PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WROC) — The PGA Championship returns to Rochester in just ten weeks. As such, construction that ceased in the fall commenced again as the PGA of America prepares for the golf world to descend upon Oak Hill Country Club.
Spring work officially began at the very end of February. The current focus is floor installation and building the tent structures that will make up the small city of viewing, support, concession and hospitality areas for the PGA Championship.
This is the first Championship that began construction in the fall and required a break for winter. The snow shovels were expected along with the construction shovels, but a warmer-than-usual winter in Rochester has put the overall project slightly ahead of schedule.
The growing number of vendors and supplies arriving at Oak Hill aren’t just building tents. They’re building a buzz.
“The excitement builds as we get more and more service providers that actually come on site,” 2023 PGA Championship Operations Manager Eric Nuxol said. “Each each day that passes, we start to get a few more and more. When the radios are active and things are happening, you really get that feeling like it’s here and it’s coming.”
The PGA of America has felt plenty comfortable sticking to its schedule for construction despite some record-setting mild weeks in February. A change at that point would have too many ripple effects to be much helpful anyway.
“We completed everything that we had planned,” said Nuxol of the fall construction. “There were only so many things that we wanted to take the risk of doing without having to go back and change. So everything that we did in the fall put us in the position where we are to be successful while still taking into account some of the poor potential weather days.”
As temperatures remain near freezing for the first parts of March, there are challenges unique to a build-out plan like this one. Namely, keeping workers safe.
“When there’s snow, when there’s ice, it’s just taking the time to make sure we’re getting (work done) safely,” Nuxol said. “Is it just some areas to clear out before we can continue building? We built in some of that time to account for this. And that’s why we did what we did in the fall.”
PGA Championship week begins on May 15th. Round one is May 18th.