The freeze warning issued by the National Weather Service in Buffalo for the upper regions of New York on Thursday morning read like this:

“IMPACTS … Frost and freeze conditions will kill crops, other sensitive vegetation and possibly damage unprotected outdoor plumbing.

It isn’t all that great for major championship golf tournaments either. The 105th PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club outside of Rochester is supposed to have the first golf balls in the air at 7 a.m. local time (US Eastern) on Thursday (Thursday 9pm Australian eastern), but according to the NWS forecast, the temperature then is supposed to be 37 degrees (3C).

Given that the low of 2C will be reached at only an hour before the first tee times, it seems highly likely that there will be frost on the ground and that the start of the tournament will be delayed. Ice-covered grass does not take well to foot traffic, and superintendents will tell you there’s really no way to hasten the process. Thankfully, there is expected to be plenty of sunshine to help.

How long the potential delay lasts will determine what the domino effect is like for the rest of the week, though it would seem an hour or two could be made up without big distress. But in what appears to be weather roulette this week in Rochester, there is also a high chance of rain in the forecast for Saturday’s third round. And the high temperatures predicted for each day: 68 on Thursday, 78 on Friday, 63 on Saturday and 73 on Sunday. Mother Nature can’t make up her mind.

Beanies and insulated vests have been in vogue this week during practice rounds, and Golf Digest social media maven Jamie Kennedy put together this clever gathering of the “Beanie Bunch”:

Of course, this is exactly what we could expect (and fear) for a PGA Championship being played in the Northeast in May. “May is a transitional month, between late spring and early summer,” meteorologist Dan Kelly of the National Weather Service in Buffalo told the Democrat & Chronicle of Rochester.

It could be worse. The newspaper noted that Rochester got 10 inches of snow around Mother’s Day in 1989.

Frigid temps were never an issue, of course, when the PGA was contested in August, where it instead faced sweltering conditions at venues in Kentucky, New Jersey and Missouri. But that changed beginning in 2019, when the PGA of America moved the event to May to better balance the schedule.

That’s gone fairly well so far. Bethpage Black on New York’s Long Island hosted in 2019, had cold temperatures early on in the week, but then warmed up. San Francisco’s Harding Park was typically cool and damp in 2020 (although due to Covid-19 that was moved to August) and Kiawah Island was windy in ’21. Last year, May was a welcome date for Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which has hosted summer majors that were among the sweatiest anywhere.

The issue of potential cold-weather problems did come up during the PGA leadership’s press conference on Tuesday.

PGA CEO Seth Waugh nodded toward a sunny day during the practice round and said, “The course is perfect. As Kerry [Haigh] said, it’s an outdoor sport, and we’re obviously going to go back after this championship—we haven’t hit a ball yet—see how it all plays out and then come back and think about it for ourselves and see what the club wants to do and other clubs.

“We think,” added Waugh, “we’ve added more courses than we’ve taken away by moving to May.”

Haigh, who is in charge of how the golf courses are set up, said the PGA has been “delighted” by the calendar change. “The golf course conditioning has been probably better in May than August, dealing with the stress, the heat, and although it becomes sort of a tight window right before the third week in May, we are delighted with what we’ve seen at all of those venues,” he said.

As for the future scheduled PGA sites, there are six on the books and two are in the Northeast: Aronomink in Pennsylvania in 2026 and Baltusrol in New Jersey in ’29. Next year’s PGA is at Valhalla in Louisville.

TV times for Australian views

Fox Sports and Kayo Sports

First Round
Thursday: 10:30pm – 9am, Fox Sports 503 & Kayo
Thursday: 10:30pm – 4am (Featured Holes), Fox Sports 505 & Kayo

Second Round
Friday: 10:30pm – 9am, Fox Sports 503 & Kayo
Friday: 10:30pm – 4am (Featured Holes), Fox Sports 505, Kayo

Third Round
Saturday: 11pm – 9am, Fox Sports 503 & Kayo

Final Round
Sunday: 11pm – 9am, Fox Sports 503 & Kayo

Additional Coverage
Fox 503 will be dedicated to PGA Championship coverage all week. Showing re-runs from previous tournaments, including Jason Day’s 2015 triumph.

Live from the PGA Championship
Wednesday: 9am – 11am, Fox Sports 503 & Kayo
Thursday: 9am – 11am, Fox Sports 503 & Kayo
Friday: 9am – 11am, Fox Sports 503 & Kayo
Saturday: 9am – 11am, Fox Sports 503 & Kayo
Sunday: 9am – 11am, Fox Sports 503 & Kayo