Golf

The 2021 PGA Championship Will Be Played at Kiawah Island, Site of Rory McIlroy’s Romp

The world’s best golfers are always eager to play the four major championships, knowing that victories there are rewarding both financially and in terms of building their legacy. No pro will be more eager than Rory McIlroy to tee it up at the 2021 PGA Championship on Kiawah Island in South Carolina.

Rory McIlroy scored a historic romp at Kiawah Island

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Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy was unable to gain any traction in the first two rounds of this weekend’s PGA Championship, relegating him to an afterthought for the weekend action at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

McIlroy has been a reliable top-10 finisher in majors in recent years, but all four of his victories in golfs majors came from 2011 to 2014. With two of the four coming in the PGA Championship, he undoubtedly looked forward to rekindling the magic in 2020.

It didn’t go his way this time, but McIlroy certainly has something to look forward to in 2021. That’s because the PGA Championship will be returning to Kiawah Island, South Carolina, the site of the most dominating performance in the history of the tournament. McIlroy won by eight strokes in 2012 to break Jack Nicklaus’ record for the largest margin of victory.

McIlroy had already announced his arrival among golf’s elite by winning the U.S. Open in 2011, but his work on The Ocean Course the following year was stunning, right down to burying a 25-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole for a final-round 66. It restored him to No. 1 in the world rankings and made McIlroy, 23 at the time, the youngest player since Seve Ballesteros to capture two majors.

Most impressively, McIlroy finished off his romp by playing 27 holes on Sunday after rain forced suspension of the third round. He went bogey-free over the last 23 holes, pulling away from runner-up David Lynn like Secretariat at the 1973 Belmont Stakes.

More about upcoming PGA Championship courses

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After Kiawah Island, the next PGA Championship site on the schedule is Trump National Golf Club 2022. It will be the first major played on the Bedminster, New Jersey, course.

The two venues next in the PGA Championship lineup are old favorites: Oak Hill Country Club outside Rochester, New York, in 2023, and Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2024.

Until Rory McIlroy’s historic romp at Kiawah Island, Jack Nicklaus’ seven-shot triumph at Oak Hill in 1980 had been the biggest romp in the history of the tournament. Shaun Micheel and Jason Dufner would score subsequent triumphs there in 2003 and 2013, respectively.

Valhalla has also hosted three times previously, with McIlroy holding off Phil Mickelson in 2014 being the most recent. Previously, Mark Brooks won in 1996 and Tiger Woods in 2000.

The full list of future PGA Championship courses

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Staging one of golf’s major championships is a huge undertaking that requires years of planning by the sanctioning body as well as the club and community hosting the event.

The Masters Tournament is always in Augusta, Georgia, so the only variable associated with that tournament is setting the date. The other majors conducted in the United States are the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship, and organizers historically have announced future hosts five to seven years in advance.

However, the PGA has taken planning to the next level by lining up almost all its venues through the 2034 PGA Championship:

  • 2021: Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Ocean Course, Kiawah Island, South Carolina
  • 2022: Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster, New Jersey
  • 2023: Oak Hill Country Club, East Course, Pittsford, New York
  • 2024: Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, Kentucky
  • 2025: Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • 2026: Aronimink Golf Club, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania
  • 2027: PGA Frisco, Frisco, Texas
  • 2028: The Olympic Club, Lake Course, San Francisco
  • 2029: Baltusrol Golf Club, Lower Course, Springfield, New Jersey
  • 2030: Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • 2031: Congressional Country Club, Blue Course, Bethesda, Maryland
  • 2032 and 2033: To be announced
  • 2034: PGA Frisco, Frisco, Texas