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PGA Championship 2024: Hole-by-hole look at Valhalla Golf Club

PGA Championship 2024: Hole-by-hole look at Valhalla Golf Club

Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, will host its fourth PGA Championship this week.

And it will have a noticeable new look this time around.

Since 2014, when Rory McIlroy lifted the Wanamaker Trophy at Valhalla, the Jack Nicklaus design has undergone extensive renovation. The fairway turf and teeing grounds were changed in 2021 from bentgrass to Zeon zoysia, which is easier to manage and allows the course to play firmer and faster. Length was added to several holes, including 38 yards to No. 1 and 37 yards to No. 14.

Valhalla will play at 7,607 yards this year, 151 yards longer than it tipped out in 2014.

Here is a hole-by-hole look at Valhalla, including hole descriptions and scoring history (Note: hole descriptions were provided by the PGA of America):

2024 PGA Championship - Previews
2024 PGA Championship - Previews

No. 1 (The Post), Par 4, 484 yards

The challenge on this dogleg-left is not only off the tee, but also on the approach. The large front-right bunker is both visually intimidating and a real threat when the hole is cut front-left or back-right. The left bunker will catch errant shots aimed at the back of the green.

Year

Rank

Par

Yards

Avg

1996

6

4

425

4.104

2000

6

4

446

4.156

2014

10

4

446

4.018

No. 2 (Winning Colors), Par 4, 500 yards

Another slight dogleg left, this long par 4 is lined with beautiful Kentucky hardwoods. Tee shots need to stay clear of a finger of Floyd’s Fork, a waterway that runs along the left side of the fairway and green, and continues to meander through the front nine. Also protecting the angled green are three bunkers, two front-left and one back-right.

Year

Rank

Par

Yards

Avg

1996

18

5

515

4.626

2000

18

5

535

4.685

2014

1

4

500

4.362

No. 3 (Honest Abe), Par 3, 208 yards

Named after Kentucky’s only president (Lincoln was born in Larue County, about 70 miles south of Valhalla; his family moved to Illinois when he was 7), this challenging par 3 demands an “honest” attempt. Floyd’s Fork sweeps around to the right of the green, which also is guarded by a large bunker to the right and smaller bunkers to the left and behind. But the real danger is misreading the wind, which can push a shot to the right side, which slopes down toward the hazards.

Year

Rank

Par

Yards

Avg

1996

5

3

199

3.149

2000

T-8

3

208

3.148

2014

11

3

205

3.011

2024 PGA Championship - Previews
2024 PGA Championship - Previews

No. 4 (Mine That Bird), Par 4, 372 yards

The aggressive line on this shortish par 4 is down the left side, carrying the large bunker at the inside of the dogleg-left’s elbow. When the tee is moved forward most players can drive the green, but this brings Floyd’s Fork into play to the left side of the green and the putting surface features significant movement and contours. Golfers who choose to lay back and approach with a wedge will need precise distance control to get near the hole wherever it’s positioned.

Year

Rank

Par

Yards

Avg

1996

14

4

355

3.983

2000

14

4

350

3.951

2014

17

4

372

3.731

No. 5 (The Sun Shines Bright), Par 4, 463 yards

The fairway on this dogleg-right is bracketed by a large fairway bunker on the right side and three bunkers on the left. The large, triangular green is also guarded on both sides, by a large bunker right and a closely mown collection area left. The back-right hole location is one of the most challenging on the course.

Year

Rank

Par

Yards

Avg

1996

3

4

460

4.212

2000

3

4

465

4.229

2014

9

4

463

4.053

No. 6 (Long Shot), Par 4, 495 yards

The name “Long Shot” refers not to distance but one’s chance of making a par on this difficult hole. It demands an accurate tee shot, and for some players will be something less than a driver as the aim is to get as close to Floyd’s Fork as one dares. Even after a good drive, players will still be looking at over 200 yards to a challenging green complex: A deep bunker guards the left side, a closely mown collection area lurks on the right.

Year

Rank

Par

Yards

Avg

1996

11

4

415

4.041

2000

T-8

4

421

4.148

2014

2

4

495

4.351

2024 PGA Championship - Previews
2024 PGA Championship - Previews

No. 7 (Genuine Risk), Par 5, 597 yards

The split fairway sets up a classic risk vs. reward dilemma. Driving to the left shortens the hole by more than 50 yards, but the landing area is only 26 yards wide, surrounded by bluegrass rough, and guarded by water right; the approach from this island fairway is 210-230 yards, all over water. Driving to the right is longer but safer. With water along the front and left side of the green, it’s a brave player who attacks from any angle.

Year

Rank

Par

Yards

Avg

1996

15

5

605

4.939

2000

17

5

597

4.733

2014

16

5

597

4.766

No. 8 (Float Like a Butterfly), Par 3, 190 yards

It’s only a short- to middle-iron in, but the green complex is as dangerous as a Muhammad Ali combination. The front is protected by a deep bunker and a severe, closely manicured collection area. There is another bunker left, and another low-mow collection area beyond the green. The large, angled green affords numerous testing hole locations.

