When contemplating the world's best golf courses, fans and golfing elite think of Oak Hill Country Club in Pittsford, New York. More specifically, what comes to mind is likely the East course, renowned for its difficulty and made even more famous for hosting many major championship tournaments. In fact, Oak Hill Country Club is the site of the 2023 PGA Championship®, which will be played from May 15-21, 2023.
History of Oak Hill Country Club
Founded in 1901, the club began its history with golf right away. Originally just nine holes on 85 acres, a converted farmhouse served as the clubhouse. The sport of golf was still new in America, so the atmosphere at Oak Hill Country Club could certainly be described as tranquil.
Over the next 20 years, a new clubhouse was installed, and the grounds doubled in size by having another nine holes constructed. Then, from 1921 to 1926, the club moved to its current home, a 355-acre plot in Pittsford, a city near Rochester, New York. This quadrupled the size of Oak Hill, cemented it as a fixture in the area and put it on the map as a renowned professional golf course.
With this new, major expanse to cover, Oak Hill Country Club flourished. It now had the space for two 18-hole golf courses, and Donald Ross designed them. The courses came to be known as the East and the West, and the former is the site of the 2023 PGA Championship.
Besides its difficulty, Oak Hill Country Club's calling card is its 40,000+ trees, many of them oak trees. A local physician and celebrity in his own right, John Ralston Williams deserves the credit for this, as he wrangled acorns from all over the world. Today, they elegantly line the fairways and roughs on what used to be little more than farmland.
Golfing challenges at Oak Hill Country Club
The sheer number and magnitude of oak trees may be the greatest challenges that golfers experience at both Oak Hill Country Club courses. Acorns that were planted almost a century ago have yielded tens of thousands of trees that thickly line the fairways. Couple this hallmark of the grounds with their rolling terrain, and a golfer's ability to line up ideal shots is constantly encumbered.
What's around the corner?
Visual challenges quickly become physical ones on certain holes. The creek that bisects several holes, for example. When planning an approaching shot, the aesthetic could play tricks on your eyes. Some shots might feel blind, with the ideal portion of the green subtly obscured by trees and terrain. Each hole will likely give players a distinct challenge, even the pros.
Hole 18 – East Course
Professionals don't get to avoid the challenging 18th hole on Oak Hill Country Club's East Course. Reaching almost 500 yards, the hole doglegs to the right, with the inside corner guarded by 2 bunkers. A final slope will also bounce any shots that fall short from reaching the putting surface. Given its challenge and length, Hole 18 is a well-crafted par-5 conclusion to the East Course.
East and West
The East Course is the premier offering at Oak Hill Country Club, which is why it has been selected four times as the site of the PGA Championship (including 2023). However, the West course is a remarkable offering, too. Just looking at it, golfers would agree that the West is more accessible than the East. There's a ton of variety to be found at Oak Hill Country Club in both courses' masterful design and potential for different play styles. Several holes are totally uphill or downhill, and fairways across both courses have deceiving slopes.
In less than a quarter century, Oak Hill Country Club hosted the PGA Championship, Ryder Cup, U.S. Open, the U.S. Amateur, the U.S. Senior Open and the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. Whatever claim to fame comes to mind when you think of Oak Hill Country Club, it certainly has a championship legacy. A serene expanse make most visitors feel that they're experiencing something of a hidden jewel in all of golf.
When was the last time the PGA Championship was at Oak Hill?
The 95th PGA Championship in 2013 was the last time the tournament was at Oak Hill Country Club. From August 8th to the 11th, there were several ups and downs. Jason Dufner won with a score of 270 (-10), which was only 2-stroke margin of victory, with Jim Furyk running up. The prize was $1,445,000, and Dufner also set a course record that, at the time of writing, still stands. He scored a 63 (Par 70) in the second round of the 2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club, beating a longstanding record of 64.
The 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club
Oak Hill Country Club welcomes the 105th PGA Championship from May 15-21, 2023. Justin Thomas will be defending his 2022 title at this year's championship. Spectators can expect a wonderful backdrop for this regular showcase of the best golfers. If you're considering tickets, review your options at PGAChampionship.com/Tickets.
Traveling to this year's PGA Championship? Consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit card, which offers onsite event perks and is also known for its travel benefits and rewards. Chase Sapphire is an official partner of the 2023 PGA Championship.