Learn the signature holes at Valhalla Golf Club before 2024 PGA Championship

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Details of some of the key holes at the 2024 PGA Championship venue; Valhalla Golf Club
Posted on
April 21, 2024
Andy Newmarch in ,
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

With The Masters in the rear-view mirror for golf fans, it’s time to start thinking about the next major, which is the PGA Championship in May. The site of the tournament is Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville. The last time it hosted the PGA Championship was 2014, so not all golf fans may be familiar with it. But let’s start to change that.

Valhalla, designed by Jack Nicklaus, is a stunning 486-acre property that features rolling terrain, water features, and a perimeter of trees. Its front nine offers more openness compared to the tree-lined back nine. There is a series of gentle and pleasant elevation changes across the course. With over 60 bunkers strategically placed and water in play on several holes, the course provides plenty of challenges as well as risk-reward opportunities.

This will make it a difficult course, even for the pros, which should lead to a compelling PGA Championship. Just like The Masters, look for plenty of bets to be placed during the tournament. If you want to join the action, consider using betting sites that accept PayPal. Using PayPal is usually the fastest way to deposit and withdraw money on betting platforms.

It’s still golf as we know it

In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the specific holes that golfers will want to focus on during the PGA Championship in May.

No. 3 - 210 Yards (Par 3)

When golfers arrive at the third hole, they might take notice of a tranquil setting that sits at a corner of the property with a forest of trees along the right side and behind the hole. Floyd's Fork flows through the hole past the front tee box, influencing tee shots that veer right or miss the bunkers and roll down the slope towards the water. The combination of its appealing environment, strategic bunkering, and lush tree-lined surroundings marks this as Valhalla's premier one-shot hole.

No. 4 - 375 Yards (Par 4)

When Valhalla hosted the Ryder Cup in 2008, the American team had several strong hitters who saw this particular hole as a potential game-changer. Taking the left corner of the hole shortens the distance significantly and creates opportunities to aim for the green with a well-placed tee shot. Even players opting for a more conservative approach off the tee will likely find themselves with a wedge in hand for a precise approach to the pin. In a challenging course like Valhalla, seizing the opportunity presented by this hole is key.

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37th Ryder Cup – USA v Europe – Day Three – Valhalla Golf Club. (Nick Potts/PA)

No. 6 - 495 Yards (Par 4)

Following the 2006 renovation at Valhalla, this hole emerged as one of the most challenging par fours on the course. The green was relocated nearly 80 yards back, requiring an approach shot over water to a green area nestled amidst trees on terrain that slopes back toward the hazard. A precise tee shot is essential to have a realistic chance at reaching the green; shots to the right are obstructed by trees while those veering too far left contend with thick grass that make the approach difficult.

No. 7 - 600 Yards (Par 5)

Valhalla's standout hole on the front nine surpasses even the picturesque 18th as the premier par five on the course. While the 18th has seen its share of dramatic moments during the PGA Championship, the 7th hole takes the crown for its range of strategic options. This lengthy hole offers two distinct fairways: a narrower island fairway on the left and a wider, safer fairway on the right. Opting for the water-surrounded fairway on the left shaves off 50 yards from the hole but demands precise approach shots. On the other hand, the right fairway reduces the likelihood of reaching the green in two shots but doesn't rule it out entirely. There is no right or wrong choice, but there is a tough decision to be made on such a long hole.

No. 12 - 470 Yards (Par 4)

The 12th hole presents a relentless challenge as a par four, testing players from tee to green. The green remains hidden from view at the box, requiring an opening shot to navigate between trees and set up a formidable approach. Positioned on an elevated hillside, the green is nestled amidst trees, flanked by a deep sand bunker on the right and dense, sloping rough on the left. Even in a course that’s filled with challenging areas, hole no. 12 stands out.

No. 13 - 355 Yards (Par 4)

Arguably Valhalla's most infamous hole is found in the middle of the back nine. It earns its distinction from the island green supported by a rock wall and encircled by water. Stretching just 355 yards from the back tee box, this dogleg left presents golfers with a break from using the driver and sets up a relatively short approach shot. During the 2008 Ryder Cup, a shorter tee box was used to tempt the pros into driving the green. However, players opted for the safer approach, considering that hitting a driver 300 yards with enough backspin to land on an island green is a daunting task even for the most skilled golfers. That is just one of the reasons to PGA keeps returning to Valhalla for big events.

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About Andy Newmarch

Being one of the original owners of the ‘Top 100 Golf Courses’ website enabled Andy to travel far and wide playing and rating courses, with the numbers somewhere around 1200 courses in 40 countries. Although now away from the day-to-day grind of course ranking, having a keen eye on course developments is still high on the agenda. Currently hanging on to a handicap index of 9.9 he is probably as competitive on the course than ever but more often than not will compliment this by relaxing at the 19th hole to make up for the hard work!

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