The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island overtakes Erin Hills as the longest course in Major history, measuring an impressive 7876 yards.
Kiawah Island Longest Course In Major History
This week’s PGA Championship will be played on the longest course in Major history, with the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island measuring 7876 yards.
Equivalent to roughly four-and-a-half miles, the par-72 overtakes the previous longest course played for a Major, set by Erin Hills at the 2017 US Open.
Related: Kiawah Island Ocean Course Guide
Erin Hills’ course stretched across 7741 yards, meaning this year’s PGA Championship course is 135 yards longer.
Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course also hosted the 2012 PGA Championship, but since then organisers have extended it by exactly 200 yards.
Rory McIlroy won on that occasion, and was the only player to shoot more than 5 under par for the week, with the course playing to a 74.6 scoring average.
The back nine also played to a 37.7 average, nearly two strokes over par.
The course’s extension, however, maintains the typical championship par of 72.
Six of the 18 holes are more than 500 yards, with the 16th hole measuring a resounding 608 yards.
The par three eighth hole is the shortest on the course, at 198 yards it is the only hole under 200 yards.
The longest course in Major history, Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course is also notoriously difficult.
The 155 slope rating and 79.1 course rating highlights its difficulty, the highest in America according to the United States Golf Association.
PGA Championship holder Collin Morikawa first visited Kiawah Island earlier this year, telling reporters that the length of the course plays into big hitters’ hands.
“I think it’s definitely a ball striker’s course,” said Morikawa.
“You have to be able to control your ball, to be able to flight different shots, work it left to right, right to left.”
“You really can’t get lazy on any shots, you can’t take anything for granted because it’ll bite you in the butt for sure.”
Designed by Pete and Alice Dye for the 1991 Ryder Cup, the coastal course looks out over the Atlantic on America’s East Coast, and claims the most seaside holes in North America.
27 Majors champions comprise the 2021 PGA Championship field of 156 players, who will all tackle the longest course in Major history this week at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course.