Kiawah Island Golf Resort's Ocean Course: A major championship test in an inspiring coastal setting

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- Don't fear the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Just make sure to respect it.

The venue of the fabled 1991 Ryder Cup called the "War by the Shore" and a pair of PGA Championships (2012 and 2021) can be tamed on a calm day (meaning less than a two-club wind) with smart decisions and sound shot-making. Pete Dye, the master of visual intimidation, inflicts the most damage when golfers stray into the waste areas, ponds and marshes that frame virtually every hole.

The blueprint to enjoy the Ocean Course is simple: 1, Listen to your caddie. 2, Bail out when necessary. 3, Take the extra club when in doubt. 4, And always aim for the fat part of the green, even when chipping (the table-top greens on the par 3s at no. 8 and no. 14 would look right at home on Pinehurst No. 2).

After a winding journey through the coastal marshes, the Ocean Course follows the Atlantic for the final five holes. Judgment comes at no. 17, a harrowing par 3 over water to a narrow green. You're either safe, or you're sorry.

The Atlantic Room Restaurant and The Ryder Cup Bar inside the clubhouse are so popular that even non-golfers drive from miles away just to enjoy the sunset and a fine meal. Arrive early and stay late at Kiawah Island Golf Resort for a day you'll never forget.

Dec 14, 2015

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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.