PITTSFORD, NY (WROC) — It takes months to get Oak Hill ready for one week of a major championship and this year, the PGA of America is almost getting ready for two.
More than a year ago, the PGA set March 25 as the date they hoped to begin construction for the 2019 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. They hit it right on the nose.
“With kind of the crazy year we have coming up, with the PGA Championship the week before, I think being as far ahead of schedule as possible is really working in our favor,” explains Bryan Karns, Senior PGA Championship director.
The eight-week job is massive, creating 800 temporary jobs, but it helps that this is the fourth PGA of America event in Rochester since 2003.
“We look back at surveys that we send out after ’13 and after ’08,” said Karns. “What people liked and where we felt pinch points on the golf course. We’re always trying to improve that.”
Championship General Chairman Kevin Horey adds, “All of those things, we use them and we refine them and we continue to really do well with them.”
The chief concern over the next month is that the ground underneath these workers remains green and not a snowy white.
“We try to be as careful as we can getting from point A to point B on the golf course,” says Karns. “When it’s wet and super muddy, that can pose some challenges. We want to make sure the golf course stays in the immaculate shape that it’s in.”
The PGA Championship requires two and a half times the infrastructure as a Senior PGA and over three months of buildout. So, when that championship comes to Rochester in 2023, construction will be tricky. This year isn’t just about building a championship, it’s about building a roadmap.
“That’s pretty significant,” Horey tells us. “I think the PGA is thrilled that they’re coming to Rochester with our history and our ability to hold a major. It will certainly be a great learning curve for 2023.”
Karns concludes, “You take notes and you look at what can be done. That’s where we have those conversations with our vendors. ‘Are there things we can put in in October or November before the ground freezes, before the snow starts to fall that will make it easier to build come March and April of 2023.”
And the run up to May of 2023 will be just as flawless as this year.