Even before construction began, the Ocean Course at Kiawah Resort was destined for greatness
literally. You see, even before ground-breaking, the PGA of America picked the Ocean Course to host the 1991 Ryder Cup Matches, so the course had to be great. Since then, the course has hosted a World Cup, the Senior PGA Championship, the 2012 PGA Championship, and will also be the site of the 2021 PGA Championship.
As construction was under way and months before the greatest players of an era would meet in what would be dubbed The War by the Shore, already legendary and now Hall of Fame designer Pete Dye said, If this doesnt turn out to be a good golf course, then I should be shot. Well, as we all know, no one had to shoot Pete Dye and the course he created went on to provide the backdrop for the most exciting Ryder Cup arguably the most dramatic golf event, period in history, the Americans winning by a single point in a competition that came down to the last putt on the last hole of the last match, a missed six-footer by Europes Bernhard Langer.
It was quite a coming-out party for a course that opened for play just two months earlier. Not only was the competition spell-binding, but the scenery and challenge presented by this new-born Ocean Course a layout that provides a view of the Atlantic from every hole captivated the entire golf world. Since then, the course has hosted a World Cup and a PGA Senior Championship and, in 2012, will host the PGA Championship, the first time one of golfs four majors will be played in South Carolina.
But just as a great cathedral isnt built for Easter Sunday, the Ocean Course wasnt built purely for golfs biggest events. And thats good news for golfers living in or visiting the Charleston area, because they can tackle the beast thought by some to be the hardest resort course in the game anytime they want to as long as the pros arent in town.