A restored, renewed, and reinvigorated East Course at Oak Hill Country Club will present itself to the golf world in May of 2023. The Rochester, New York, club will host its fourth PGA Championship from May 18th to the 21st, and will reveal the work that celebrated restorationist Andrew Green and his team carried out from 2019 to 2021.
Oak Hill first welcomed the PGA of America in 1980, and what a championship it held. Fresh off a career restart at the U.S. Open, Jack Nicklaus arrived in Rochester to great expectations. Nicklaus had previously finished as 1968 U.S. Open runner-up to Lee Trevino at the upstate NY club, and could be forgiven for thinking that he was due at the Donald Ross masterpiece. Nicklaus won going away, by seven shots over Andy Bean. It was his fifth PGA Championship title, and tied him with Rochester’s own Walter Hagen for most PGA Championship victories.
Side note: a 13-year-old young man from suburban Buffalo convinced his parents to drive to Rochester on Sunday in an attempt to catch a glimpse of Nicklaus and Company. Although he never made it through the gate, he did see a few golfers through the boundary hedges. That lad will now continue with this tale.
In 2003, the PGA returned for a second PGA Championship, and a battle of climbers took place. Shaun Micheel hit one of the great, walk-off shots in the history of the tournament. Faced with a tricky play from the rough, Micheel launched a seven-iron skyward, and landed it inches from the hole. The tap-in birdie gave him a one-shot victory over Chad Campbell. Ten years later, the tournament featured Oak Hill on a third occasion, and Jason Dufner rode a round-two 63 toward a two-shot victory over Jim Furyk. Like Micheel, it was Dufner’s only career major title, and it earned him a spot on the renowned Hill of Fame, nestled above the 13th fairway and green. That 63 still stands as the competitive record score on the East course.
In 2019, the PGA of America returned for the Senior PGA Championship. Instead of an August PGA, this event took place in May, serving as a forerunner to the PGA’s move of its signature championship to the spring. Ken Tanigawa, like so many other journeymen professionals, found renewal on golf’s senior circuit. His first Champions win came in the fall of 2018, and foreshadowed his peformance in Rochester. At Oak Hill, Tanigawa rebounded from a second-day 74 with 66-70 on the weekend. His performance was enough to edge Scott McCarron by one shot for the title.
Oak Hill will be the story in May of 2023. Someone will raise the Wannamaker trophy as champion; of that, there is no doubt. What will be foremost on the minds of attendees and viewers, will be the course. Andrew Green and his team reclaimed the original spirit of Donald Ross’ routing, and opened sweeping vistas across the vast trace of fairways and greens. Long after the tournament concludes, the restored East Course will endure. For 96 hours in May, however, it will hold the rapt attention of the golfing world, and it will not disappoint.
In addition to the fabled East Course, Oak Hill’s members and guests have the fortune to play a second, 18-hole layout designed by Donald Ross. The West Course is essentially untouched from Ross’ days, and presents a very different challenge to all who embrace it. The West tumbles and rolls with frequency, at times, in a more dramatic fashion than does the East. While not nearly as long and burly as its bigger sibling, the West is stunning in its originality. During the 2023 playing of the PGA Championship, portions of it will serve as ancillary space for the execution of the tournament. Here are a pair of unimpeded views of the West Course.
Max Homa’s winning WITB: 2023 Farmers Insurance Open
Driver: Titleist TSR3 (10 degrees, A1 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei 1K Black 65 TX
3-wood: Titleist TSR3 (16.5 degrees, C1 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue TR 8 X
7-wood: Titleist TSR2 (21 degrees, C1 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD XC 9 TX
Irons: Titleist T100S (4), T100 (5), Titleist 620 MB (6-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour $-Taper 130 X
Wedges: Vokey Design SM9 (46-10F, 50-12F, 56-14F, 60-04L)
Shafts: KBS TOUR $-Taper 130 X (46), KBS Hi Rev 2.0 125 S (56-60)
Putter: Scotty Cameron T-5.5 prototype
Ball: 2023 Titleist Pro V1
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet
More Max Homa WITBs
- Max Homa WITB 2022 (July)
- Max Homa’s winning WITB: 2022 Wells Fargo Championship
- Max Homa’s winning WITB: 2021 Fortinet Championship
- Max Homa’s winning WITB: 2021 Genesis Invitational
- Max Homa WITB 2021 (January)
- Max Homa WITB 2020
- Max Homa’s winning WITB: 2019 Wells Fargo Championship
- Max Homa WITB 2017
- Max Homa WITB 2013
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