2021 PGA Championship: The Ocean Course hole-by-hole tour at Kiawah Island

Get reacquainted with this infamous Pete Dye design in South Carolina along the Atlantic Ocean.
The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort hosts the 103rd PGA Championship

The 2012 PGA Championship feels like a lifetime ago. Rory McIlroy, fresh off a win at the Wells Fargo Championship, hopes to turn back the clocks to once again conquer the feared Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. McIlroy blistered the 2012 PGA Championship field like only he and Tiger Woods can seem to do, shooting 13-under to win by eight shots.

The 2021 PGA Championship makes a return to the iconic Pete Dye design hugging South Carolina's marshy coastline May 17-23. This time around, there will be limited spectators, but the same rules apply on such a daunting layout. Tread lightly. Especially on a course with a scorecard that can stretch to as long as 7,876 yards.

The Ocean Course, covered in sticky paspalum grass, throws it all at players - elevated greens, waste bunkers that stretch entire holes and enough marshes, ponds and O.B. hazards to dole out a month's worth of penalty strokes. When the wind kicks up, the scores will most certainly soar. It's considered one of the 10 best public golf courses in the country in the latest Top 100 rankings by Golf Magazine and Golf Digest. It's also lauded among the public as well, having made our Golfers' Choice U.S. Top 50 for 2021. When combined with Charleston and Kiawah Island's four other 18-hole courses, it is part of the top 100 golf destinations in the world according to our editorial staff.

The venue, also host of the 1991 Ryder Cup, should make for compelling major championship theater. You can see live scoring during the event and more coverage of the field and the course at PGAChampionship.com. Here's a hole-by-hole tour:

  1. Par 4 | 396 yards
    As long as players don't miss right, the first hole of the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort will ease players into the 103rd PGA Championship.

  2. Par 5 | 557 yards
    Players will attempt to bite off as much of the salt marsh carry as they can on the second hole of the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

  3. Par 4 | 390 yards
    The tiny trees in the middle of the fairway and a table-top green protect the third hole of the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

  4. Par 4 | 484 yards
    With two marsh carries, the fourth hole is the No. 1 handicap on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

  5. Par 3 | 207 yards
    An hour-glass shaped green greets players on the par-3 fifth hole of the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

  6. Par 4 | 490 yards
    Sand frames both sides of the sixth hole of the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

  7. Par 5 | 579 yards
    The seventh hole is a dramatic par 5 on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

  8. Par 3 | 198 yards
    The eighth hole of the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort plays 197 yards from the tips.

  9. Par 4 | 514 yards
    The ninth hole of the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort bends slightly left with trouble lurking left as well.
    FROM $177 (USD)
    KIAWAH ISLAND, SC | Enjoy 5 nights' accommodations in a Resort Class Villa at Kiawah Island Golf Resort and play 4 rounds of golf at Osprey Point, Turtle Point, Cougar Point and Ocean Course.

  10. Par 4 | 447 yards
    The salt marshes run along the 10th hole of the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

  11. Par 5 | 593 yards
    The 11th hole might feel like the most narrow fairway on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

  12. Par 4 | 484 yards
    The approach to the 12th hole of the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort is a daunting one, even for the best players in the world.

  13. Par 4 | 497 yards
    A canal runs alongside the 13th hole of the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

  14. Par 3 | 238 yards
    The 14th hole of the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort is an exposed par 3 with great views of the ocean.

  15. Par 4 | 466 yards
    With ocean right and bunker left, the 15th green is tough to hit on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

  16. Par 5 | 608 yards
    The 16th hole on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort is a 579-yard par 5.

  17. Par 3 | 223 yards
    The par-3 17th hole of the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort was a torture chamber for the 1991 Ryder Cup and the 2012 and 2021 PGA Championships.

  18. Par 4 | 505 yards
    The 18th hole provides a scenic and dramatic finish for a round on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

    For those interested in tee times or golf packages to play the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort later this year, find out more about the green fees and booking policies here and here.

    4 Min Read
    March 17, 2021
    The PGA Championship host and former Ryder Cup host is one of the most feared and beautiful rounds of golf in America.

    Up Next

    Autoplay is paused

    Ocean Course should play firm and fast

1 Comments
Commented on

Someone should have proof read the copy under the photos of each hole!

More from the author
2 Min Read
April 15, 2022
Tiger Woods used Full Swing's new KIT model as part of his pre-2022 Masters prep and on the grounds of Augusta National.
4 Min Read
February 28, 2022
A young player architect, a baby llama, new lodging in the Midwest and more highlight this month's column.
1 Min Read
February 24, 2022
Want Rory McIlroy to help you with your golf game? All you have to do is ask.
2 Min Read
January 31, 2022
Overseas travel updates, a resort renovation and plans for a new resort course highlight this month's column.
3 Min Read
January 10, 2022
Find great bang-for-your-buck at these courses.
1 Min Read
January 10, 2022
These courses earned rave reviews from golfers in 2021.
Popular
1 Min Read
June 10, 2022
We must protect this clubhouse.
3 Min Read
May 30, 2022
This legendary resort in North Carolina Sandhills will show off its connection to two legends - Donald Ross and Peggy Kirk Bell - by hosting its fourth U.S. Women's Open.
4 Min Read
June 20, 2022
Fitzpatrick's analytical approach to every shot and his pin-in putting give golfers food for thought.
3 Min Read
June 13, 2022
It has never been easier - or more important - to distinguish between the game the pros play and the one you play.
Load More
Now Reading
2021 PGA Championship: The Ocean Course hole-by-hole tour at Kiawah Island