PGA of America announces condition of pay for the 94th PGA Championship with regard to sandy areas at the ocean course, Kiawah Island, S.C.
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – The PGA of America announced that the “Condition of Play” for the 94th PGA Championship, where all sandy areas at The Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, S.C., will be regarded as “through the green” and not designated as “bunkers” during the Season’s Final Major. This same Condition of Play was in effect at the Ocean Course for the playing of the 29th Ryder Cup in 1991, during the 2005 PGA Professional National Championship and the 2007 Senior PGA Championship.
The 94th PGA Championship, Aug. 6-12, marks the first major championship to be conducted in South Carolina, featuring a 156-member field that is perennially the strongest and deepest international field of any major.
“With the unique topography of The Ocean Course, natural sandy areas spread throughout the entire property, The PGA of America Rules Committee has determined that all of these areas will be treated alike and played as through the green” said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. “We believe that by establishing the Condition of Play for the 94th PGA Championship well in advance of the Championship it will help players and spectators prepare for this spectacular Major Championship experience.”
As a result of this, players will be allowed to move loose impediments, take practice swings and to ground their club lightly in these sandy areas; except when their ball lies in such a sandy area that is part of a water hazard or lateral water hazard. Under the Rules, if a player’s ball is believed to be covered by sand anywhere on the course, he may move the sand without penalty, in order to find or identify the ball.
All sandy areas inside the gallery rope line will be raked each morning, prior to play. During play, as strokes or practice swings are made, or players and others walk through such areas, footprints and other irregularities of surface may develop. Rakes will be available so that these areas may be smoothed as a courtesy to following players; however these irregularities of surface, when not smoothed, are a part of the game and no relief, without penalty, will be provided.
The PGA of America’s announcement differs from the Condition of Play in 2010 at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis., where all areas of the course that were designed and built as sand bunkers were played as bunkers. What differentiates the courses is that at Kiawah Island the sand is natural to the surrounding terrain and in many cases there is no clear definition of where such sandy areas stop and start. Bunkers at Whistling Straits were well defined and were completely surrounded by grass.
The PGA Championship is one of four premier golf events conducted by The PGA of America. Others include the Ryder Cup, the Senior PGA Championship and the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, which brings together the winners of golf’s four major championships.
Golf’s best professionals began competing for the PGA Championship’s Wanamaker Trophy in 1916. Past Champions span both the legendary and recent stars of the game: Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, Padraig Harrington and Martin Kaymer. Limited tickets to the 94th PGA Championship remain for both practice and competition days. For more information, visit PGA2012.com.