Oak Hill Country Club in western New York, the venue for the PGA Championship, which opens Thursday, has hosted 12 major and national championships, including the US Open, past PGA Championships and the Ryder Cup.
The course is a classic designed by revered Golden Age architect Donald Ross and recently restored by top architect Andrew Greene, who has recently revived other championship venues. Congressional Country Clublast year’s site. KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
On paper, Oak Hill looks great. But the issue begs the somewhat academic question of why golf hasn’t produced better champions in recent years. A player who wins on the course is not a Hall of Famer.
Sean Michael He won the PGA Championship in 2003, his only win on the PGA Tour. Jason Dufner The five-time PGA Tour winner, who set a course record by winning the PGA in 2013, has a reputation for being very relaxed while playing.the term “Duffaling” A coined term for his demeanor during tournaments and off-season.
Located in Pittsford, New York, near Rochester, the course has also hosted two senior PGA Championships, won by journeyman pro Jay Haas in 2008 and pro Jay Haas in 2019. bottom. Ken TanigawaA former amateur who won the right to participate in the Champions Tour after turning 50 the previous year.
What does that give?
The United States hosts three major golf championships, two of which rotate from course to course each year. (The Masters tournament is always held at Augusta National Golf Club.) By comparison, only the fourth major, the British Open, is centered in Great Britain.
However, the United States Golf Association insisted on conducting a series of classic and rigorous golf tests to host the US Open. In doing so, it created the de facto rotors for courses such as Winged Foot Golf Club in New York, Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania, Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina, and Pebble Beach Golf Links in California. Prewar courses such as Country Club in Massachusetts and Merrion Golf Club in Pennsylvania. The governing body has used a decades-old schedule to lock down some venues under the guise that where the U.S. Open is won is as important to a player as the victory itself.
“The USGA says you have to be over 100 to host the US Open, but they’re going to the best golf courses in the world, but the rotors are short,” said Golf Club founder Ran Morissette said. Atlas to analyze course structure. “Who can argue that the governing body is wrong to go to the world’s best courses?”
But the USGA’s decades-old claim to great courses (Merrion, for example, is already set to host the 2030 and 2050 US Opens) has created some division. . “A club is either the venue where the USGA hosts the US Open” or the PGA of America site where events such as the men’s and women’s PGA championships and sometimes Ryder Cup competitions are held.
Has the PGA remained a weak venue? Some golf historians say it did, but others argue that the situation is more complicated given that old courses are being renovated and challenging new courses are being built all the time. There are also
“It’s nearly impossible for the PGA Championship to play,” he said. Conor T. Lewis, Chief Executive of the Association of Golf Historians. “Oakmont is now an anchor site for the USGA. They have made nine U.S. Open appearances.”
Oakmont has hosted the PGA Championship three times, but added that it was “out of consideration” to host a PGA Championship now that the course has become an anchor for the USGA.
Still, he is optimistic that the changes to this year’s PGA Championship venue will present golfers with a different challenge than last time the PGA was held at a completely different Oak Hill. “This year will see Oak Hill at its best,” he said. “It’s going to be more of a Donald Ross course.”
Like many great championship venues, Oak Hill added unconventional features in the 1960s and 1970s in the belief that more trees equaled tougher courses. It worked fine for a while, but as the trees grew, the fairway narrowed, limiting my shot-making options.
Other courses have followed suit, including New Jersey’s Balthasroll Golf Club, which will host the PGA Championship in 2029. Six-time major winner Phil Mickelson won the PGA Championship there in 2005, and Jimmy Walker won the PGA Championship in 2016. His only major, the PGA, is there. The course has since been restored and opened by Gil Hanse, reviving his original AW his Tillinghast design.
Like any other classic course that has recently hosted a major championship, Oak Hill has undergone extensive restoration and many modern changes have been removed. The number of champion candidates for this year’s championship could be further expanded by the restoration of the course by removing trees and opening the course.
Golf Club Atlas founder Morissette said the changes could change the quality of champions. “Given that Oak Hill is more of a Donald Ross classic course now, a winner like Ben Hogan could emerge,” he said of one of the best players of the 1950s. said. “I like the fact that thoughtful players can win.”
Kelly Haig, chief championship officer of the PGA of the United States, whose job it is to set up courses for majors like this, said that the recent PGA champions at Oak Hill benefited from the course conditions at the time. Admit it.
Before restoration, “the fairways are pretty narrow and the rough is usually pretty tough, so there was definitely an emphasis on driving accuracy,” he says. “The past two winners weren’t particularly sluggers, as the trees played a key role in the task, but they were able to control the game and keep the ball in play.”
Haig said course setting is the most important. The PGA is stamping a tough but fair set-up that will allow for an exciting attack on Sunday. (This is in contrast to the USGA, which sets out each course to be a tough test of golf, which some players claim is tough, but Bryson DeChambeau is the anchor site. He was the only player to break par in four days when he won the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot, one of the
Some historians argue that even going to these classic courses was a mistake by the PGA, but Mr. Morissette said the USGA put a lock on the old courses, which is why the PGA has become America’s favorite golf course. He said we should look to the great courses built after 1960 to showcase diversity. He won the 2021 PGA Championship, which opened in 1991 and was designed by Pete and Alice Dye and held at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, with one of the most exciting and notable Sunday finishes in recent major history. He cited one time, when Mickelson held off Brooks Koepka. Louis Oosthuizen becomes the oldest major champion at the 2021 PGA Championship.
“I really like the way it turned out,” Morissette said. “Eagle or double bogey on par 5? It’s fun.”
He has successfully completed modern courses such as Erin Hills, Wisconsin, Chambers Bay, Washington, and the newly opened PGA Frisco Course in Texas, where the PGA will be based. It was designed for today’s equipment,” he said.
Chief Championship Officer Haig said the inclusion of these new courses was part of the PGA’s plans. “Our philosophy is to combine classic courses with more modern ones,” he said, referring to Bellerive, Missouri and Valhalla, Kentucky, in addition to Kiawa. “This has been our philosophy for the 30 years I’ve been here and I hope it continues.”
Still, his focus is on this week and he’s optimistic that Oak Hill will produce a worthy champion. “Players who miss the fairway may have more options, but it’s still the same width as in previous years,” he said. “We shall see.”