Go ask Alice why the Ocean Course will give players fits this week at the PGA Championship.
Of course, we're talking about Alice Dye, Pete's wife, who is at least partly to blame for the brutal layout at Kiawah. According to Bill Pennington, whose New York Times story charts the genesis of the Ocean Course, Alice Dye's suggestion to raise the fairways to dune level -- and, in the process, subject players to swirling seaside winds -- sharpened the track's teeth considerably.
That, and Hurricane Hugo, gave it a whole new set when it hit the South Carolina shore in 1989. As Pennington writes:
The dunes were also reshaped by Dye and his workers, something that could not have occurred without Hugo. When the hurricane hit, several people in the Ocean Course work crew were stranded on the island and remained there until access roads were cleared. The day after Hugo headed inland, Dye rented a barge in a nearby town to take him to Kiawah.The article continues to describe Dye's Ahab-esque obsession to complete his course. Come Sunday, more than a few players may be lining up to harpoon him for it.
He started up the bulldozers.
“Hugo had obliterated the work we had already done on some holes, but it had also knocked down trees and moved around a lot of things that we wouldn’t have been able to move or be allowed to move,” Dye said.