Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course: By the Numbers

Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course: By the Numbers

The PGA Championship returns to South Carolina’s seaside monster, made famous by the 1991 Ryder Cup ‘War by the Shore.’

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The PGA Championship returns to Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course in South Carolina this week, and in many ways, the event should seem to be right at home.

The Ocean Course was built by the husband-and-wife design team of Alice and Pete Dye for a PGA of America tournament, though not for the association’s signature PGA Championship. Rather, the Ocean Course was built to host the 1991 Ryder Cup, which came to be one of the most memorable matchups of the Americans and Europeans in the biennial event’s history. The U.S. won, 14½-13½, when Bernhard Langer missed a 6-foot putt on the final hole. The anguished stroke and the resulting celebration would prove to be a pivotal shift in the game’s emotions.

In the ensuing years, the Ocean Course furthered its reputation at the 2012 PGA, which Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy won in record fashion.

Here is a look at the Ocean Course, by the numbers:

4: Number of previous PGA of America championships to be played at the Ocean Course: 1991 Ryder Cup (won by the U.S.), 2005 PGA National Championship (Mike Small), 2007 Senior PGA (Denis Watson) and the 2012 PGA Championship (Rory McIlroy)

5: Number of golf courses at Kiawah Island Resort, with the Ocean Course being the most recent addition. The others: Cougar Point (Gary Player), Oak Point (Clyde Johnston), Osprey Point (Tom Fazio) and Turtle Point (Jack Nicklaus).

8: Number of strokes by which Rory McIlroy won the 2012 PGA, the largest winning margin in PGA Championship history

10: Number of oceanfront holes on the Ocean Course, the most of any course in the U.S.

20: Number of club professionals, led by winner Omar Uresti, who qualified via the PGA Professional Championship for the 103rd PGA

30: Age, in years, of the Alice and Pete Dye-designed Ocean Course

79.1: Slope rating for the Ocean Course, which is one of the highest in the country

154: Number of players scheduled to compete in the 103rd PGA Championship

6,000: Average size, in square feet, of the 18 greens at the Ocean Course

7,876: Distance, in yards, of the Ocean Course, which will be the longest site in major-championship history, topping by 135 yards 7,741-yard Erin Hills, site of the 2017 U.S. Open

1,980,000: Amount, in dollars, of the winner’s check that American Collin Morikawa received from the $11 million purse for his victory at the 2020 PGA Championship (the prize fund for the 2021 PGA has not been released). 

Steve Harmon is an editor for, a multimedia network that connects and informs golf enthusiasts on all aspects of the game, including news, travel, equipment, apparel and fitness.

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