The BWD Major Tournament Hole of the Day: The 13th at Baltusrol Golf Club (Lower Course), Home of the PGA Championship

Tournament: PGA Championship – Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, NJ
Hole: 13th – Par 4, 451 Yards
Architect(s): A. W. Tillinghast – 1918
Robert Trent Jones, Sr. (renovation) – 1948
Rees Jones (renovation) – 1992

Architectural Summary:

The 451 yard 13th at Baltusrol is considered one of A.W. Tillinghast’s most notable hole designs, the oblique. The oblique angle off the tee of the medium length par 4 requires a precise shot to the narrow landing area which is guarded by fairway bunkers left and a creek right. A left-to-right shot shape will be preferable as drives hit too straight will catch one of the three fairway bunkers down the left side of the hole from 290 – 365 yards. The tee shot must also negotiate the stream which crosses the fairway at 220 yards before running along the right side of the hole helping to frame and guard the inside of the dogleg. Longer players will often opt to hit less than driver off the tee in order to play to the widest portion of the fairway and avoid the fairway bunkers. However, laying back off the tee will leave a 170+ yard approach shot. Should competitors successfully navigate the tee shot, a mid to short iron approach will be left into the green. The green itself features two-tiers and measures 35 yards deep by 25 yards wide. Protected by bunkering on all sides, the green also contains significant mounding to the left and right further emphasizing finding the putting surface.

Statistical Analysis:

During the last PGA Championship in 2005, the hole played to a scoring average of 4.08 (1 Eagle, 45 Birdies, 203 Pars, 63 Bogeys, 2 Double Bogeys, and 2 “Others”).

Fun Facts:

  • Bobby Jones essentially lost the 1926 Amateur on the 13th after pushing his drive into the creek along the right side of the fairway. The hole is said to have left a lasting impression on Jones who used the par 4 hole as his design inspiration for the 13th at Augusta National.
  • During the 1992 renovation, Rees Jones brought the stream back into play on the 13th hole as well as the par 4 10th.