Ocean Point Golf Course Review

50 Words or Less

The Ocean Point Golf Course at Fripp Island in South Carolina is a beautiful track that will test all elements of your ball striking.  Greens are pure.  Loads of ocean views and memorable holes.

Introduction

There is no shortage of golf courses with the word “ocean” in their name, but few earn their moniker like Ocean Point Golf Course at Fripp Island Resort.  Designed by George Cobb Sr., the man behind Augusta’s par 3 course, Ocean Point will take you within steps of the beach while consistently challenging your ball striking.

Practice Facilities

The practice facilities at Ocean Point Golf Course are very similar to those at Ocean Creek.  The driving range is large enough to accommodate about ten players, all hitting off grass.  There are several targets downrange to keep you focused and help you figure out your distances and judge the wind.  The only negative is that the range is a bit short, so you can’t hit driver.

The practice green is a few steps from the driving range at first tee, exactly where it belongs.  It’s not huge, but there’s ample room for a foursome to roll a few putts before stepping onto the course.  The greens at Ocean Point are wonderful, so you should spend some time here even if you aren’t playing for your personal low round.

Customer Service & Amenities

Ocean Point Golf Course has a high quality, mid-sized pro shop with a large variety of soft goods and a curated mix of hard goods.  Don’t go to Fripp Island expecting to buy a new set of clubs, but if you need a new putter or wedge after one of yours goes for a permanent swim, they have you covered.  On the other hand, you’ll have loads of choices for logoed polos, hats, and more.

Down the hall from the pro shop, you’ll find the Ocean Point Grille.  Our group found this to be a perfect spot for a quick lunch between rounds.  They have all the staples – packaged snacks, drinks, hot dogs, hamburgers – but also some sneaky good choices like the brisket Philly cheese steak.

Finally, the customer service throughout Fripp Island Resort is excellent.  Not only are they friendly and helpful, they’re attuned to what each guest needs and happy to go the extra mile.  If you leave a club behind, they’ll track it down.  In a hurry?  They’ll run your sandwich to the first tee.

Get the full story on Fripp Island Resort HERE

Beauty & Scenery

Ocean Point Golf Course, in my opinion, is the prettier of the two Fripp Island Resort courses.  This is largely due to the frequent ocean views.  Holes 9, 15, and 18 all play steps from the ocean, and you have long views to the water from numerous others.  This is balanced with a handful of more isolated holes that give the round a great visual blend.

The other thing that makes Ocean Point a standout is the wildlife.  We saw at least half a dozen alligators during each round.  In one case we had to create a new local rule – the alligator drop – to make sure Mike got home in one piece.

While the gators were my favorite, there were also loads of interesting birds, turtles, fish, and the omnipresent Fripp Island deer.  These guys had a lot of faith in our accuracy.  Or very little.

Tee Shots

Off the tee, Ocean Point Golf Course bears a close resemblance to its younger brother, Ocean Creek [review HERE].  That starts with a scorecard that doesn’t tell the whole story about its length.  Ocean Point tips out at 6,524 yards, a seemingly benign length for a long-but-not-elite hitter.  There are are six sets of tees which go as short as 4,041 yards.  Regardless of which tee you choose, this course is longer than its scorecard yardage.  The combination of sea level elevation and a heavy, consistent breeze will cost most players 1-2 clubs of distance.  With a driver carry distance over 250 yards, I played from 6,127 and 5,790 yards and still hit all my clubs into the greens.

Also like Ocean Creek, Ocean Point is penal for those that leave the fairway.  The fairways are slightly more generous at Ocean Point, but I wouldn’t call them wide.  Of the 28 fairway sides, 11 feature stroke hazards almost immediately off the fairway and 14 have only a modest stretch of rough before getting to water or dense trees.  This is not a course where you can successfully apply a “spray and pray” strategy from the tee.

There are two things that help the player off the tee.  First, there are no visual tricks.  You’ll be able to see the hazards from the tee and plan your strategy.  Local knowledge is always somewhat of an advantage, but it doesn’t mean as much here.  The other element that helps is that the fairways are largely flat.  If you land your ball in the fairway, it’s going to stay there.  You don’t need to worry about a tee shot hitting the shot grass and caroming into the water.

