It takes 10,000 hours to master a skill – that is the common wisdom. Given how long playing an entire course of golf can take, it’s no surprise that in time you can manage to conquer your usual golf course within a few years. Once that has happened, where do you go from there? You can’t just keep playing the same, already-mastered course. It’s, well… boring.
For many golfers, this is how golfing vacations come to be. Many golf courses sport fantastic resorts, and visiting a far-off golf course means getting a five-star treatment from the resort the golf course calls home. You can visit new and challenging courses on these vacations while getting the relaxation you very likely need.
Some golf courses are greater challenges than others, though, and if you want a real fight on your hands, you probably want the most difficult course you can find. Few courses in America are as frustrating and difficult as South Carolina’s Kiawah Island Ocean Course.
Not Just Another Golf Course
At first, playing on the Ocean Course seems innocent enough. The comparatively affordable golf course rates and the golf course reviews stating that it is one of the best golf courses in America certainly make it attractive enough for a golf vacation to land there. Having played host to 1991’s Ryder Cup and the World Cup in 1997 and 2003, as well as 2012’s PGA Championship, it certainly seems to be a favorite of the professionals.
However, the Ocean Course’s difficulty is perhaps its greatest attraction. What makes the course so difficult are the easterly and westerly winds that blow in off the Atlantic Ocean, sometimes at very high speeds. As a par 72 course with a slope rating of 173 and course rating of 79.7, this course is definitely no joke, and requires skill, patience, and perhaps a bit of luck, to navigate.
Johnny Miller of Golf Magazine, and NBC’s lead golf analyst, has called the Ocean Course the most difficult course in America, and not just for the strong winds golfers face. South Carolina’s famous heat, combined with the humidity of the ocean, can make playing here a test of your endurance as much as your skill.
Every Challenge is an Opportunity
But that isn’t all that will challenge you at the Ocean Course. The course is the product of course designer Pete Dye’s mind, and he is known for his treacherous courses as well as remarkably difficult designs, such as the “world’s most terrifying tee shot,” the 17th hole at the TPC at Sawgrass. (Another notably difficult course that you should challenge yourself with!)
The Ocean Course’s No. 8 is considered one of the more difficult on the course. The green is down-rain and at a southwest angle that, when combined with the bank on the green’s front, can make the green incredibly difficult to hold, especially when the wind isn’t blowing favorably.
The 14th hole is considered difficult for different reasons. It demands that you play at your best, as missing it just a smidgen to the right will land you in a valley that forces you to hit up the bank to get back to the green. You wanted a challenge, right?
The Ocean Course’s other holes all offer their own challenges, but when you come out the other end of that golf gauntlet, you’ll definitely have a sense of accomplishment. Conquering The Ocean Course means more than below par at your local course; it means conquering the elements and displaying a precision and skill that puts you among the ranks of great American golfers.
That kind of accomplishment is worth the frustration, wouldn’t you say?
Author Bio: Michael Juba is a writer and marketer from Lititz, Pennsylvania, which was recently voted the coolest small town in America. He enjoys writing about sports, technology, health, home improvement, travel and just about any topic in between.