These course notes were provided by WGT user Kilbraur. Select her name and thank her on the profile page.
These notes are for my clubs and balls. English not my first language I have use Google Translate and check by friend who speak English. If you not agree with some things here that is ok, you play your way, I play my way. Good luck, Kilbraur.
Kiawah Island: The Ocean Course
I know there are big differences in distance from Legend Tees and other tees. For example 100 yards difference on par 3 14th hole. These notes are for Legend tees but may help others, especially shots to pin.
1) Straightforward hole, hit drive to slightly left centre of fairway, 2nd shot to pin and putt.
2) Look at map of hole and fairway in 3 sections I aim to top right hand corner of first section, it about 320 yards. Full backspin and if very strong wind behind play 95% power. 2nd shot depend on wind and how well you know your clubs. Some days i go for green and trust my pitching and putting to get the birdie. Most days and certainly with wind against I go to reverse view of green and aim to the flat circle just above it, that where I aim. 3rd shot go to chip mode and look at pin. You see blue parts of grid is upslope, red parts is downslope. I aim to red parts beside pin, that give me the easy upslope putt for birdie.
3) First to say here is drive for show is play for bogey. Depend on wind I use backspin on drive to leave 50-80 yards from green. There is a dip on the fairway about 80 yards from green. I like to get drive onto that low level. 2nd shot I find punch shot best to pin, play shot a little left of pin. Normal wedge shots I find go long because of elevation. In ALT shot games I see the 96 level Pro and Tour Pro show off their long drives and go for hole. Any that do reach the raised green bounce right off into rough (then their partner say “wow nice drive,”) My partner’s easy full wedge shot sitting beside pin for full 2 minutes while their partner is do the sums for 37 yard wedge from 30/40 rough to pin 6 foot above them on a slope with a 8 mph 33% wind. Remember a full wedge shot is easiest in game. Players who learn that score well.
4) From Legend tees be careful with drive, it very easy go too long into rough. You need to be left of fairway, right may look to be better but it not, trust me. I always drive full backspin and 95% power, maybe 90% with strong wind behind. Right hand pin easier than left one. For right hand pin you hitting to pin on upslope so allow a few extra feet if using backspin. If short the uphill putt is easy for birdie. Left hand pin go a little more right and ball come off slope roll to pin. Left hand pin, safe shot is full backspin iron 10 feet left of pin.
5) All par 3 holes I use my chart I make. I have all wind strength and directions. I just look at wind strength, check my chart for the hole and play shot. Just to add for this hole, for the right hand pin you have to play a full backspin shot and for the right hand pin try to be a 5-6 feet short right to let ball roll to hole. Don’t be tempted to go shorter. The picture are talking 1000 words so you is look to my profile vids 06-16-12 to see spot to hit to. Back pin I think it better be a little long, putt to pin quite easy. I used to play short to run up but misjudge and putt is hard.
6) Easy drive to centre of fairway. 2nd shot looks easy but is not. I finds wind on this hole doesn’t play as it reads. I always play a bit more right. If in doubt I play a little bit short it make for more easy putt. Going left of pin makes ball roll too much far away.
7) From Legend tees I not even think about fly over sand I always play left of sand and not take risks. It par 5 so not possible get anywhere near hole anyway. 2nd shot even with nice wind behind and pin possible with 3 wood it elevated green with slope away from hole I bounce off back I play sensible shot to front right edge. Flop shot full backspin a little left for slope maybe lucky if not it tap in for birdie.
8) All par 3 holes I use my chart I make.
But WAIT, big surprise! One day I miss ding real bad I go so far left I only just get on green, Now look at vid on my profile page for 05-29-14 and see what happen. I try to copy this to see if it work again. If you is brave you can try. Most times I not risk that again and I use my charts and more hole in one here than any other hole. At least 2 more on my vids for you to see where to hit.
9) Easy drive to centre of fairway. Back pin not easy to get to because of hump in green. Easiest putt is anywhere 10 feet left of pin or closer but risky to get to that spot. Next best option are front right of pin. Front pin, it are a long time since I played to that pin. I used to hit full back spin iron to pin and if it short it was easy flop shot.
10) Wind behind I carry the san on the right and get nice roll to left of fairway. Wnd aginst drive left of sand with bacjkspin to stop rolling to rough. Front left of pin leaves the easy putt.
11) Drive centre of fairway. 2nd shot I aim between the 2 bunkers and a full wedge short. Last thing you need on this hole with elevated green is less than full power wedge. I will be 45 – 50 yards short if 2nd shot good. Elevated green means I play wedge with an extra few feet. Now you have the birdie putt.
12) Drive up left side of fairway gets nice roll. Then full backspin iron to pin. Green slope left to right so right of pin gives the easy uphill put.
13) Hump in front left of pin, I add 6 feet to distance if going for pin. Better to be right of pin for easy putt, left of pin difficult putt. If you land front left of pin, check putt distance it show uphill but really downhill with only last foot uphill.
14) Par 3 I use my charts (see previous par 3 holes) If you going to miss, then miss to right centre.
15) Your drive depend on how you want to play 2nd shot. If you going to punch and roll then you need be on right of fairway. If you going to fly to pin you need drive to left fairway. Worst place to land is back right fringe. You have a 5 yard downhill chip over a raised lip and a chip can stick on that lip. That said it just a test of how well you know the distance of your clubs.
16) Drive left of fairway is safe but lose a lot of distance stick in hollow. Drive right but with care not to go to sand. 2nd shot play between centre and right of green. Nice punch to pin.
17) Back pin at this hole from Legend Tees is 245 yards and with a 10-12mph wind against you hitting full 3 wood. (maybe this why players with no talent avoid go up the tiers) I use my charts as for all par 3s.
The hole look intimidating from tee but not so bad when you go to reverse view. Use the grid in pitch mode, trust your judgement (if you playing this distance to a par 3 you must be good anyway) I find that the green quite sticky even to a 3 wood, it helps with just a touch of backspin. Putting to this pin not as hard as other greens on Kiawah. Just in front of pin helps.
18) Drive to centre right of fairway. 2nd shot notice the hump to the left of pin. I not use backspin but let ball roll to hole, aimed to right of the hump the slope of the green take it towards hole. From in front of hole you have upslope putt. This a hole where you play the drive for show and be greedy with 2nd shot you get reward of bogey. Play safe for par and many times reward is birdie.