Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s Ocean Course takes its second round as host of the PGA Championship this week, welcoming players and fans to the South Carolina waterfront just south of Charleston.
The Ocean Course was designed by Pete Dye and opened in 1991 after a somewhat frantic effort to complete construction ahead of that year’s Ryder Cup, which the Americans won against the European team and which is became known as the “Shore War”.
Unlike most linksy courses, which play under and around the dunes, the Ocean was built on top of the dunes at the suggestion of Dye’s wife, Alice. This offers fantastic views of the Atlantic but subjects players in this week’s major championship to the full force of coastal winds. The individual holes will play out very differently this week depending on the weather.
Playing 7,876 yards with a par of 72 for this year’s event, the Ocean Course has earned accolades since it opened. It is ranked #1 on Golfweek’s 2021 Best Courses You Can Play list for public-access layouts in South Carolina. It also ranks #9 on Golfweek’s 2021 Best Resort Courses list for the entire United States, #9 on the Top 100 Courses You Can Play list for the United States, and #14 for all modern courses opened in 1960 or later in the us
The Ocean Course is part of the large and charming Kiawah Island Golf Resort, 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 alongside miles and miles of beaches, the resort is home to a five-star beachfront hotel and luxury villa rentals, several fun pool complexes, a marina, hiking trails, and more, making makes it a top destination in the Lowcountry.
Thanks to distance books provided by Puttview – the maker of detailed distance books for over 30,000 courses around the world – we can see exactly what challenges players are facing this week. Check out each hole below.