The Ocean Course
Kiawah Island, S.C. USA
7,188 yards / Par 72*
Go to 2
The shortest par-4 on the course, the third hole may be one of the most intriguing. From an island-like tee, the player fires across the marsh to an extremely wide fairway with anything from a driver to a long iron. Don't be deceived by the generosity of the landing area; the best drive is one that finds the plateau on the left side of the fairway. From here, the player gets the best look at the putting surface, elevated similarly to the fairway plateau and framed by two old live oak trees that guard the approach. Even a half-wedge shot to No. 3 can be treacherous as the green slopes off to all sides, with marsh again coming into play on the left.
Pete Dye's Comment:
This is one of the most unusual holes on the course. I flattened a sand dune somewhat and put the green on what was a sand dune next to the marsh. Better players will be going at it with a 9-iron or pitching wedge to a flat table-top green, which is elevated. They can let it fly off the tee. It's probably one of the widest fairways on the course.
Positioning your drive on this hole is very important. You want to be on the upper tier on the left, leaving you almost level with the green. Drive it to the right and you will be faced with a shot to an elevated green. Taking wind into consideration, a player's concern for the second shot is "don't be long." This is a hole where knowing where you can miss the ball is as important as knowing where you need to hit it. Shots long onto this tabletop green tend to find the collection area behind the green guaranteeing at least a bogie. If you're long and chipping back into the wind, you stand a better chance. Long and chipping with the wind means trouble. . Tom Kite called No. 3 the toughest short par-4 he's ever played.
The most striking aspect of this outstanding hole is its elevated, tabletop green. For the Ryder Cup it had tightly mowed Tifdwarf grass fringe on the green. Resort players were going back and forth for an hour trying to get the ball to stop on the green. Changes made to the approaches and a rough collar in 1997 greatly increased its playability for the average player. If they miss the green, they can now get a sand wedge/lob wedge under the ball and stop it on the green.
* Pars/Yardages not official