alligators are often your playing partners

When you decide to hold the Ryder Cup on a course that is still in its planning stage, before a single shovel of dirt has been moved, you know something special is on the way.  And did Pete Dye ever deliver! The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, South Carolina, made its debut with the 1991 Ryder Cup, later called “The War at the Shore.”  A tremendous honor for the brilliance of Pete Dye, the project soon became a logistical nightmare after Hurricane Hugo destroyed the course halfway into construction.

Windy conditions and some of Pete’s most diabolical course features combined with Ryder Cup pressure to produce three days of grueling golf, decided by a missed five foot putt by one of golf’s all-time great pressure players, Berhard Langer. On the first day, Several Ballesteros and his partner Jose Maria Olazabal fired a smooth 6-over-par 42 best ball score on the front nine while Pete Dye and crew frantically laid sod on the back nine to finish the course construction.

This may be my favorite Gritty Golf Guide destination.  The caddies are tremendous, the weather is never the same two days in a row, and alligators are often your playing partners.