My Sanctuary in the Sand: Kiawah Island Golf Resort (Part I)

A cross between the way I felt when I got my job at Georgia Tech and the way I felt after teaching my first Duathalon class — that’s what I was feeling as I watched the tiny white golf ball that I’d hit fly up and through the air.

But first, let's backtrack a bit. This past weekend, I enjoyed a little spring break trip of my own to Kiawah Island Golf Resort, which is just outside of Charleston, S.C. And with a little help from Mother Nature, I FINALLY took my first golf lesson.

I first learned about Kiawah while watching Rory McIlroy win the 2012 PGA Championship, which was played on the resort’s Ocean Course. After my failed attempt at a golf lesson at Old Edwards Inn and Spa in Highlands, N.C., I figured I’d reach out to the folks at Kiawah about coming for a visit (full disclosure: portions of my trip were comped).

In anticipation of my visit, I started watching the weather early last week and was beyond irritated when I saw that rain and cold temperatures were in the forecast for my visit. (My beach wardrobe for this trip consisted of turtlenecks and pants — not quite what I’m used to packing for these types of excursions!)

But on Friday afternoon, as I opened the door to my ocean-view room at The Sanctuary and took in the four-poster king bed, deep soaking tub, and fabulous porch overlooking the pool and the Atlantic, any ill feelings melted away as I started to relax. Of course, the excellent mojitos at the hotel bar also helped with this.

In anticipation of my golf and tennis lessons, which were scheduled for Saturday, I wanted to have a hefty dinner. So I hopped on the resort’s complimentary shuttle to Cherrywood BBQ and Ale House, where I enjoyed a cozy meal of pork shoulder, collards, and corn bread. A few hours later, I returned to The Sanctuary, and after a bubble bath and a few cookies (love the turndown treats at this place!), I drifted off to sleep.

The next morning, the skies were robin’s egg blue and speckled with fluffy white clouds. I crossed my fingers and toes that the rain that had been forecasted for the day would hold off until the afternoon. After a walk — OK, I skipped a bit, too — on the beach and a yummy breakfast sammy of egg white, spinach and sundried tomato, it was time for my 10 a.m. golf lesson.

I headed to the resort’s Golf Learning Center where I was scheduled to work with Abby Welch, ranked one of Golf Digest’s Top 40 Instructors Under 40. As I walked out to the practice area with my bucket of balls, I looked up at the now overcast sky. The sky mimicked the impending doom I felt at the thought of trying to hit a ball after my last disastrous trip to the driving range. To be continued...

Until next Tuesday's blog, check out photos from my visit to Kiawah on the FWAB Facebook page — and stay FWABulous!