As I sit here and watch the reruns of third round of the PGA Championship
… at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island on TV (everyone knows by now my favorite place) … I am hoping that Phil Michelson can hold on to his very narrow one shot lead. I had the wonderful opportunity to get tickets to go to the tournament in a PGA ticket lottery last fall. We were lucky enough to get tickets to go to the Wednesday practice round and the first round on Thursday … what an amazing two days it was!!!
What is it like to go to The PGA Championship?
Unlike the Masters, the PGA is different … the Masters is SACRED in the world of golf. It is ALWAYS held at AUGUSTA. The PGA Championship is held at different iconic courses every year. Held for just the second time at The Ocean Course at Kiawah, the PGA this year is both ELECTRIC and UNPREDICTABLE. Why unpredictable? The players not only have to play against each other … but the course adds another factor … the ocean winds!
Join the ranks of avid golfers
… who have The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort on their must-play list for a true test of skill. Located on the eastern-most end of the island, The Ocean Course boasts the most seaside holes in the Northern Hemisphere with ten hugging the Atlantic and the other eight running parallel to those. Although it was originally planned to sit behind the dunes, designer Pete Dye’s wife, Alice, suggested raising the entire course to give players unobstructed views of Kiawah’s stunning coastline from every hole. One catch? This improved view made the course substantially more demanding as it also exposed play to the Atlantic’s brisk and unpredictable breezes.
In fact, it’s unlikely any other golf course in the world
… outside the United Kingdom and Ireland—is affected as much by wind. From one round to the next, a player can experience up to an 8-club difference on holes depending upon the wind’s direction and strength. Because there are no prevailing winds on The Ocean Course, Dye designed two courses in one—one for an easterly and the other for a westerly wind. The final round at this year’s PGA Championship should be incredibly exciting with the wind a major factor!
While attending the PGA Championship can be a ton of fun
… simply being able to watch golf on the game’s grandest stages is an incredible treat each year and that is what Kiawah allows each spectator. I have played The Ocean Course three times..but never have I felt the energy or intrigue that it affords during the PGA! While I tee it up at a whopping 5307 yards, the Pro’s are playing it at an unheard of 7849 yards making it the longest in major championship history by more than 100 yards (seriously??). I just shook my head as I watched them hit from those tees so far back….and then add the wind !!
THE 17th HOLE
One of our favorite holes to watch was from the 17th hole. David Feherty calls it “The hardest hole in the history of the universe,” Most players call it “terrifying”. With water on the entire right side and bunkers on the left…it is a very exciting 220 yard Par 3 to watch the Pro’s test their skills. No. 17 at the Ocean Course is one of the world’s most picturesque golf holes — and also one of the most demanding, which the game’s finest players are illustrating once again this week in the 103rd PGA Championship. It is playing as one of the hardest….water on the entire right side and two scary bunkers on the left. The landing are is SO NARROW! Even from the ladies tees my knees shake! Check out this picture from where we were sitting…looks scary, doesn’t it?
FUN at the PGA Championships
While there is no tournament quite like The Master’s which I wrote about earlier this year after going to one of the practice rounds…the biggest difference I noticed was that the pro’s seemed to be a little more relaxed and had FUN with the crowd during the practice rounds. My nephew and his buddy had a blast getting autographs, pictures (we were allowed to take phones in to take pictures unlike The Master’s where you can’t take phones in and have to bring a real camera), balls and Brooks Koepka even gave him his glove! How cool was that. There was none of that at The Master’s.
While Thursday’s round was much more serious, it really was a blast meeting the players (I had my picture taken with my favorite, Adam Scott!) and wishing them good luck in the upcoming tournament. If you do have a chance to go to PGA Championships in the future, I highly recommend a Wednesday practice round followed by the Thursday first round. Check out our FUN experience and make sure you add a PGA Championship to your BUCKET LIST! Keep your finger’s crossed for Phil today!