Johnny Miller forecasts high scores -- and higher temperatures -- at the Ocean Course

Johnny Miller forecasts high scores — and higher temperatures — at the Ocean Course

17th hole, Ocean Course at Kiawah Island

Steve Uzzell and Susan Lambert
BALL WASHER: Short is no good at the watery par-3 17th. Long isn't great, either.

When Kiawah Island gets its normal amount of wind, I think it's the hardest course in the country. Pete Dye designed a lot of the greens to sit up and repel the balls coming in. It's just brutal — the toughest competitive course around.

Kiawah tests you hole after hole. The three rudest holes are all par-3s:

• No. 8's green makes you wonder if it was mis-designed. Pete Dye might not have factored in that the green is down-grain, with a big bank in front. If the wind is going the wrong direction, the hole is almost unfair because the down-grain Bermuda — along with the hole's southwest angle — can make it very hard to hold the green.

• The 14th can punish you big time. If you miss it to the right, your ball goes down the side of the slope and into the valley, and you have a lie on a downslope that you have to hit up the bank to the green.

• No. 17 is a true turning-point hole. You probably have to hit a cut into that hook wind coming off the water, but if you overcut it, you're wet.

Players who do well in the PGA Championship typically like hot weather — Southern California guys like Phil Mickelson. I never made a lot of noise in the PGA. It's the last major of the year, and when I played I was pretty much done with my year after the British Open. I was raising a lot of kids and didn't like the hot, humid weather you get in August. No wonder one of my better PGAs was 1977, when Lanny Wadkins won at Pebble Beach. Unfortunately, the PGA goes to places like South Carolina, Tulsa and Palm Beach Gardens. South Florida in August? Now that's a lot of fun.