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Thursday
Aug102017

Oak Hill Prez: “We get a bad rap. It’s not like a British Open on the coast of Scotland.”

While we wind down the PGA in August with this week's event in Charlotte and next year's barnburner at Bellerive, thoughts turn to how weather will impact northern venues.

Golf World's Tim Rosaforte investigates and finds most northern venues pointing to their positives (No thunderstorms! Thick rough!), with Whistling Straits' Herb Kohler all but conceding he's hosted his last PGA Championship.

Besides the stellar quote from the Oak Hill club president Tim Thaney suggesting Rochester in May isn't nearly as bad weatherwise as a British Open in Scotland--unless it snows--there was this, uh, chilling Rosaforte reminder about Bethpage in May.

Bethpage experienced winterkill damage three years ago that caused the Black Course to remain closed until after Memorial Day. If that happens in 2019, it could create logistical and public-relations nightmares for the PGA. But given that was one of only two conditioning issues like that in the last 20 years, golf-course superintendent Andy Wilson doesn’t see the one-in-10 chance as a deal-breaker. “It’s up to Mother Nature more than anything else,” Wilson says. “If she wants to beat us, she’ll beat us and we’ll recover.”

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Reader Comments (20)

The grasses are a very real concern. Some years spring happens without a worry. Others, hell.
08.10.2017 | Unregistered CommenterFC
Wouldn't mind seeing how these guys handle 40-degree weather and messed-up turf like many of us have to endure in the early part of the season

CBS will have to dial-up the trackman numbers by another 5 or 10% to keep the Rory fans interested
08.10.2017 | Unregistered CommenterDave
Memorial day is the traditional start to summer in the Northeast. While most years, this will not be an issue, occasionally, you are going to get a real rough course and putting greens. Think: Chambers Bay.
08.10.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrad
Harding Park might be the coldest venue of all in May, but they should have good turf
08.10.2017 | Unregistered CommenterC
I don't understand American weather patterns. It's swamp-ass hot in July and August in places where you can't play tournament golf two months earlier? The European PGA has for ages been played in May in London, which is north of friggin' Calgary. OK, inland climate and all, but still.
08.10.2017 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
How is Bedminster in May, could it be an excuse to get out of Trump?
08.10.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJordan
BS. Nobody goes to Rochester in May. You get sent there.
08.10.2017 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
If you blink, you may miss spring in the Northeast. In the transition zone you go from hoping the turf will begin to pop to trying to keep it alive in the space of a few weeks
08.10.2017 | Unregistered CommenterRose
And Calgary doesn't have Gulf Stream effect.
08.10.2017 | Unregistered CommenterFC
In the US, you can either have terrible volatile weather (most of the country), terrible people around you (California and Florida), or both (Chicago and Maryland).
08.10.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGenuis
Last year the DIII National Championships in men's golf were in Rochester in May. You guessed it - frost delays. Once they got going it was beautiful, but definitely chilly in the early morn.
08.10.2017 | Unregistered CommenterRickABQ
Hazeltine is clearly out.
08.10.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTaffy
It's not like Bethpage was a dream location for either Open. Weather is weather. You can only wait and see.
08.10.2017 | Unregistered CommenterRinger
Courses with good weather in May:

- Spyglass Hill
- LACC
- Torrey Pines
08.10.2017 | Unregistered CommenterWest Coast
Let's hope with the move to May for the PGA that the PGA does not decide to make Valhalla a permanent home for the tournament as has been floated in a few places recently.

With the move of the PGA to late May what will this do to when the PGA Professional Championship is held?
08.10.2017 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
A "Game of Thrones" for Golf - simple solution - ALL Championships to be played on Links Courses - no exceptions - get the game back by remembering the traditions of the Game or is it Golf's Game of Thrones?
08.11.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom Morris
OWGR Fan - PGA Professional Championship is moving to an April date. Pete B. Mentioned this on his SiriusXM radio show.
08.11.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPABoy
@FC: Of course, I know. It's just hard for me as a North European to fully comprehend what a huge difference it is between summer and winter for the inland parts of North America! Here, we have a white Christmas about once every decade, but find a summer's day with temperatures over 30 degrees C (85 F) unbearable.
08.11.2017 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
@PABoy - Thanks for the info. That will certainly limit what parts of the country that could hold the PGA Professional event. Has to be a trade off somewhere.
08.11.2017 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
The best thing about moving the PGA tourney to May is that we won't have to watch another birdie/eagle-fest at Whistling Straits. Although the course is visually stunning, it's not a tough enough test for the best field of the year at one of the four majors. I think it would make a good venue for the Ryder Cup or the Prez Cup, or any match play tourney for that matter, but please keep the majors away. Sorry, Herb.
08.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterFiggster

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