Watching the coverage of a major tour event, such as the recently contested PGA at Kiawah Island, always gets us thinking:
“How would we fare playing this course, especially as the professionals experience it?”
This is a difficult question to answer as the variability of golfing skills not only at the Starter Shack, but the golfing public in general, is quite varied. Suffice to say that the wind savaged, nearly 8000 yard behemoth in South Carolina low country would be more difficult to navigate than wearing banana underpants into a monkey whorehouse:
- Ultra long forced carries (both tee shots and approaches)
- Bunkers littering the complex & abundance of “natural areas” adjacent to the holes
- Massive undulating, raised green complexes
- Ceaselessly changing course conditions with howling breezes
This course is set up to test, frustrate and identify the world’s best over four days.
Even playing at its “non-championship” back tees at 7356 yards, a scratch player
would could average 77 strokes a round at the Ocean Course (a calculation based on only their 8 best scores over 20 total rounds!) The slope rating of 153 (!) should give serious pause to any bogey golfer plunking down the $500 green fees looking to “get their money’s worth” off the back tees.
- Lang is a good player (handicap of ~ 6)
- Goal to break 90 off the back tees (“basically 17 bogeys and we’re good”)
- Finished +17 (front nine), +10 (back nine), total score of 99
- “I’ve just got no game in this wind, man!” — The elements are tougher than the course!
- Kiawah takes the life out of him like a chimichanga from a back alley food truck
So next time you watch the golf gods on TV and think, “yeah, I can probably do that”....no, you probably can’t, and that’s OK.