How Can I Play Oak Hill Country Club?

The Rochester, New York club has a long history and impressive reputation, but how easy is it to play a round there?

The 18th green at Oak Hill Country Club
Oak Hill Country Club hosts the PGA Championship for the fourth time
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Oak Hill Country Club, located in a suburb of southeast Rochester, New York, is one of the most storied in the US.

The club was established in 1901 as an unassuming nine-hole course with a humble converted farmhouse for a clubhouse. So, how did it grow from those origins to one of the most iconic in the country, fit for the 2023 PGA Championship?

The first thing it needed to do was relocate. Twenty years after it emerged, the club had doubled in size, so the need to find a new location was becoming increasingly pressing. There was reluctance to do so from the membership, but, eventually, the club agreed to a land swap with the University of Rochester. That saw it move to a 355-acre plot, where it is housed today. 

There are two courses the club, the East and West course, and each was originally designed by Donald Ross. The East Course is the most famous of the two and has seen several redesigns through the years, most recently by Andrew Green in 2019. Green restored the course to something approaching Ross’ design leaving narrow fairways and plenty of elevation changes. Players will also encounter doglegs and a creek, which appears at various points.

The course’s signature hole is the par 5 13th, which plays uphill towards a bowled green. To the right is the famous Hill of Fame, marked by a flagpole and where greats of the game are honoured with trees.

The 13th hole at Oak Hill Country Club

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Visitors are greeted by a mock Tudor clubhouse that’s steeped in history, including its Wall of Champions, which features plaques of every player who has won a championship there. On it are greats, including Lee Trevino for his 1968 US Open win and Jack Nicklaus for his win at the course in the 1980 PGA Championship.

The clubhouse at Oak Hill Country Club

The iconic clubhouse at Oak Hill Country Club

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Unsurprisingly, given its reputation and history, Oak Hill Country Club is private and you’ll need a referral from either three senior members or two senior members and a junior member to have a chance of joining.

There are various membership packages with the initiation fee based on the applicant's age. Initiation fees are reportedly between $78,000 and $100,000. In addition, annual dues reportedly range from $10,000 to $27,000.

Is Rory McIlroy A Member Of Oak Hill Country Club?

Rory McIlroy is a member of Oak Hill Country Club, thanks largely to his wife Erica Stoll's connection to the area. Stoll is a Rochester native and McIlroy has declared the city "feels like almost like a second home."

Rory and Erica married in Ireland in April 2017 and McIlroy has since has a connection with Rochester and Oak Hill Country Club.

On his appearance at the club for the 2023 PGA Championship, McIlroy said: "I'm looking forward to it. I think Andrew Green's done a really good job. I think the renovation has hopefully restored the East Course back to its former glory, I would say. I'm just hoping for a good weather week. I think that's what everyone's hoping for up there in May.

"But excited to go back to Oak Hill. From the last time I was there or we were all there my connection to Rochester's got a lot stronger. So I'm excited to go and play a Major championship in what feels like almost like a second home to me."

How Many Majors Has Oak Hill Hosted?

Overall, the club hosted six Majors before the 2023 PGA Championship. As well as the tournaments won by Trevino and Nicklaus, it also hosted the US Open in 1956 and 1989 and the PGA Championship in 2003 and 2013. Away from Majors, it was also the location for the 1995 Ryder Cup, where Team Europe stunned the US to win by 14.5 to 13.5 points. 

Below is a list of the Majors it has hosted, up to and including 2023.

  • 1956 - US Open
  • 1968 - US Open
  • 1980 - PGA Championship
  • 1989 - US Open
  • 2003 - PGA Championship
  • 2013 - PGA Championship
  • 2023 - PGA Championship

Oak Hill Country Club Location

Who Designed Oak Hill?

Originally, both the East and West courses at Oak Hill Country Club were designed by Donald Ross. The East Course is the most famous, and it has seen a number of redesigns through the years, including from Robert Trent Jones Sr, Tom Fazio and, most recently, Andrew Green.

When Has Oak Hill Country Club Hosted The PGA Championship?

This will mark the fourth time Oak Hill Country Club has hosted three PGA Championship. The first time was in 1980 when Jack Nicklaus won by seven shots. It next hosted the tournament in 2003 when Shaun Micheel edged out Chad Campbell by two shots, and again in 2013 when Jason Dufner finished ahead of Jim Furyk. 

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.