An internal out of bounds has been put in place for this year’s PGA Championship at Oak Hill and it’s safe to say it’s not gone down well with fans.
Its use in golf tournaments always tends to split opinion and it’s no different in the run-up to the second men’s Major of 2023. Specifically, anyone who ends up on the seventh fairway at this year’s championship when playing the sixth hole of Oak Hill’s East Course in Rochester, New York, intentionally or not, will be deemed to be out of bounds.
James Ridyard, a golf coach and short game specialist, posted the sign put in place by the PGA Championship Rules Committee, with a caption comparing it to the radical course set-ups typically seen at US Opens. Naturally, it raised the eyebrows of more than a few interested parties.
First, the wording was called into question, as it seems to suggest that it’s acceptable to end up in the rough on the seventh, even if that means a ball has travelled over the fairway to get there.
Matt Lockey, a PGA pro based in the UK, replied: “That’s not real golf,” while others were harsher with their criticisms.
“How are you out of bounds if you’re literally on the course?” one Twitter user mused. Some called into question if the picture was real but the majority of people opined that the course design must be inadequate to have such a rule in place.
“If this needs to be done then the overall design of the course probably needs a re-think,” someone commented.
Another wrote: “I strongly disagree with in course designated OB. Players should be able to play a hole however they want within the perimeter of the golf course, in my opinion.”
One user did, however, offer an explanation for its implementation this week, saying: “[It] would make second shot a lot easier, and takes bunker & water out of play, this is before the tree removal too.”
would make second shot a lot easier, and takes bunker & water out of play, this is before the tree removal too pic.twitter.com/TG1XhBVh4mMay 15, 2023
Internal OB has been seen before at Majors. The first hole at the 2019 Open at Royal Portrush springs to mind, which had out of bounds posts up the left and right-hand side of the par-4 opener. It famously caught home favourite Rory McIlroy out, leading the Northern Irishman to card a quadruple-bogey eight en route to a disappointing missed cut.
It’s highly unlikely anyone will fall as foul to the internal OB at the 2023 PGA Championship, but you never know…
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