kiawah island clubhouse

PGA Championship 2021: Take a hole-by-hole tour of Kiawah Island’s brilliant Ocean Course

The clubhouse at the famed Ocean Course at Kiawah Island.

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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.

The Front: Par 36; 3,815 yards

Hole No. 1 — Par 4, 396 yards

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No. 2 — Par 5, 557 yards

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No. 3 — Par 4, 390 yards

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No. 4 — Par 4, 484 yards

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No. 5 — Par 3, 207 yards

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No. 6 — Par 4, 490 yards

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No. 7 — Par 5, 579 yards

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No. 8 — Par 3, 198 yards

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No. 9 — Par 4, 514 yards

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The Back: Par 36; 4,061 yards

No. 10 — Par 4, 447 yards

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No. 11 — Par 5, 593 yards

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No. 12 — Par 4, 484 yards

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No. 13 — Par 4, 497 yards

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No. 14 — Par 3, 238 yards

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No. 15 — Par 4, 466 yards

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No. 16 — Par 5, 608 yards

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No. 17 — Par 3, 223 yards

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No. 18 — Par 4, 505 yards

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James Colgan

Golf.com Editor

James Colgan is an assistant editor at GOLF, contributing stories for the website and magazine on a broad range of topics. He writes the Hot Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, and utilizes his broadcast experience across the brand’s social media and video platforms. A 2019 graduate of Syracuse University, James — and evidently, his golf game — is still defrosting from four years in the snow, during which time he cut his teeth at NFL Films, CBS News and Fox Sports. Prior to joining GOLF, James was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from.