Golf News

Oak Hill ready for 2023 PGA Championship dspite quirky spring weather

Oak Hill Country Club

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — If ever there were truer words spoken about Rochester’s always unpredictable spring weather, they came from the mouth of Oak Hill Country Club greens superintendent Jeff Corcoran late last week.

“Yeah, it’s been an interesting type of spring; the weather’s been a little bit schizophrenic,” Corcoran said.

That’s pretty much par for the course because that can be said for just about every spring in these parts and none of us really pays too much attention because we’re all accustomed to the rollercoaster ride Mother Nature takes us on. We know that it might snow on a Monday, be sunny and 80 degrees on a Tuesday, and rain on a Wednesday. We shrug, wash, rinse, and repeat.

However, Corcoran and his staff have had to pay extraordinarily close attention to the weather because it impacts almost everything they’re doing as they get the East Course ready to host the 2023 PGA Championship, May 18-21.

And the good news is that the wide swing in weather variance — for instance, a mid-April week where the temperatures were in the 70s and 80s, and more recently a stretch of nonstop rainy days — has actually been a good thing for course preparation.

“We’ve had some warm weather, we’ve had adequate rainfall, so I think that when it’s all said and done, the next two weeks look really good and I think we’re gonna be in a good spot,” Corcoran said.

The front nine at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. (Photo: Gabe Gudgel/Golfweek)

The rough has always been the primary defense for the East Course because there isn’t a lot of water or out of bounds areas. Sure, fast greens with subtle undulations are a challenge, but the pros putt on greens like that every week. They rarely see rough as long and thick as it will be at Oak Hill.

This is the third time Corcoran has had to prepare for a professional tournament in May, but this is the earliest. The 2008 and 2019 Senior PGA Championship events were held on Memorial Day weekend, but this PGA Championship is a week earlier, and we all know a week can mean a lot regarding Rochester weather.

Taking a look around the East Course last week, you can see that much of the foliage has already blossomed, and that will only continue this week and into next when the players arrive. And thanks to the rain that has fallen persistently but not in damaging deluges, coupled with the fertilization that is taking place, the acres and acres of grass look spectacular, green as it is…


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