It’s all go for January after the R&A and USGA published their finalised Rules of Golf. So what’s coming in? Steve Carroll outlines the changes.
PGA Championship 2013: A Course Guide To Oak Hill Part One
We’ve drawn up a helpful course guide to give you the ins and outs of what to expect when the 2013 PGA Championship kicks off this Thursday (August 8). And as always, let us know your thoughts via Facebook and Twitter.
Hole 1: 460 yards, Par 4
The most difficult feature of this starting hole is the tee shot. A long, carrying drive can take advantage of a down sloping fairway at the 260-yard mark, and this will help the ball to run another 30-40 yards. The danger off the tee is an out of bounds to the right and trees on both sides of the fairway. A player’s first shot of the day will test his driving skills and set the tone for the rest of the round.
Hole 2: 401 yards, Par 4
A good tee shot with a long iron or fairway wood will put players in position for a short-iron approach to a small green, where deep bunkers are in play on both sides of the fairway. Avoiding these will be pivotal. By keeping the iron shot below the hole, it will afford players the best birdie chance. The green here is very quick when putting from behind the hole.
Hole 3: 214 yards, Par 3
This is a difficult par 3 for most players as they will be likely to hit a mid to long iron onto a very small green. deep bunkers lay guard to both sides of the green, making progress cautious. Under no circumstances does a player want to miss the green long and to the right. There will be almost zero chance to get the ball up and down from the position. The hole will give up very few birdies and always ranks as one of the hardest holes at the famous Oak Hill course.
Hole 4: 570 yards, Par 5
The hole which plays easiest of the 18, largely due to the fact it will give up the most birdies; 50 per cent more than any other hole. It is reachable in two shots as well, and the difficulty off the tee is taking the gamble for the long ball with a high, fading shot. the shot itself has to go around and over two very deep fairway bunkers. There is also out of bounds on the right-hand side. If a player hits a shot into the bunker they will need to lay up with a 7 to 9-iron.
Hole 5: 428 yards, Par 4
Another hole which will prove difficult during the tournament as it features one of the most dangerous shots at Oak Hill. Any tee shot must travel through a shoot of trees for more than 215 yards and then avoid a creek that winds itself into the landing area at the 250-yard mark. On top of this, there is heavy rough on the left side to make play tougher still. Expect to see more bogeys on this hole than any other during the event.
Hole 6: 175 yards, Par 3
The easiest of the par-3’s. The green has a deep bunker on the right and side, as well as a creek that winds itself around the green on the left and front sides. Many players will hit 6-7 or an 8-iron onto this part of the green. The back-right hole location will be the most difficult to get to. A fun hole to watch nonetheless.
Hole 7: 461 yards, Par 4
An exciting par 4 and one of Oak Hill’s finest. This is another hole where distance has been added (up to 30 more yards). A very tight driving hole with the fairway width about 22 yards, and there is a creek to avoid on the right-hand side that comes up close to the fairway. Trees lining the right keep players from bailing on that side. If the ball is hit into the creek, double bogeys often follow. The green is one of the smaller ones on the course, so a good driver here will leave a mid-iron to the green.
Hole 8: 428 yards, Par 4
This is a beautiful hole that lets the player try for those longer drives. The fairway bunkers on the left-hand side are very deep and treacherous. Any player who drops into them may not be able to reach the green because of the deepness of the bunkers. Trees lining the right protect that side of the fairway.
Hole 9: 452 yards, Par 4
An uphill dogleg hole that has really been beefed up recently. A new tee has added 35 extra yards to the hole, and this makes it very difficult to drive towards. “Death Valley” is to the right. Any drive missing the fairway in the right rough is almost a chip out. The left side of the fairway slopes to the left so that any drive landing on the far left side will kick into the rough. Because of this, the fairway width at 25 yards plays much narrower. The second shot will be an uphill mid-iron shot to a green that is shaped smaller in the back. Don't miss the second shot down the hill on the left. Up and downs from this spot will be few and far between.