The Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, which hosted the 2012 PGA Championship in August, climbed five spots in Golf Digest’s biennial rankings of America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.
The Ocean Course moved up to No. 21 in the overall rankings, and is No. 4 on the list of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses. The Ocean Course was selected the nation’s toughest golf course by Golf Digest last January.
“We’re certainly excited to maintain (the Public ranking) with that elite group of golf courses,” said Kiawah Island director of golf Brian Gerard. “And we’re excited to move up five spots in the Top 100 courses you can play because that vote was closed prior to the PGA Championship. We think that will bode well for us in the future.”
The magazine’s rankings will be published in the February issue. Courses are ranked by seven criteria — shot value, resistance to scoring, design variety, memorability, aesthetics, conditioning and ambience.
The 100 Greatest list is dominated by private courses, so in 2003 Golf Digest began compiling a list of the top courses open to the public.
Only two South Carolina courses landed on the 100 Greatest list, the Ocean Course and Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island. Harbour Town is No. 96 overall, up four spots from a tie for No. 100 in 2011-12, and No. 18 in the Public rankings.
Other South Carolina courses making the Public list were No. 27 May River at Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton; No. 52 The Dunes Golf and Beach Club in Myrtle Beach; No. 97 Caledonia Golf and Fish Club in Pawleys Island; and No. 98 TPC at Myrtle Beach in Murrells Inlet.
The magazine also included a second 100 ranking for the first time with eight South Carolina courses included: No. 109 Kiawah Island Club’s Cassique; No. 122 Sage Valley in Graniteville; No. 138 Long Cove Club on Hilton Head Island; No. 150 Secession Golf Club in Beaufort; No. 156 Greenville Country Club’s Chanticleer Course; No. 160 Colleton River Plantation in Bluffton’s Nicklaus Course; No. 178 Chechessee Creek in Okatie; and No. 179 The Dunes Golf and Beach Club. A course needed to be named on a minimum of 45 ballots to be included.
South Carolina had 30 courses in the Best in State rankings. Among the top five are the Ocean Course; Yeamans Hall Club in Hanahan, Harbour Town, Kiawah Island Club’s Cassique and Sage Valley.
Top 10 Public Courses
1. Pebble Beach, California
2. Whistling Straits, Wisconsin
3. Pacific Dunes, Oregon
4. The Ocean Course, South Carolina
5. Shadow Creek, Nevada
6. Bandon Dunes, Oregon
7. Pinehurst No. 2, North Carolina
8. Bethpage Black, New York
9. TPC Sawgrass, Florida
10. Erin Hills, Wisconsin
Top 10 Golf Courses
1. Pine Valley, New Jersey
2. Augusta National, Georgia
3. Cypress Point, California
4. Shinnecock Hills, New York
5. Oakmont, Pennsylvania
6. Merion, Pennsylvania
7. Pebble Beach, California
8. Winged Foot, New York
9. Sand Hills, Nebraska
10. Fishers Island, New York
Best in State
Ocean Course, Kiawah Island
Yeamans Hall Club, Hanahan
Harbour Town, Hilton Head Island
Kiawah Island Club’s Cassique
Sage Valley, Graniteville
May River at Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton
Kiawah Island Club River Course, Kiawah
Long Cove, Hilton Head Island
Golf Club at Briar’s Creek, Johns Island
Greenville Country Club-Chanticleer, Greenville
Colleton River-Nicklaus, Bluffton
Musgrove Mill, Clinton
Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards, Sunset
Chechessee Creek, Okatie.
The Dunes Golf and Beach Club, Myrtle Beach
Colleton River-Dye, Bluffton
Haig Point-Calibogue, Daufuskie Island
Reserve at Lake Keowee, Sunset
Daniel Island Club-Ralston Creek, Charleston
Caledonia Golf and Fish Club, Pawleys Island
TPC at Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet
Cliffs at Keowee Springs, Six Mile
Country Club of Charleston, Charleston
Grande Dunes-Resort, Myrtle Beach
Cliffs at Keowee Falls, Salem
Cliffs at Glassy, Landrum
True Blue, Pawleys Island