Course preps for Senior PGA begin

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The 79th Senior PGA Championship ended on Sunday. 

On Tuesday, Kerry Haigh was in Rochester getting ready for the 80th edition of the championship. 

Oak Hill Country Club will host the oldest major in senior golf next May. Haigh is the PGA of America’s chief championships officer and in charge of course setup. Wednesday morning, he toured Oak Hill with superintendent Jeff Corcoran to begin preparing the course for it’s next major stage. 

The agronomic plan for next spring was a big topic of discussion. Haigh said it will be different than the year in, year out play at Oak Hill, but he and Corcoran should be fairly familiar with the conversation. Both have worked together in their current roles since the 2003 PGA Championship. 

“We know what we need to do to make the appropriate changes,” Haigh said. 

The last Senior PGA at Oak Hill was won by Jay Haas in 2008. The winning score was 7-over, which is 13 shots higher than any other Senior PGA champion since. 

Haigh thinks even par or better can win next year at Oak Hill, but he noted that Oak Hill is simply a hard course. 

He’s not going to make it easy. 

“The main thing is to set it up so the best senior players in the world can showcase their skills,” Haigh said. “I think everyone likes to see some birdies and see good scores. Certainly wouldn’t be upset if there are more birdies, but the golf course gives what it gives. We’re not going to significantly change the golf course to make the scores very low.”

Tickets for the Senior PGA Championship went on sale to the general public on Tuesday. Championship Director Bryan Karns said he’s happy with where the event is in terms of ticket and corporate sales. 

“Relative to other venues we’ve been to, (Oak Hill) sets the bar,” Karns said. “2008 was historically one of the best years for us and I think if things continue to trend where they are, we’ll break those records and put this one as the best KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship we’ve ever had.”

You can find a link to purchase tickets for the 2019 Senior PGA Championship here.
 

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