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Long Weekend: Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Step 1. Book a room and tee times at Kiawah Island Resorts (see below). The property is the most convenient to the courses and has first dibs on tee times, which can be important if you want access to The Ocean Course. (You do.)

Step 2. Drive straight from the airport in North Charleston to Kiawah (directions are available at rental car desks) and play an afternoon round at Cougar Point; of the five resort courses, it's closest to the Kiawah Island Inn. Gary Player's terrific redesign is most memorable on the marshside fourth, fifth and sixth holes, but the rest of the mostly tree-lined layout has enchanting turns and curves that grab your attention. Cougar is a great start to your holiday.

Step 3. Dine at the Inn's upscale Atlantic Room (proximity matters when you've flown all morning and played all afternoon). It has a comfortable bar and a well-chosen menu.

Step 4. The next morning, tee it up at Turtle Point while the dew's still deep. This just-refurbished Nicklaus design has fast greens and rebuilt bunkers, and early on, it's notable for overhanging oaks and tall pines. But you'll probably remember Turtle for its ocean holes: the par-three fourteenth, the par-four fifteenth and the redan-style, par-three sixteenth--a fabulous beachside hole on a terrific course.

Step 5. Drive to Osprey Point and enjoy a great lunch at the plush new clubhouse. Afterward, it's a short walk downstairs to the range.

Step 6. Get over the driver thing and play Osprey sensibly. Using the course guide, choose a club off the tee that keeps you short of encroaching hazards or Tom Fazio's mid-fairway mogul fields. Hit into the swales on eighteen, for instance, and you will not be able to find a flat lie from which to hit your approach shot.

Step 7. Drive thirty minutes south to Charleston, one of America's great cities. It has history, head-turning architecture, intriguing bars and great restaurants. Walk around and explore a bit, then stop by Louis's for scrumptious crab-and-lobster cakes and main courses such as fresh grouper, crab and sea bass. Afterward, work off your meal at one of the lively music bars. Mitchell's on the Market offers salsa and jazz, and the Music Farm is where Hootie & the Blowfish honed their licks.

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