Even though the PGA Championship is just over six months away, the heavy stuff is going in at Oak Hill.

Over the next few weeks, the plan is to insert 4100 stakes into the ground and construct nearly 200,000 square feet of scaffolding in preparation for next May’s major golf event.

Five thousand square feet of that will become the giant merchandise tent on what is normally the member driving range. As of Monday, that range began the transformation into a giant field of interlocking pipes. Areas near the 6th and 18th holes that will becoming primary corporate viewing are also receiving lots of work.

It’s the first time ever the PGA of America is building out for a championship in the fall. The plan is to stop before Thanksgiving and have scaffolding high enough to re-start work in February above the snow line.

The unusually warm weather has kept things on schedule, but championship officials are prepared to work until early December, if necessary.

“We baked in quite a few poor weather days. If we come down to it, we’ve come up with a plan if we had to bring in more guys because they’ve been sitting for a week or whatever it might be,” 2023 PGA Championship Operations Manager Eric Nuxol said. “We’ve allocated time to account for that, knowing that this is the first time snow will become this much of a factor. That’s why we’re making these pivotal preparations right now.”

The need to build around the snowy months on the calendar was precipitated by the PGA Championship move from August to May. Typical buildout for the event is about three months. That would mean a mid-February start when Rochester is often at its snowiest and coldest. It’s not a smart plan.

Although work could continue around that time, it will happen with the foundation literally already being laid. There will be less pressure and more margin for error to finish on time.

PGA of America officials in Rochester are excited to chart this new path to making a major.

“To get a head start on this is always fun. We’ve got vendors on site that we don’t normally see until March and February. Now I get to see them here in November,” Nuxol said. “It’s a fun time. It’s cool to see things go up. Build the excitement early. Take a quick break and them jump right back into it.”

The line always heard around a PGA of America office is that Championship week will be here sooner than you’d think. It’s always better to start getting ready early.