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What You Need to Know About Oak Hill Country Club

By: | Mon 15 May 2023

Oak Hill Country Club was originally designed by Donald Ross but has been subjected to several design changes by Tom Fazio and Robert Trent Jones Sr.

Cary Middlecoff, Lee Trevino and Curtis Strange won US Opens here, while Jack Nicklaus, Shaun Micheel and Jason Dufner have lifted the Wanamaker Trophy in the PGA Championship on the famous East Course. And who could forget the Ryder Cup in 1995 when Europe triumphed again on American soil.

Key PGA Championship Facts

  • A total of 20 PGA professionals will be in the field at Oak Hill
  • Oak Hill is the only golf course to have staged the Ryder Cup, US Open, PGA Championship, US Amateur, Senior US Open and Senior PGA Championship
  • This will be the fourth time it has been played at Oak Hill
  • Justin Thomas picked up a cheque for $2.7m when he won in 2022
  • This is the 105th edition

Take a look below at the key holes and what you can expect.

1, Par 4, 460 yards

A downhill, downwind opening hole, with no need for driver off the tee. A creek crosses 80 yards in front of the green and will be a factor for anyone who approaches from the rough. The shallow green, only 27 yards deep, is receptive up front but feeds quickly into a rear bunker.

2, Par 4, 401 yards

Cross bunkers come into play at 275 yards, forcing players either to lay up short or smash it over them. The well-bunkered putting surface is perched well above the fairway. But go through the green and you face a horrific downhill pitch.

3, Par 3, 214 yards

The tee is located at an awkward angle that aligns with the narrowest shelf of what was already the shallowest putting surface on the course - only 20 yards. Anything to the left will fall off the green.

4, Par 5, 570 yards

This par five features a reverse camber and doesn’t allow a view of the landing area. Players going for the green in two need to flirt with trees and sand down the right side, leaving a long iron in to a small green that is well-bunkered up front, slopes hard left and doesn’t hold a long approach well.

5, Par 4, 428 yards

A creek lines the right side of the fairway and cuts in front of the green and laps along its left side - decidedly in play for a pushed drive or a pulled approach shot. Everyone will lay up off the tee, steering clear of the water right as well as a bunker left 310 yards off the tee.

6, Par 3, 175 yards

In 1989 this was the scene of one of the strangest 90 minutes of a US Open, when four players aced the hole on the first day - making use of a favorable punch-bowl hole location. That has been eliminated and the green accorded a more rational surface. The difficulty now is that in steering away from a master bunker front left, the creek on the left side comes into play.

7, Par 4, 461 yards

Most players will lay up to keep the ball short of the creek that comes into play 280 yards out on the right and meanders across the fairway. The ideal shot down the left side is partially obscured by an overhanging oak tree. And where the water intrudes on the right side the rough has been shaved down so that any tee shot drifting right will not stop before it tolls into the hazard. The green is elevated, heavily bunkered up front, and only 22 yards deep, and with trees overhanging the right side.

8, Par 4, 428 yards

This hole looks tighter off the tee than it actually plays because it’s 280 yards to get past the last of the three fairway bunkers. From there, the elevated green slopes right to left, and with the front right heavily bunkered the tendency is to play everything away from trouble into allow-lying pocket of the green.

9, Par 4, 452 yards

Very tough driving hole. It doglegs right and tilts left, feeding everything left and long. The ideal drive is left-to-right aimed at a distant fairway bunker, 330 yards out. Overcook it and the approach shot gets blocked out by dense woods, a deep pocket of scraped earth and a poor angle into an elevated green that’s bunkered up front and feeds away towards the back. 

10, Par 4, 429 yards

Running downhill, downwind and with the creek crossing 80 yards short of the green. The main thing is to avoid a fairway bunker left and interspersed trees on the right.

11, Par 3, 226 yards

Uphill, through a tree-shrouded chute, and with a green that’s bisected by a cross ridge that make it easy to find the lower tier and hard to stay on the top tier without trickling out behind into a steep back bunker. 

12, Par 4, 372 yards

The raised green slopes from back left to front right, so finding the right level is crucial. With trees tight down the left side it’s important to get the tee shot deep into an opening that leaves a clear line in. Miss the green on the right and you’re faced with a runaway chip that is hard to get close.

13, Par 5, 598 yards

Plays into the prevailing wind. The punchbowl green, with three bunkers up front and four behind, is the most intensely sloped at Oak Hill.

14, Par 4, 323 yards

A drivable par four but the sensible shot is a middle-or long-iron to the fairway and a wedge to a green that slants from back left to front right. Three bunkers guarding the entrance and there is a heap of trouble behind the green.

15, Par 3, 181 yards

A downhill par-3 with a green that snakes along a pond on the right. 

16, Par 4, 439 yards

The fairway looks generous of the tee, but everything slides left here. The green, heavily protected up front, slides away from the line of play about halfway back and will only accept the most crisply struck of lofted irons.

17, Par 4, 509 yards

A tough par four with a blind, uphill tee shot. The entire right side from tee to green is overhung with tree canopies. The entrance to the putting surface is raised and heavily bunkered.

18, Par 4, 497 yards

The entire right side is flanked by bunkers running from 290 to 325 yards out. The green occupies a plateau. 

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