Kiawah course named toughest golf course in America

Pictured above is hole 16 of The Ocean Course. (Provided)

KIAWAH, S.C. (WCIV) -- How tough is The Ocean Course on Kiawah Island?

According to the January 2012 issue of Golf Digest Magazine, the course is the toughest in America. It's a feather in the cap of 2012 PGA Championship organizers, who believe the accomplishment will only add to the excitement leading up to the tournament in August.

In case you missed it, the 2012 PGA Championship will be held at Kiawah.

2012 PGA Championship officials say there is no other golf course in the world, outside of the United Kingdom and Ireland that is affected by as much wind as The Ocean Course.

The course was designed by Pete Dye, legendary golf course architect, with easterly and westerly wind challenges in mind.

Located on the eastern-most end of Kiawah Island, The Ocean Course has more seaside holes than any other course in North America. The entire course allows players unobstructed views of the Atlantic coastline from every hole. This view, however, makes the course substantially more demanding as it exposes the course to the area's brisk and unpredictable sea breezes.

In addition to the toughest course title, the 2012 PGA Championship is anticipated to be the longest major in history with its current yardage setup on The Ocean Course.

Opened in 1991, The Ocean Course has hosted the 1991 Ryder Cup, 1993 and 1997 World Cup, 2005 PGA Club Professional Championship and the 2007 Senior PGA Championship.

"For the fourth time since 1991, Pete Dye has come in to tweak his masterpiece," said Roger Warren, president, Kiawah Island Golf Resort, and a past president of The PGA of America. "He continually works to make it as spectacular as it can be."

Golf Digest Panelist Quotes on The Ocean Course:

"I think the 17th hole is the toughest par 3 in the world. If the wind blows, watch out."

"The course is really, really challenging for all levels of player. When the wind is blowing, par on many of the holes is an excellent score."

"If your idea of a good time is a fistfight, this is the place for you."

Want to watch history in the making? The 2012 PGA Championship will be contested August 6-12, 2012 on The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. This will be the first time that South Carolina has ever hosted a major championship. Tickets are still available to the 2012 PGA Championship; visit the ticketing page for more details.