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28 May 2024
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As many of you know, once you’ve been to the Lowcountry, it’s not long before you get a hankering to come back again.  The natural beauty, the wonderful people, the pleasant weather… they all have a way of drawing you back. 

What’s true of visitors and vacationers, is also true of golf’s greatest.   

The powers that be in the PGA have officially announced that they’ll once again be hosting the PGA Championship right here in the Lowcountry… at the Ocean Course, on Kiawah Island. 

Mark your calendars 

The PGA doesn’t do anything spur of the moment; they like to plan ahead to ensure everything is picture perfect and just right for their championships.  In fact, they make these announcements several years in advance, kind of like the Olympics.  There really is a lot of prep involved, after all 

So the PGA Championship will take place in May of 2031 at Kiawah.   

More specifically, it will happen on The Ocean Course of the Kiawah Island Golf Resort on Kiawah IslandIt will be the 113th edition of the PGA Championship. 

The Juniors will happen here, too. 

It’s not just the adult pros who will be playing for a championship at KiawahIt was also just announced that the juniors will, too... a couple years before.   

The 2029 Girls and Boys Junior PGA Championships will also be played at The Ocean Course, as well as at Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s popular Turtle Point Golf Course. 

John Lindert, President of the PGA of America, had this to say about the announcementsWe are ecstatic to bring the Junior PGA Championships and PGA Championship to The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in 2029 and 2031Past PGA Championships at Kiawah Island have provided no shortage of memorable moments and historic performances, all taking place along a breathtaking coastal setting. The Ocean Course’s challenging layout and rich history make it an ideal destination for our Championships.” 

When did Kiawah host the PGA before? 

Kiawah has become a favorite of the PGA brass, for good reasonIt’s hosted several successful eventsThey include, in reverse chronological order: 

  • The 2021 PGA Championship    won by Phil Mickelson; 

  • The 2012 PGA Championship   –  won by Rory McIlroy; 

  • The 2007 Senior PGA Championship  –  won by Denis Watson; 

  • The 2005 PGA Professional Championship  –  won by Mike Small; 

  • The 1991 Ryder Cup    won by the Americans of Team USA. 

With the upcoming PGA Championship in 2031, Kiawah will become just the ninth golf course to host three or more.    

What makes The Ocean Course so special? 

It has to do with where it’s located, and how it was designed. 

It’s situated on Kiawah Island’s eastern end10 of its holes run along the Atlantic Ocean  -  more than any other course in the Northern HemisphereThe other eight are lined up parallel to themThe Ocean Course was designed by Pete and Alice Dye, who started the project in 1989 and finished a couple years later.   

At first the plan was for the holes to lie behind the dunes.   But then Alice had the brilliant idea to raise the level of the entire course – thereby giving every hole dramatic views of the coastline.   It was a genius suggestion that has led to The Ocean Course becoming one of the nation’s best   and best loved  -  golf courses.  

Roger Warren is President of the Kiawah island Golf ResortNot surprisingly he was thrilled about the official announcement, and had this to sayWe are proud to again be selected as the host course for the 2031 PGA ChampionshipThe Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Pete Dye’s brilliant seaside design, will present a formidable challenge for the strongest, all-professional field in major championship golf We are confident our partnership with the PGA of America and the local community will produce another world class event.” 

What does this mean for the Lowcountry? 

Whenever you have an event of this magnitude, there’s a tremendous ripple effect on the economy, and beyond. 

Helen Hill, who heads up Explore Charleston/Visitor’s Bureau, addressed the importance of these events:  “Despite pandemic-induced limitations on attendance, the 2021 PGA Championship generated nearly $60 million in economic impact, bolstering state and local economies with over $8 million in tax revenues. The event's international broadcast reached over half a billion households, garnering over $160 million in media exposure for Kiawah and the surrounding area.” 

So even though it’s a ways off, if you’re a golf fan, make a mental note of May 2031.  And FYI, Isle of Palms is actually a great home base for catching the PGA action at Kiawah. 

All best, 
Lowcountry Lisa  

your Isle of Palms vacation blogger