The PGA Championship returns to the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island this week, the site of one of golf’s most fearsome tests.
A 155 slope rating — the maximum difficulty allowed by the USGA’s rating system — greets players prepared to tackle this near-8,000-yard beast. When the PGA last made its way to the Ocean Course in 2012, it welcomed the hardest single round of tournament play in PGA Championship history. Heavy winds blew in off the coast, sending shots swirling and scores skyrocketing. The eventual scoring average for the day was 78.1, the highest for a single round since the PGA adopted the stroke play format in the 1950s.
The Ocean Course, designed by Pete Dye, features a series of remarkable ocean vistas down the final nine holes. It was the ocean that inspired Dye’s wife Alice to recommend raising the green complexes to provide players with better views of the water.
Ultimately, the Ocean Course presents one of the game’s great challenges in one of its most awe-striking venues, a 7,876-yard, par-72 test of both mettle and might. Take a walk through the Ocean Course through the photos below, provided by Gary Kellner and Getty Images.