The famed Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort is renowned worldwide for both its beauty and its challenge. It hosted the 1991 “War by the Shore” Ryder Cup where the U.S. team pulled out a one-point victory on the final hole of the final match, essentially elevating this biennial event to one of golf’s most watched television events. In 2012, it hosted the PGA Championship where Rory McIlroy virtually lapped the field with a run-away eight-stroke victory. But, for all its beauty and bravado, for many it is the clubhouse’s 19th hole, The Ryder Cup Bar, which is their favorite.
Writer Curt Sampson summed it up best in the USGA’s table top book, Golf-The Greatest Game:
After a round there from the back tees on a windy day, I imagined my brain resembled a barrel of live eels I once saw outside a restaurant in Korea. But the clubhouse restored my sanity. …from the picture windows, just an unobstructed look at the practice putting green and beyond it a flat green plain, sand dunes, and the soothing, hypnotic, breaking waves of the beach. After the contemplation of this scene and several malt beverages, I was myself again.
Situated adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean and 150 feet from the 18th green, the clubhouse and The Ryder Cup Bar was designed to augment The Ocean Course’s stature in the game of golf and provide a stage befitting major professional golf events.
Noted architecture firm Robert A. M. Stern Architects designed the clubhouse. Using wood shingles and brick as the primary building materials, the clubhouse’s weathered exterior with wraparound porches will make it appear as though the seaside structure has coexisted with the dunes for a century or more. Low-profile rooflines will suggest a compact sturdiness shaped by the ever-present coastal winds.
The bar features wrap-around porch with full-length windows, giving a panoramic view of the practice green, the 18th hole with the Atlantic Ocean in the background. As the beach faces south, it’s possible to enjoy both sunrises and sunsets from the bar and the outdoor seating. The vaulted and beamed knotty pine ceiling culminates in a custom glass compass rose. The arrow of the rose is connected to the custom-designed weathervane on the roof above and, powered by the wind, it lets golfers know the wind direction on the course. Additionally, the anemometer mounted on the bar wall provides golfers with the current wind speed. Guests also can enjoy a fireplace for warmth in the fall and winter while enjoying their favorite football game on the wide-screen TV.
Executive Chef, Jonathan Banta, has prepared a menu for The Ryder Cup Bar (as well as for the adjacent Atlantic Room restaurant) that reflects its South Carolina sea-side setting. Menu items include dishes like crispy shrimp, fish tacos, fresh oysters, pulled pork sliders, Lowcountry grilled cheese and many more locally-sourced options. Of course, being a pub, burgers and wings are also on the menu.
So, after taking on what Golf Digest magazine calls “America’s Toughest Course,” come in and take on America’s finest seaside bar – The Ryder Cup Bar at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.