PGA Challenge, heat test golfers on Kiawah Island

KIAWAH ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Golfers battled the extremes on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Wednesday. They tested their skills in the PGA Challenge while also being tested by mother nature and her scorching heat.

"We go through so many cases of water out here," says course starter Ron Hacker.

Temperatures crept up to the mid-90s but the heat was masked by the ocean breeze that swung onto the course.

But it wasn't only the heat that challenged the golfers.

"The course is absolutely magnificent," says Chris Hobbs. "But it is a monster."

Hobbs never dreamed he'd play a course 1,000 yards longer than he's used to.

Last week, in preparation for the PGA Championship at the Ocean Course next year, championship tees were installed on each hole. And this week in the PGA Challenge, golfers are able to play like they're professionals.

"It's very challenging," says Hobbs. "You have to play the par 4's like par 5's. Par 5's like par 6's and just hope you get somewhere on the greens on the par 3's."

But no matter how excited players are to get the opportunity to hit like the pros, no one is more excited about the honor of having the Championship at the club than it's designer, 87-year-old Pete Dye.

"It's a real thrill to have it and know the best players in the world come here and play next August," said Dye. "That's really great."

But before Dye can watch the pros chip through his course, he'll be watching golfers like Hobbs try their luck from the back tees.

"I shot a 99 and I was very happy, I have no complaints at all," says Hobbs.

The challenge at the Ocean Course is open until Sunday. According to the club, the lowest score on 18 holes for the week long competition wins a weekend getaway.

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