Kiawahs Ocean Course one of five reasons to visit resort

By Erik PetersonMarch 27, 2009, 4:00 pm
kiawah ocean course
Each April the Masters enlivens the town of Augusta, Ga. and most of the country emerges from golf hibernation. For those looking to play the hallowed grounds of Augusta National, good luck. But if youre in the mood for pure, Southern golf, youve come to the right place. Throughout April, Courses & Travel showcases a different Southern golf destination to get you amped up and ready to play in 2009. Sorry, but we wont write in southern drawl.
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. ' If there's one thing that makes the traveling golfer giddy it's playing a golf course with championship pedigree.
Sure, if you give a golfer a spacious hotel room with lots of pillows they're comfy. If you give them a golf course designed by a 'name' they're impressed. And if you give them plenty of off-the-course activities you've won over their spouse and kids. But for a golfer to be able to walk the same fairways that champions have walked is like hitting a 1-iron on the sweet spot 'a rare treat not experienced by most golfers every day.
If your golf travels take you to the South, you neednt look further than Kiawah Island for one of the finest golf resorts in the world thats also steeped in championship tradition.

Where to play
Where to stay
Situated on a barrier island along South Carolinas coast, Kiawah Island Golf Resort spans 10 miles along the Atlantic coast and features five courses 'each designed by a different world-renowned architect. The Ocean Course, designed by Pete and Alice Dye, is the resorts crown jewel, having hosted the 1991 Ryder Cup and 2007 Senior PGA Championship. In 2012 the PGA of America returns to Kiawah to host the PGA Championship.
With five top-notch golf courses we believe Kiawah is one of the finest golf resorts in the world, said Kiawah president Roger Warren, who also served as PGA of America president from 2004-2006. We have a longstanding relationship with the PGA of America and we believe our commitment to excellence reflects theirs.
As the PGA of America works to further distinguish the PGA Championship as one of golfs most important events, the Ocean Course is a great fit on paper 'long, blustery, scenic, with a closing stretch as tough as nails. Add to it the fact that the Ocean Course has championship history and its a no-brainer.
The Ocean Course is indeed unique. In fact, you'd have to visit Scotland or Ireland to find a course where wind plays a factor like it does at Kiawah. During practice rounds for the 1991 Ryder Cup, players attacked the treacherous par-3 17th hole with 7 and 8-irons. By Sunday, the hole was playing directly into the wind and players were hitting 3-woods and 2-irons.
There are two design characteristics that cause the wind to play such a factor: First, there are more oceanside holes at the Ocean Course (10) than any other course in the northern hemisphere. And with the remaining eight holes sitting parallel to the 10 oceanside ones, literally every hole is impacted by the ocean breeze.
The second characteristic exists because of a suggestion Petes wife, Alice made before construction of the course began. Although the course was originally designed to sit behind the dunes, she suggested elevating the entire course to allow players unobstructed views of the Atlantic from every hole. Mrs. Dye is known for speaking her mind, and her idea became the defining design characteristic of the Ocean Course.
In consideration of the unrelenting ocean breezes, Team Dye designed wide fairways and large greens that can be held with low-trajectory shots. In addition, they built as many as six tee boxes on each hole to allow flexibility in setting hole lengths. This move also proves the course is open to players of all skill-levels. After all, the saying, 'If you build it, they will come' doesnt necessarily ring true in golf; a truly great resort golf course has to be playable for all skill-levels.
What makes the course stand out in the resort golf genre is its requirement of every club in the bag. Gone with the wind is the notion of driver, 8-iron on all par-4s and driver, 3-wood, wedge into par-5s. At the Ocean Course, long-iron play is required.
If you ask the staff which hole is the Ocean Courses signature, youll get a smile and cheerful reply: All 18! And because the wind causes each hole to play so differently day in and day out, its actually true. These three holes stand out:
The par-5 2nd is the best risk-reward hole. Two cross-cutting marshes divide the hole into three sections. Better players can take advantage of the wide fairway and have the opportunity to go for the green in two while shorter hitters have to be strategic in placing their second shot. This is the biggest diabolical thing on the whole golf course, said Pete Dye. You cant touch the wetlands here.
At the par-4 12th you'll find one of the widest fairways, but it gives way to a narrow approach shot. Miss it right or left, and its disaster, Dye said. Hes right. It might be the scariest driver you hit all day.
The par-3 17th might be the most intimidating hole because it requires a carry over water not found anywhere else on the course. Players can bail out left, but treachery abounds there as well. Its my favorite hole out here, Dye said. Its placement in the round makes it an excellent match play hole. Make a confident swing here, or youre toast.
The closing stretch of holes will take you back to 1991 when the Ryder Cup was knotted at 13. With the weight of his country on his shoulders, Hale Irwin scored the deciding point for the Americans despite making bogeys coming down the stretch. His resiliency was the difference in the championship, and he proved that you dont even need to make pars to score points at the Ocean Course. Just hang on and enjoy the ride. Itll make you feel like youre in Scotland, even though youre in the heart of the South.
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Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''

Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

“What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

“I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.