Jon Rahm On Kiawah Island: "It’s A True Ball Striker's Course"

The Spaniard shared his thoughts on the challenges he expects to face on the Ocean Course

Jon Rahm On Kiawah Island

The Spaniard shared his thoughts on the challenges he expects to face on the Ocean Course

Jon Rahm On Kiawah Island: "It’s A True Ball Striker's Course"

Ahead of the 2021 PGA Championship, Jon Rahm has spoken about the challenges the players will face when they take on Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course. 

The Pete and Alice Dye-designed South Carolina layout measures 7,876 yards - the longest course in major championship history - and will demand a combination of power and precision to be tamed. 

And as a fan of the legendary course designer’s creations the Spaniard is relishing the upcoming test. 

“You know, as a fan of Pete Dye golf courses, you kind of know what to expect,” the World No. 3 said. 

“You get to the tee, you expect a fairway that you're not really going to see, deceiving off the tee, very deceiving to the eye on every single shot, much like TPC Sawgrass. 

“You have a shape off the tee and another shape coming into the green. It's a true ball striker's golf course. 

“I enjoy the challenge, and I typically really enjoy Pete Dye golf courses, so I can't wait to play the front-nine, which I haven't played yet, and get it going this week.”

Related: Kiawah Island Ocean Course Guide

For those who want to have a chance of lifting the Wanamaker Trophy come Sunday evening, they will have to negotiate the treacherous par-3 17th. Measuring over 220 yards, the narrow green is guarded by water short and right, as well as a wind that can wreak havoc. 

It will undoubtedly be the source of much drama throughout the week and although brutal, Rahm thinks it's a wonderful hole. 

“I smoked a 2-iron yesterday to just carry it over the middle of the green over the water - extremely difficult. That's all I can say. 

“Any time you have 230 yards into the wind over water into a narrow target, it's just not easy. I'm hoping we don't play it back there every day, otherwise it's going to be a challenging week. 

Jon Rahm

Jon Rahm played a practice round with Zach Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Will Zalatoris
(Image credit: Getty Images)

“But it's a beautiful hole. The whole golf course is a wonderful golf course.

"Again, it rewards good shots. If you don't hit a good one you're going to have to struggle for a par. Sometimes a bogey might be the best you can do."

Related: How To Play Kiawah Island Ocean Course

And on the course set-up, despite being one of the game's longer hitters, even Rahm hopes that common sense will prevail and that some forward tees will be utilised during the four tournament days.

“Yesterday, from 14 on, I think the shortest iron I hit into a green was a 5-iron,” he said.

“I'm not usually the shortest hitter. I was playing with Zach Johnson, and I think he pulled a head cover on every single hole except the par-5, 16th, coming into the green. 

“For the sake of our sanity, I believe they're going to use a couple forward tees.”

Andrew Wright
Staff Writer

A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.

Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.

As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as,, and

What's in Andy's bag?

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)

3-wood: TaylorMade M1 (15°)

Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)

Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1