were footprints in all of them. The staff starting with the bag guys and continuing to the pro shop and the restaurant were all 10's. There are some blind shots to the landing area and playing the course a few times would definitely be a huge help. My playing partners all had played the course before and helped quite a bit, but describing the hole from the tee was not adequate. The 9th hole is one of the toughest I've ever played. You have zero room for error off the tee, then still have a challenging 2nd shot, but at least you can see where your target. This might be considered a great golf hole for a scratch golfer, but going to be a tough score for the bogey or worse golfer. This is not a course for a golfer that has trouble with forced carries. My wife decided not to play the course and it was a great decision as even from the forward tees, she would not have had much fun. Too many bunkers/water and tough greens. I am a single digit handicap and still lost 4 balls because of not knowing the course. Will be back to play this one on our next visit to the area. Green fees are about what you expect for a course of this caliber. Once the green fees get about $50, I expect the course to be a top notch and this one is for conditions, clubhouse and staff. I did find a $10 off coupon to lessen the green fee sting, but they did let my wife ride along for no extra charge. You got the top Southern Hospitality from the folks at Kiva Dunes. There is a dress code as most nicer courses have. I rated a 4 because of traps not being raked and the price of the green fees. Played nicer courses for less money.
We decided to eat lunch after the round and the lunch was good as was the staff.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.