Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s Ocean Course takes its second turn as host of the PGA Championship this week, welcoming players and fans back to the South Carolina seaside just south of Charleston.
The Ocean Course was designed by Pete Dye and opened in 1991 after a somewhat frantic effort to complete construction before that year’s Ryder Cup, which the Americans won over the European team and that has become known as the “War by the Shore.”
Unlike most linksy courses, which play beneath and around the dunes, the Ocean was built atop the dunes at the suggestion of Dye’s wife, Alice. This provides fantastic views of the Atlantic but subjects the players in this week’s major championship to the full force of the coastal winds. Individual holes will play very differently this week depending on the weather.
Playing 7,846 yards with a par of 72 for this year’s event, the Ocean Course has earned high praise since its opening. It is ranked No. 1 on the 2021 Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play list for public-access layouts in South Carolina. It also ranks No. 9 on the 2021 Golfweek’s Best Resort Courses list for the whole United States, No. 9 on the Top 100 Courses You Can Play list for the U.S. and No. 14 for all Modern Courses opened in or after 1960 in the U.S.
The Ocean Course is part of the large and charming Kiawah Island Golf Resort, which is home to four other courses: Osprey Point by Tom Fazio, Oak Point by Clyde Johnston, Turtle Point by Jack Nicklaus and Cougar Point by Gary Player. And beside miles and miles of beaches, the resort is home to a five-star oceanfront hotel and luxurious villa rentals, several fun pool complexes, a marina, hiking trails and more, making it a top Lowcountry destination.
Thanks to yardage books provided by Puttview – the maker of detailed yardage books for more than 30,000 courses around the world – we can see exactly the challenges that players face this week. Check out each hole below.