Breaking Down Oak Hill To The Tee For 2023 PGA Championship

Written By Fairway Jay on May 17, 2023
henrik stenson 2013 pga championship oak hill country club

The strongest field in golf is set to tee off on the famed and newly transformed East Course at Oak Hill Country Club.

The 2023 PGA Championship in Rochester, New York, should present a significant challenge on the 7,394-yard, Par-70 Oak Hill course. Kerry Haigh, PGA of America Chief Championship Officer, also provided PlayNY with additional insight and which holes will be most demanding as fans watch and wager on the second major of the year.

And with New York sports betting live, legal and available online across the state, the nine regulated online sportsbooks are prepared for the tee-to-green attack by sports bettors at this year’s PGA Championship in New York.

2023 PGA Championship NY sports betting odds

A look at the leading online sportsbooks golf odds to win the 2023 PGA Championship points out the favortism and majority of bets expected on the three top-ranked golfers in the world.

Those odds to win are consistent across the board, and subject to change including on prop bets and live betting.

But there are plenty of top-ranked players with odds to win ranging from +2000 to +3500. That includes those below plus 2023 PGA Tour winners Tony Finau, Max Homa and Jason Day as well as LIV golfers and major champions Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Cameron Smith.

  • Justin Thomas
  • Patrick Cantlay
  • Xander Schauffele
  • Jordan Spieth
  • Viktor Hovland
  • Cameron Young
  • Collin Morikawa
  • Matt Fitzpatrick
  • Sungjae Im

Chat with Kerry Haigh and course overview

In a recent conversation with PlayNY, Kerry Haigh shared insights on the transformation and changes to the course in 2019-20 by architect Andrew Green.

Along with the smaller elevated greens and restored shapes and contours to the pure bentgrass putting surfaces, Haigh pointed out that the added pockets and cornering of the redesigned greens “will add more hole locations and challenges with additional runoff areas.”

In setting up the championship course, Haigh can can stick holes in little nooks and near bunker faces, daring players to take on the shot.

The newer design includes mounds and hummocks lining fairways and around the greens and many new bunkers that “are deeper and more severe, and will prove problematic when finding them off the fairway or around the greens,” Haigh said.

With a premium on driving to avoid the step-cut 3-inch deep rough and thick fescue off the fairways, Haigh anticipates “a very difficult challenge” for the best golfers in the world. Haigh will be monitoring the weather with cooler temperatures in the 60’s and up to a 50% chance of rain on Saturday. But Haigh holds the keys to scoring and can tighten the course, pin locations and increase the green speeds if he determines a round of 70 and even-par is a good score to shoot for.

Here’s a look at the toughest holes at Oak Hill that will challenge the world’s best golfers during the 2023 PGA Championship.

Toughest holes at Oak Hill East Course for 2023 PGA Championship

Specifically, let’s take a look at some of the most difficult holes as the 2023 PGA Championship gets set to tee off.

No. 3: Par 3, 230 yards

The long, demanding par-3 climbs to an elevated back-to-front sloping green notched into the top of a diagonal ridge with bunkers cut like stair steps into the face. The deep bunkers and a false front that can send shots rolling backwards to the fairway make it one of the most intimidating shots at Oak Hill.

No. 6: Par 4, 503 yards

This is one of three new holes during the course transformation, and joins holes 5 and 15 as the greens that changed most dramatically. The drive to a narrow slight dogleg to the right must be fitted between fairway bunkers on the left and the bow of Allen’s Creek running down the right. The green rises to the back and sits between the crook of the creek that cuts across the fairway and then down the left and long of the green.

No. 7: Par 4, 461 yards

Allen’s Creek goes down the right side of the hole and then crosses the fairway, placing a premium on placement with Oaks on the left squeezing the fairway. Most players will opt for something less the driver for accuracy. The approach is uphill to one of the smallest greens, which is guarded by two bunkers. Pins placed in front just behind the bunkers will make this most difficult and especially for poorly placed tee shots.

No. 9: Par 4, 482 yards

The uphill blind shot to the triangle green is made tougher by a narrow fairway for longer hitters. Tee shots down the right side run the risk of out-of-bounds or being blocked by overhanging trees. The green slopes from back to front, and missing long will make par difficult and especially so if pins are placed behind the right front bunker.

No. 17: Par 4, 502 yards

This typically plays as a par 5 for members, but the PGA pros will need to be at their best coming home on the closing holes. A big drive of 300 yards or more is needed to reach the crest of the fairway and provide a full view of the low undulating green. A closely mown run-off will send errant shots a long way from the green and leave a tight lie for the pitch. Approaches to the right will find the mounds and hummocks with recovery shots more difficult.

No. 18: Par 4, 497 yards

The closing hole is a prodigious dogleg right that has a fairway only 20 yards wide at the 300-yard mark, and three deep bunkers on the right. Trees line both sides of the fairway, but the defining feature of the hole is the green placed on a ridge over a 12-foot depression. A back right extension to the green slopes severely to the front and is situated between three bunkers to the right and one of the left. This is where Shaun Micheel hit 7-iron to 2 inches to clinch his PGA Championship victory in 2003.

Overall snapshot of Oak Hill for PGA Championship

Scoring is expected to be difficult, certainly with players finishing well below the 10-under par winning score at Oak Hill of 2013 PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner.

If you want to see more birdies, look towards holes 2, 5, 10, 12, 13 and 14. And follow the birdies-or-better leaders this season on Tour: Jon Rahm (30.76%), Patrick Cantlay, Tony Finau, Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Young. Scheffler and Rahm also rank 1-2 in hitting greens in regulation with Cantlay and Finau both top-15 on the PGA Tour.

Strokes gained total leaders over their last 50 rounds include Finau, Rahm, Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Scheffler, Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day.

While Haigh notes there are more strategies and options in play with a premium on driving, the severity of steep bunkers, greenside runoffs and challenging greens and pin placements will make the 2023 PGA Championship a historical milestone for golf and New York sports betting.

Photo by Charlie Riedel / AP Photo
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