Having travelled from one side of the Atlantic Ocean to the other, I am very happy to be writing the blog this week from Kiawah Island, South Carolina ahead of playing in the 2021 US PGA Championship!
This is the first time I have ever played in this event so there are so many things to say about the week ahead, but first and foremost…its unbelievable to see all the fans back! Although its still only a portion of the usual capacity we used to see back before the pandemic – it generates an incredible atmosphere and I can’t wait to play with fairways lined with spectators again!
‘I can’t wait to play with fairways lined with spectators again!’
For those of you who havent already heard, the Ocean Course we play this week is just under 8000 yards in length making it actually the longest ever in Major history. Not only that, but more than half the holes of this Pete Dye course design run alongside the coast which leaves us brutally expsoed to the elements. It’s therefore pretty difficult to put into words exactly how visually intimidating some of the shots off the tee can be!
Nevertheless, it’s been a great first few days of practice so far, getting ourselves familiar with the layout of the course…the scattered waste bunkers, water hazards and small elevated greens which are all key features here. I actually played a fun few holes yesterday morning with Webb Simpson, navigating our way around the tough back nine coastal stretch and it’s fair to say that as/when the wind decides to come in from the East this week – the challenge ahead of us on those last five holes will be another level!
A fun extra note this week that you might want to know is that the PGA of America has decided that every single sand hazard on the Ocean Course will be played as a waste area, meaning that grounding the club will be allowed. On top of that many of you might already have read that Range Finders are permitted for distance reading during the tournament too!
With all that said, it is surely going to be the weather that will determine just how low the winning score will be here on Sunday! And although the projections have only been for moderately light winds, they do have a habit of changing direction which will undoubtedly induce some extra drama!
Off at 08.11am EDT (2.11pm Belgian time) today starting from the tough 10th tee! Strategy will be to get off to a strong start and work hard to maintain the momentum as we go! Time to get this thing started!