Baltusrol - The three key holes at this week’s PGA championship
US PGA Championship takes place at Baltusrol Golf Club, in Springfield, New Jersey
Philip Reid looks at the three key holes at the week’s PGA Championship. Photograph: Inpho
4th 196 yards Par 3
The pond stretches all the way to the front of the green, so the player’s shot is do or die. As Jack Nicklaus said, “You know where the hazard ends and the green starts”. This famous hole was the scene of one of golf’s most memorable vindications when Robert Trent Jones was criticised for design changes in 1952 that made the hole too difficult. In response, he took a group of critics to his new tee to play the hole. After knocking in a four-iron for an ace, Jones remarked: “Gentlemen, as you can see, the hole is eminently fair”.
13th 451 yards Par 4
One of AW Tillinghast’s greatest hole designs, this hole runs on a diagonal from left to right, with a cluster of bunkers guarding the left side of the fairway and a creek crossing the fairway and running up the right side. This oblique angle will require a precisely shaped tee shot to a narrow landing area. Once the tee shot has been negotiated, the approach to the green is short and fairly routine. Bobby Jones’ upset loss in the 1926 US Amateur was cemented on this hole when he found the creek off the tee; the design became his inspiration for No 13 at Augusta National.
17th 649 yards Par 5
One of the longest and most famous par fives in championship golf, the 17th hole sets up the unusual back-to-back par five finish at Baltusrol. A long, accurate drive is necessary to be able to carry the cross bunkers on the second shot. A pot bunker lurks out of sight on the left side 100 yards out from the green; players willing to challenge this bunker will be rewarded with an open view to the green for their third shot. Otherwise, the shot faced into this green will be uphill and completely blind. The longest of hitters will have a go at this green in two.