The Ocean Course
Kiawah Island, S.C. USA
7,188 yards / Par 72*
Go to 17
Hole No. 18 is a long, uphill par 4 that demands four well played shots to post a par. The large kidney-shaped green is surrounded by an amphitheater-like setting that provides a wonderful viewing area to one of the most challenging finishing holes you will play.
Pete Dye's Comment:
You're teeing off from original sand dunes along the beach. This has an elevated landing area to the same height as the original dunes along the beach. On the right side, it's all sand to the ocean and that's severe if you lose it right. The hole must be played left to right because the dunes on the right are much more severe than any other hole on the course. The green is dead flat to fairway level and there's an open approach to the green but with a cross bunker 90 to 100 feet in front, which makes it semi-blind into the green. I think it's the best of the par 4s on the course. The hole has a feel of just coming down the sand dunes, but all of the sand dunes are manufactured, except the big strip along the ocean.
A great finishing hole. Many believe its redesign makes is the best and toughest hole on the golf course. There's a premium on the drive and on the second shot. The drive over the waste area is intimidating for the average player. Players are looking down at the hole for their second shot with a panoramic view of the ocean and the dunes in the background. It doesn't get any better than that.
Players driving over the crest will see their ball run down the fairway to a point where mounds were created to stop their balls before they reach the rough. The green complex was moved approximately 25 yards closer to the Atlantic Ocean in 2002 and elevated. This move made this already challenging hole 6 yards longer. Into the wind, look for even the best players to pull out a long iron or more to reach this treacherous green.
In 2003, Dye reworked the bunkering on the interior of the dogleg tempting the better player to carry them to reach the flat of the fairway.
* Pars/Yardages not official