Why is the seventh fairway at Oak Hill out of bounds during the 2023 PGA Championship?
PGA Championship

Why is the seventh fairway at Oak Hill out of bounds during the 2023 PGA Championship?

A sign at Oak Hill Country Club ROCHESTER, NEW YORK - MAY 16: Signage is seen near the sixth hole during a practice round prior to the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club on May 16, 2023 in Rochester, New York. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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At the 2023 PGA Championship, there is internal out of bounds at Oak Hill Country Club. That's exceptionally rare, particularly in major championship golf, meaning that part of the golf course that is in use for the tournament is considered out of bounds.

However, the kicker here is that part of the golf course that is considered out of bounds is only considered out of bounds for players competing on a specific hole.

As the PGA of America has posted with signs on the East Course at Oak Hill, the seventh fairway of the course is considered out of bounds only for players competing on the sixth hole. You have probably seen the signs on social media and are wondering why this is the case this week.

A map of Oak Hill Country Club

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If you look at a course map of Oak Hill's East Course, you'll see that the sixth and seventh holes run alongside each other. They, in fact, run in opposite, parallel directions. For a clever player, they might realize that it's an easier angle to hit their approach to the sixth green by playing down the fairway of the seventh hole, depending on the hole location for that round. The PGA of America does not want players to take this line off the tee, though, because it's not how the hole was designed to be played and could pose a safety issue to the 156-player field competing this week.

So, in response, they created internal out of bounds on the seventh fairway for players competing on the sixth hole. That does mean that rough shared by the sixth and seventh holes is not considered out of bounds for sixth-hole players.

The penalty for hitting the seventh fairway from the sixth tee is a stroke-and-distance penalty, which is the same penalty for hitting the ball out of bounds at any golf course. This means a player will have to add one shot to their score and hit another shot from the same place they struck their last shot (or from the teeing ground if on a tee shot).

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