Year

Rank

Par

Yards

Avg

1996

7

3

165

3.095

2000

10

3

166

3.088

2014

12

3

174

2.958

2024 PGA Championship - Preview Day One
2024 PGA Championship - Preview Day One

No. 9 (Twin Spires), Par 4, 415 yards

The tee shot at this uphill par 4 is challenged by three fairway bunkers along the right side and two more left. The uphill approach makes judging the yardage difficult, exaggerated by the presence of one of the largest and deepest bunkers on the course just right of the green. The green itself is one of the most undulating on the entire golf course.

Year

Rank

Par

Yards

Avg

1996

13

4

415

3.987

2000

12

4

418

4.015

2014

14

4

415

3.921

No. 10 (Big Red), Par 5, 590 yards

Named after Secretariat, the big, long-distance thoroughbred, this hole is a double-dogleg with a fairway bunker on the right side of the driving zone and deep rough and trees to the left. The undulating, two-tiered green is nearly perpendicular to the fairway and protected by a large, deep bunker in front.

Year

Rank

Par

Yards

Avg

1996

16

5

565

4.905

2000

T-15

5

551

4.861

2014

15

5

590

4.817

No. 11 (Holler), Par 3, 211 yards

It’s a middle- to long-iron shot into a shallow green that features a slight false front, with a large bunker in front and a smaller one behind. The green angles right to left, but shots going too far left will bound down the steep hillside.

Year

Rank

Par

Yards

Avg

1996

9

3

165

3.059

2000

11

3

168

3.086

2014

8

3

210

3.06

2024 PGA Championship - Previews
2024 PGA Championship - Previews

No. 12 (Sting Like a Bee), Par 4, 494 yards

This hole has an island fairway which is especially difficult because it doglegs to the right and then leaves an approach shot of 170-190 yards to an elevated green. One of the deepest bunkers on the course sits to the right of the angled putting surface, while the bluegrass rough to the left is gnarly and painful.

Year

Rank

Par

Yards

Avg

1996

1

4

470

4.302

2000

1

4

467

4.295

2014

4

4

467

4.245

No. 13 (The Limestone Hole), Par 4, 351 yards

Don’t let the distance deceive you: Yes, it’s the shortest two-shot hole on the course, but those two shots have to be good. A cluster of six bunkers sits just to the left of the fairway landing zone, while the green is a true island, surrounded by water and built up nearly 20 feet on large limestone boulders.

Year

Rank

Par

Yards

Avg

1996

12

4

350

4.022

2000

13

4

348

3.987

2014

13

4

350

3.951

No. 14 (On the Rocks), Par 3, 254 yards

The longest par 3 on the course, and also one of the best views of the surrounding countryside. The serene setting gets more serious around the two-tiered green, which is sandwiched between two bunkers in front and two behind. Playing from either of the two rear bunkers can be especially painful as the green slopes from back to front.

Year

Rank

Par

Yards

Avg

1996

4

3

208

3.187

2000

7

3

217

3.152

2014

6

3

217

3.199

2024 PGA Championship - Previews
2024 PGA Championship - Previews

No. 15 (Julep), Par 4, 435 yards

Unfortunately, that’s not mint julep in Brush Run Creek, which runs down the entire right side of the hole. The landing area is framed by deep bluegrass rough to the left and a large bunker to the right. The creek and a small bunker edge the right side of the large green, with a bigger bunker on the left.

Year

Rank

Par

Yards

Avg

1996

8

4

410

4.061

2000

4

4

402

4.176

2014

5

4

435

4.232

No. 16 (Homestretch), Par 4, 508 yards

Brush Run Creek lines the right side of this slight dogleg-right, as well. But the real difficulty is the formidable green complex, which features two bunkers in front and a severe drop-off to a closely manicured chipping area to the right. The natural amphitheater is a prime spot for spectator viewing.

Year

Rank

Par

Yards

Avg

1996

2

4

450

4.239

2000

2

4

444

4.233

2014

3

4

508

4.313

2024 PGA Championship - Previews
2024 PGA Championship - Previews

No. 17 (Straight Up), Par 4, 472 yards

The tee shot must find the uphill, left-angling fairway, which means avoiding the two large bunkers, one on each side of the landing area. Then the approach must find the green, which is completely surrounded by trouble— two bunkers to the left and tightly mown turf everywhere else.

Year

Rank

Par

Yards

Avg

1996

10

4

432

4.054

2000

5

4

422

4.165

2014

7

4

472

4.062

No. 18 (Photo Finish), Par 5, 570 yards

This epic finishing hole bends gracefully to the right, with a large bunker to the left of the landing zone and a beautiful water feature on the right. Most players can get home in two, but will have to contend with a big bunker in front and a smaller pot bunker left. The vast, horseshoe-shaped green has distinct putting areas left, center, and right, so simply getting on the surface is no guarantee of a good score.

Year

Rank

Par

Yards

Avg

1996

17

5

540

4.705

2000

T-15

5

542

4.861

2014

18

5

542

4.49