Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Design of Kiawah Island Ocean Course

Apparently the Kiawah Island Ocean course could be absolutely brutal for the PGA Championship this week, especially if the wind blows. The course has more seaside holes than any other in the Northern Hemisphere with 10 along the Atlantic Ocean and is capable of playing up to 7900 yards.

Here is an excellent description of the course designed by Pete Dye and what players can expect.

In his design, Dye made a point to be fair. Everything is out in front of the player. There are very few blind shots. Players can see the hazards and targets. Landing areas are expansive with few surprises. But it is also a course where strategically attacking each hole is imperative. From the back tees, players have to work (and think) their way around the golf course. A player must pick the best approach angles. With the shifting winds, decisions have to be made on whether to play the ball up into the wind or hit a knockdown shot, loft a wedge or hit a bump-and-run. The ability to shape shots is also very important. Additionally, players need to know where they can miss the ball around the greens and know where they can't. And, they'll need to be able to scramble if they expect to post a good score.