Probably no other golf course in the world outside of the United Kingdom and Ireland is affected as much by the wind. From one round to the next, a player can experience up to an 8-club difference on holes depending upon the direction and strength of the wind a fact that became readily apparent at the famed 1991 Ryder Cup held at The Ocean Course. During the relatively benign practice rounds, players hit 7 and 8-irons into the treacherous par-3 17th hole. By Sunday, with a stiff wind in their face, players were hitting everything from 3-irons to 3-woods.
Located on the eastern-most end of Kiawah Island, The Ocean Course has more seaside holes than any other course in the Northern Hemisphere -- 10 right along the Atlantic with the other eight running parallel to those. Course architect, Pete Dye, used the natural beauty of Kiawah's seaside environment to develop an old links look reminiscent of the celebrated seaside courses of Great Britain and Ireland.
Although it was originally designed to sit behind the dunes, Dye's wife, Alice, suggested raising the entire course to allow players unobstructed views of Kiawah's beautiful Atlantic coastline from every hole. This improved view, however, made the course substantially more demanding as it also exposed it to the area's brisk and unpredictable sea breezes.