The ninth hole at The Ocean Course is as challenging as it looks. (Photo: The PGA of America)
The ninth hole at The Ocean Course is as challenging as it looks. (Photo: The PGA of America)

Ocean Course named 'America's Toughest Course'

If you've ever played the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, you don't need anyone to tell you how difficult the Pete Dye layout can be. But in case anyone was wondering, Golf Digest Magazine confirmed as much in its March 2007 issue.

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- Golf Digest magazine has selected The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina, designed by Pete Dye, as the most challenging course in the United States in its March 2007 issue. Difficulty was determined by using a combination of the USGA's "Slope Rating" and "Course Rating," from the course's back set of tees.

"I think any of the professionals who played in the 1991 Ryder Cup will tell you that The Ocean Course can be a very difficult course, especially when the wind is up," said Roger Warren, President of Kiawah Island Golf Resort and former President of the PGA of America. "Even though Pete (Dye) has been back a number of times to make it more playable for the average resort players, it will still provide all the challenge necessary to make our two upcoming majors a lot of fun to watch.

In May, The Ocean Course will host the 68th Senior PGA Championship, one of the majors of Senior golf. It is expected that the course will be set up at 7,190 yards for the event. No decisions have been made on course setup for the 2012 PGA Championship, which will also be held at The Ocean Course.

The Ocean Course, which plays directly along the Atlantic Ocean, has six sets of tees for players of all levels: red tees measure 5,327 yards; green tees measure 6,044 yards; white tees measure 6,403 yard; blue tees measure 6,769 yards; gold tees measure 7,356 yards and the back tees which measure 7,937 yards which max-out the Slope Ranking at 155 and have a Course Rating of 79.6.

"Standing on the tee box, The Ocean Course can be very intimidating," said Warren. "However, in his design, Dye made a point to be fair. Everything is out in front of the player. There are virtually no blind shots. Players need to trust the advice of their caddie, which we provide to aid with the decision-making process. Although it is deceptive, the fairways are extremely generous and the caddie will advise players about the optimal angles from the tees and into the greens."

"There's no doubt that from the very back tees The Ocean Course presents a substantial challenge for even the finest golfers. However, playing from the set of tees that best suits their skill level, The Ocean Course can provide an enjoyable golf experience for virtually any player," said Gerard. 

Tickets are on sale now for the 68th Senior PGA Championship to be played May 22-27. For more information, visit

Located just a short 35-minute drive from beautiful and historic Charleston, S.C., Kiawah Island Golf Resort lies along 10 miles of uninterrupted Atlantic Ocean beach, rated as one of America's top ten by The Travel Channel. Accommodations include 600 villas and luxury homes and the AAA Five Diamond-rated Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, which includes 255 rooms, a nature-based spa, three restaurants and handsome meeting space. The resort also features five golf courses, two award-winning tennis complexes, and a variety of restaurants and lounges.

For more information about Kiawah Island Golf Resort, please call (888) 854-2924 or visit online at

©2006 PGA/Turner Sports Interactive. All Rights Reserved.
Send all feedback / comments to Sales inquiries contact Privacy Policy / Terms of Use.