Approach Shots

While Ocean Point Golf Course is a little gentler off the tee, it’s more testing on the approach shots because the greens are smaller.  This is taken to the extreme on the front 9 par 5s – #4 and #6.  The former is an L-shaped green that is less than 6 paces wide.  These small targets are another reason to play up a set of tees – trying to hit them with a mid or long iron is a tall order.

Sticking with distance for another moment, I need to reemphasize the weight of the wind.  I’ve played at several courses known for being windy and links-y.  When there was a 2-3 club wind, you knew it.  At Ocean Point, the wind sneaks up on you.  It might feel like a gentle breeze, but then a flushed iron shot will come up 15 yards short.  If you’re picking clubs with your ego, you might not hit a GIR all day [mandatory lesson recommendation HERE].

All this difficulty is balanced with lies and stances that are benign.  The fairways don’t move much, so you’ll rarely face up, down, or sidehill stances.  Additionally, the rough is quite thin.  It would take a very bad break to catch a true flyer lie at Ocean Point.  As long as your ball is on solid ground, you’ll get a fair chance to hit the green.

Greens & Surrounds

The surrounds at Ocean Point Golf Course feature minimal undulations and the same light, springy rough that you’ll find around the fairways.  Unless you put yourself in jail behind a bunker, you can play any short game shot from a chip to a flop.  Putting the ball is an option from almost anywhere, too.

Much like Ocean Creek, the bunkers at Ocean Point are fairly large and conventionally shaped.  They’re not visually overwhelming, but every hole has one or two to watch out for.  The biggest hazard is finding yourself at the back of a bunker with a long carry and minimal green to work with.

The real short game challenge at Ocean Point is the size of the greens.  Even when you miss on the correct side, you can feel like you’re short sided.  Being overly ambitious with your chip or pitch can easily lead to ping-ponging over the green.  On the positive side, the small greens do minimize the importance of distance control and the possibility of three-putting.

Once you’re on the green at Ocean Point Golf Course, you can exhale and enjoy the pristine putting surfaces.  The undulations are modest, but they’re enhanced by the speed of the greens.  When we visited, the greens were incredibly smooth and rolled at a quick, enjoyable pace.  Knowing we were going to a get a “true” result gave our group a lot of confidence, and we saw a lot of long putts fall.

Fripp Island Resort

Renovations

Our visit to Ocean Point Golf Course (March 2024) came just before renovations that will happen under the guidance of the Dye Designs Group.  The most notable visual change will be 200,000 square feet of grass being traded out for sand-based waste areas.  This is going to give Ocean Point a totally fresh look as well as substantially changing the way the course plays.  The look will be further improved when all the cement cart paths are replaced with crushed limestone.

Additionally, the Dye Design Group will be reconstructing – and in many cases completely reshapingbunkers on all 18 holes.  Finally, several of the tee boxes will be leveled to restore their condition after many years of play.

This renovation project is scheduled to begin in June with a target completion date in early September.  If you’re headed down to Fripp Island, know that at least nine holes should be open during the first phase of the project, and Ocean Creek will be fully operational.

Favorite Holes

#18 – Par 5 – 481 Yards

Ocean Point Golf Course closes with a flourish of fun and beautiful views.  The eighteenth hole has one of the wider fairways on the course and loads of room to bail out right, so you can swing from your heels.  It’s not a super long hole – even at sea level with the wind – so you can get home in two after a strong drive.  Your second shot plays to the ocean, and, if you’re really talented, you can stop your shot on top of the wall on the left like I did.

#15 – Par 3 – 179 Yards

This is the shortest par 3 on the course, but it’s all carry.  With the pin up front, as seen above, there’s very little room to miss short.  Regardless of where the pin is, take advantage of one of the larger greens on the course, get your GIR, and enjoy the great views.

#9 – Par 4 – 369 Yards

After several inland holes, the ninth at Ocean Point Golf Course brings you back to the beach.  Depending on your length and the tee box you’re playing from, you can opt for a bold line over the water on the left to set up a flip wedge into the green.  Playing it straight isn’t a free roll as your tee shot will need to split the water on the left and the houses on the right.

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking for a first-rate test of your ball striking or some of the best ocean views you can imagine, Ocean Point Golf Course will not disappoint.  Bring your A game off the tee – or a couple sleeves of extra balls – and precise iron play.  And definitely don’t forget your camera.

Visit Fripp Island Resorts HERE

Matt Saternus
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