FRISCO, Texas — The PGA of America welcomed the golf world into its new home as Fields Ranch East Course at PGA Frisco plays host to the 83rd KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.
While the state-of-the-art office space that serves as the new home of the PGA of America has been occupied since 2022, the Senior PGA serves as the christening of the Fields Ranch East course, a Gil Hanse design that has impressed plenty of pros as they have tried to meander their way through his strategic bunkering and subtle but taxing green complexes.
While Fields Ranch isn’t an easy test, two aces were recorded in the first-ever tournament round at the course.
Yet another PGA Professional made history in Thursday’s opening round as Dave McNabb lays claim to the first hole-in-one at Fields Ranch. Similar to Michael Block’s iconic shot at Oak Hill, McNabb never saw it go in the hole.
“I saw one bounce and I sort of picked my tee up,” McNabb told pool reporters. “My caddie, Donny (Wessner), says, ‘It went in!’ Good stuff.”
While McNabb’s ace on the 165-yard 8th will forever be known as the first in course history, former Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin made an ace of his own on No. 4.
Out of his 15 career aces, the one at Fields Ranch ranks up there with the 1 he had at No. 16 in the 1992 Masters. Coincidentally, Pavin’s playing partner, Kenny Perry, was witness to both.
“Kenny is my good luck charm apparently,” Pavin chuckled.
Aside from the two aces, plenty of red numbers dot the leaderboard.
As a second shot golf course, Fields Ranch plays into the hands of ball strikers. As one of the best ball strikers on the PGA Tour Champions, Padraig Harrington carded a bogey-free 8-under 64 to pace the field.
A key part to scoring at Fields Ranch? The wind.
“Because every hole nearly has a hazard down one side of it, the wind direct has a big effect on this course, it really, really does,” Harrington said.
“In some ways the reason it was an easy 64 is because when you’re playing with somebody like Rocco there’s always a bit of chat and there’s always a bit of fun going on, so you’re quite relaxed. And that really does make a difference to how you feel about your shots and things like that. So it’s something as professionals we always need to keep reminding ourselves.”
Rocco Mediate shared the same sentiment.
“Going around here in the pro-am you’re not seeing low, you don’t see ’em because then — but then when the things change,…
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