What To Know About The Ocean Course At Kiawah Island For This Weeks PGA Championship?

May 18, 2021, 9:43 AM | Updated: 9:43 am
Fans watch Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland during a practice round prior to the 2021 PGA Champions...
Fans watch Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland during a practice round prior to the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Resort's Ocean Course on May 17, 2021 in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in South Carolina is a Pete and Alice Dye masterpiece. Located on the Atlantic Ocean coastline, nestled amongst swampy alligator-infested water, the best players in the world will be tested like nothing else this week.

Pete & Alice Dye Creation

The course was completed in 1990 and has already hosted a Ryder Cup and a PGA Championship. The Ocean Course was announced as the home of the 1992 Ryder Cup before the course was built and then the PGA Championship debuted at Kiawah Island in 2012 when Rory Mcllroy won by a blistering eight shots to secure the second major of his career.

The course is home to the most oceanfront holes in North America with 10. More than half the course is played on the Atlantic Ocean coastline. Pete Dye was convinced by his wife Alice to raise the fairways to give the golfers a view of the ocean, originally, the Atlantic Ocean was hidden by large sand dunes that protected the property.

Now, however, after little convincing from Alice Dye, the fairways are above the sand dunes, offering spectacular views of the majestic Atlantic Ocean. But by raising the fairways, the howling winds were invited to pester.

The Closing Stretch

The course itself runs at 7,876 yards, making it the longest major venue in history, “135 yards longer than the previous record-holder, Erin Hills, the host of the 2017 U.S. Open,” a PGA Tour article states.

The final five-hole stretch back to the clubhouse is brutal, arguably the hardest five-hole stretch in all of golf. It begins with the 497-yard par 4 13th. The first of two closing par 3’s comes at 14 with a wicked 238-yard tee shot. The 444 par 4 at 15, the final par 5 at 16 that measures 581 yards, 223-yard par 3 17th before the final 501-yard par 5 to conclude.

In 2012, the only year that the Island Course at Kiawah hosted the PGA Championship, both closing par 3’s were ranked as top ten toughest par 3’s on tour, while the 501-yard par 4 18th was ranked as the second-hardest closing hole on the Tour.

The closing five holes will require significant concentration, luck, and skill for the field this upcoming weekend. The winner, or those in contention, will likely not pick up many birdies down the stretch rather they will avoid big numbers.

In 2012, Mcllroy was the only player in the field to finish at fine-under-par or better. He ended at 13-under while the runner-up, David Lynn, was at five-under.

This week will likely prove similar results with the majority of the field struggling to break even.

Tee Times & Television

Coverage is slated to be on ESPN+, ESPN and the weekend will be broadcast via CBS.

Tee times and pairings will be announced later this week.



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What To Know About The Ocean Course At Kiawah Island For This Weeks PGA Championship?