PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester and Oak Hill will be the first PGA Championship site ever to begin venue construction in the fall.
Buildout for a PGA Championship is usually a three-month job, but the weather in western New York will likely be a hindrance to construction in February. Work has already begun on the East course and will continue through November, weather permitting.
The goal is to have the four feet of scaffolding in the ground along with temporary gravel areas before the snow falls. Work could continue in spring on top of already-in-place infrastructure that is still above the snow line.
“You see a lot of the tents that would ultimately be built six, eight, ten feet in the air,” said Bryan Karns, 2023 PGA Championship Director. “We need at least that first four feet in the ground because, even if there’s still three feet of snow on the ground, we can still go on top of it. Even if we start in March and we have really difficult weather, at least it’s above the snow so we can build on top of it.”
All of this is because the Championship was moved from August to May five years ago. There are lots of major championship venues in the northeast watching this plan intently.
“We want to make sure, moving forward, that we don’t have an issue with any of these northeast clubs,” said Karns. “You look at places like Hazeltine, Whistling Straits, venues that we’ve been to in the past that could have that same issue. It’s really important for us to solve this problem so we don’t run into this spot where we go, ‘Well, any place that we have to start building in February is now out of the rotation’.”
Tickets remain on sale for the three practice rounds and round one of the 2023 event next spring at Oak Hill. Many of those tickets come with a large amount of food and drink included. It changes the goals for the PGA of America.
“It’s not just, ‘Oh my gosh. We’ve got to hit this number of people’ (to attend),” said Karns. “I think we’ve turned our focus more on, for the people that do come out, let’s make this an unbelievable experience.”
Karns added that ticket prices for the 2023 major are much higher than previous years.
“What we’re able to deliver with this concession program, what we’re able to deliver with that is going to exceed expectations,” said Karns.
If you would like to purchase tickets to the 2023 PGA Championship, you can find them at pgachampionship.com.