Oak Hill stages the 105th PGA Championship
Oak Hill stages the 105th PGA Championship

Oak Hill: PGA Championship course guide

Oak Hill hosts the 105th PGA Championship as major championship golf returns to New York. Read our hole-by-hole guide.

The East Course at Oak Hill returns to stage the PGA Championship, 10 years on from Jason Dufner's victory over Jim Furyk.

Much has changed since then, with Andrew Green leading a restoration project aimed at bringing back Donald Ross's vision for one of the most revered courses in the United States in what is its centenary year.

As well as hosting the PGA Championship on three previous occasions, Oak Hill staged the 1995 Ryder Cup, and its East Course should again provide a serious albeit very different test for the world's finest golfers.

2023 PGA Championship Preview - The Architecture of Oak Hill East

Oak Hill Country Club

  • East Course
  • Par 70
  • 7,394 yards

Hole 1

Par 4, 460 yards

The first hole is right there in front of players from a raised tee, and good drives should benefit from a slope which runs towards the greens and will provide short-iron approaches. Although Ben Hogan once called this the toughest opening hole in championship golf and there are problems in the shape of three fairway bunkers to the left together with out-of-bounds to the right, it will likely fall short of that description and average just a shade over par.

Hole 2

Par 4, 405 yards

This short par-four might encourage players to take less than driver, as the fairway narrows closer to the green. However, bunkers either side of it demand precision, and then it's a case of taking aim at a green which could be described as typically Ross in its design, tilting from back to front. Find the fairway and a birdie opportunity is there to be taken.

Hole 3

Par 3, 230 yards

The first par-three is a serious test, with four deep bunkers guarding the front of the green. Anything short could find some sort of trouble, with the run-up to the green cut short to reject approach shots and a severe false front meaning even some shots landing on it may not remain there. Long comes with its problems, too, as this is another green which runs away from back to front.

Hole 4

Par 5, 615 yards

A par-five which is reachable in the modern game, much depends on the tee shot and how aggressive a player wants to be. Three fairway bunkers mark the corner of the dog leg but further right means further trouble, with an out-of-bounds post lurking. Left means a lay-up is inevitable, especially with tree trouble likely, so a good drive is essential. After that, approaches are threatened by bunkers short of the green to either side, and it again slopes from back to front.

Hole 5

Par 3, 180 yards

The second par-three on the course could yield plenty of birdie opportunities to a front pin, with a step through the middle of the green helping balls to gather close to it. Pins toward the back of this two-tier green will make life difficult for those who are overly aggressive, while leaving tricky two-putts for those who play safe towards the front. Four bunkers surround a well-protected green but this short hole, the former sixth brought back to life by the restoration project, is a birdie chance.

Hole 6

Par 4, 503 yards

Named 'double trouble', this long par-four is framed by Allens Creek, which runs along the right-hand side and then cuts through the fairway to the left of the green. Fairway bunkers to the left make tee shots difficult and there's no real option to lay back given that it plays over 500 yards. Up at the green, several tiers and the reemergence of the creek should ensure this is a hole where par is a good score.

Hole 7

Par 4, 461 yards

A shorter version of the sixth, Allens Creek again cuts across this fairway where there's a cluster of trees to the left. This time, players may use the option of clubbing down to avoid the worst of the trouble, which leaves an uphill approach to a tricky green with a mid-iron. This hole may not be the most daunting on the face of it, but it'll catch plenty out.

Hole 8

Par 4, 429 yards

A wide landing zone and the fact that the left-hand fairway bunker can be carried pretty comfortably by most players suggest this is a hole upon which to attack. Deep bunkers guard the large green and it may well be that officials need to use every corner of it to tuck away the pin and ensure that the eighth provides a serious challenge to the wedges that approach it.

Hole 9

Par 4, 482 yards

This is a real driving hole, with a fairway that narrows towards a bunker on the left, and the threat of trees and out-of-bounds to the right. Given that the second shot is uphill, players may feel they need to remain aggressive off the tee to leave a short-iron approach which members recommend errs towards the right, as anything long and left makes for a difficult up and down.

Hole 10

Par 4, 430 yards

Big hitters must beware that the creek returns at the 10th, coming into play at 350 yards. Once upon a time that wouldn't have been relevant but with a downhill fairway, there may be those who need to hit three-wood to be sure not to run out of room. A flat, relatively small green means anyone finding it should have a good birdie chance, but watch out for the shaved run-off long and left.

Hole 11

Par 3, 245 yards

Allens Creek guards the front of this green and while it wouldn't be in play were the hole shorter, at 245 yards it might catch the odd mishit long-iron. Length is the key defence of this hole with none of the three bunkers particularly taxing. Players will be delighted to take their par and move on.

Hole 12

Par 4, 399 yards

The 12th hole marks the start of the scoring section at Oak Hill. It's short at a yard less than 400, with the fairway bunker easily carried by most players should they wish to. Those who don't can club down and still leave a short-iron approach to a tricky green which sits across the fairway. Watch for pins hidden in corners or else just over the front-left bunker, demanding control of spin.

Hole 13

Par 5, 623 yards

Back uphill towards the clubhouse and well over 600 yards long, laying up will be the obvious option for many – but it's a decision to be made on the tee. Those who can carry the creek at 325 yards will be able to go for it in two whereas those who don't take on the creek will be left with 300 yards or more for their seconds. Laying up well will be important but that job is made easier by banking and we should see this hole play under-par.

Hole 14

Par 4, 320 yards

The driveable par-four 14th is a hole made for a PGA Championship. Going for the green will tempt many, but long is not where you want to be and it's no easy up and down from any of the three deep bunkers which protect the front of the green. Those laying up should be able to avoid three smaller fairway bunkers but the price for going in any of them is heavy. The back-to-front slope up at the green may encourage more lay-ups to a front pin.

Hole 15

Par 3, 155 yards

This short par-three features an hourglass green guarded by two small bunkers to the front, and one big, deep one to the left. Watch for the latter when the pin is hidden on the back-left section, but if it's towards the front we may see a hole-in-one at some stage. That said, anyone getting carried away could be punished by a run-off area front-right which would create a nasty second.

Hole 16

Par 4, 458 yards

The closing stretch begins with a straight par-four which can yield birdie chances if the drive is accurate, as balls should roll out on a downhill fairway. Missing right runs the risk of finding either of two fairway bunkers which are both penal, whereas up at the green both sides are well-guarded: left by a bunker, right by a closely-mown run-off which will leave a lengthy pitch.

Hole 17

Par 4, 502 yards

This hole plays as a par-five for the members and is a long par-four sure to cause issues, especially given that the green is quite small. Another run-off area long and left might be the lesser of two evils versus a tricky bunker short, and the right miss must be preferred.

Hole 18

Par 4, 497 yards

Another difficult driving hole with the fairway narrowing to just 20 yards at the landing area, and no real option to lay back given the length of it. Trees guard both sides of the fairway but again bunkers are placed to discourage cutting off the corner, yet those who do bail out left face a long approach to a guarded green.

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