Watch: Stunning flyovers of the back nine at Oak Hill show a great closing stretch for 2023 PGA Championship
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — With the restoration of Oak Hill’s East Course back to more closely emulate the original Donald Ross design, even fans who are familiar with the storied course will notice some subtle differences.
The back nine will provide plenty of challenges for players and outstanding looks for audiences.
Oak Hill’s East will play to 7,394 yards with a par of 70 for this week’s major championship.
The East ranks No. 12 in New York on Golfweek’s Best list of private courses in each state. It also comes in at No. 42 on Golfweek’s Best ranking of all classic courses in the United States.
Here’s a look at the back nine of the course, which will be in the international spotlight this week:
MORE: See the front nine at Oak Hill as you’ve never seen it
Hole 10: “Council Grove” | Par 4 | 430 yards
The fairway on this par-4 tenth slopes severely downhill at the 275-yard mark towards Allens Creek that crosses the fairway at 350 yards. Two greenside bunkers short and a run-off area on the back left corner forces players to aim for the middle of the green. Shots finding the putting surface will leave players with a good look at birdie as this is one of the flattest greens on the course.
Hole 11: “Creekside” | Par 3 | 245 yards
This long par-3 is surrounded by three greenside bunkers, one short left and two long right, along with Allens Creek protecting the front right hole location. A large green offers a variety of hole locations which forces the player to be precise in their plan of attack; this can be a tall order from 245 yards.
Hole 12: “Leaning Oak” | Par 4 | 399 yards
A short uphill par-4 with trees on both sides requires an accurate tee shot. A small right fairway bunker demands a carry of at least 285 yards. The short approach shot is hit to a green that slopes from back left to front right with three greenside bunkers guarding the front.
Hole 13: “Hill Of Fame” | Par 5 | 623 yards
Oak Hill’s most notable par 5 heads back uphill towards the clubhouse. Allens Creek crosses the fairway at the 325 mark, which will force most players to lay up short. A tee shot short of Allens Creek leaves the player with 300 yards to the hole uphill. Two fairway bunkers guard the right side of the fairway 125 yards out. The green sits in a hollow, providing patrons a beautiful amphitheater setting.
Hole 14: “Bunker Hill” | Par 4 | 320 yards
The shortest par-4 on the course will provide the player with a risk-reward decision to lay up or go for the green off the tee. Individuals who layup short of the green must avoid the two fairway bunkers on the left, and one on the right. Those who decide to go for the green may be pleased to have their ball land in one of the three greenside bunkers. Any shot that misses long will provide the toughest of all finesse wedge shots, as this green slopes severely from back to fron
Hole 15: “The Plateau” | Par 3 | 155 yards
The shortest of the par 3’s at Oak Hill is no walk in the park. Short and left are deep bunkers that will make for a difficult up-and-down should the player find them off the tee. A tightly mown run-off area right of the green drops off dramatically in elevation, leaving the player with a tough shot from a very tight lie to this multi-tiered green.
Hole 16: “Straight Away” | Par 4 | 458 yards
A well-hit tee shot will take advantage of a slope in the fairway at the 275-yard mark leaving the player with a short shot into a receptive green. Two bunkers line the right side of the fairway: the first at 280, the second at 330. A miss left or long of the green will roll away significantly due to the tightly mown run-off area.
Hole 17: “Twin Tees” | Par 4 | 502 yards
A par 5 for the membership becomes a long par 4 for the Championship. The tee shot must go at least 280 to provide a full view of the green. Errant tee shots right will provide serious trouble for the players looking for a birdie coming down the stretch. An undulated green will force players to be precise with their landing spots depending on the hole location. A miss long left will send the ball away from the green, challenging the player with a tough shot from a tight lie.
Hole 18: “Goin’ Home” | Par 4 | 497 yards
This hole is equally beautiful as it is demanding; the fairway is only 20 yards wide at the 300-yard mark. Three deep bunkers guard the right side off the tee, along with trees on both sides. The green slopes severely from back to front with three bunkers right and one on the left, likely proving to be a very challenging finish.