PGA Championship 2012: Everything You Need to Know About Ocean Course

Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIAugust 6, 2012

AKRON, OH - AUGUST 05:  Tiger Woods plays his shot on the second tee during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club South Course on August 5, 2012 in Akron, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The 2012 PGA Championship will tee off on Thursday on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina. While the stacked field prepares to do battle this weekend, the following is a primer on the course the world's top players will be golfing on. 

The picturesque par-72 Ocean Course is 7,676 yards and stretches right along the Atlantic Ocean. it was designed by Pete and Alice Dye, and the layout was intentionally raised to give golfers gorgeous views of the Atlantic. But those phenomenal views also leave the course subject to some incredible winds and wind shifts. 

The Ocean Course is often mentioned as one of the world's top courses and was even featured in the 2000 film, The Legend of Bagger Vance

The course is also no stranger to hosting big tournaments. It hosted the 1991 Ryder Cup, where the United States knocked off Europe in a dramatic 14.5 to 13.5 finish that wasn't decided until the 18th hole of the final match. The Ocean Course was also the home of the 2007 Senior PGA Championship. 

In 2010 Golf Digest named the Ocean Course the toughest course in America, and it has the highest combination of slope rating (155) and course rating (79.6) in America according to the USGA. 

So this weekend could see a lot of seasoned pros looking ridiculous, as the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island is as brutal a course as you will find anywhere in America. Don't be shocked if you see some high scores from big names entering the weekend.