The 2024 PGA Championship was the easiest ever. Top teacher explains why

The 2024 PGA Championship produced the lowest combined scores ever, and GOLF Teacher to Watch TJ Yeaton explains some reasons why

The 2024 PGA Championship produced the lowest combined scores ever, and GOLF Teacher to Watch TJ Yeaton explains why.

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This year’s PGA Championship has come and gone, but, wow, it sure was dramatic.

Not only did the second major of the season live up to its hype on the course — ultimately leading to Xander Schauffele capturing his first-ever major title — but the tournament got all sorts of attention off it, too, with World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler having a wild situation with the local police near Valhalla on Friday morning.

Another thing that fans will remember about the 2024 PGA Championship? Just how easy it played.

According to The Athletic’s Justin Ray, this year’s PGA Championship produced the lowest total combined score ever in the history of the tournament — and it wasn’t even close, with players shooting 184 shots better than the runner-up (Riviera, 1995).

So why were scores so much lower at Valhalla this year than anywhere before? I tapped GOLF Teacher to Watch TJ Yeaton to provide some reasons, so take a look below at what he observed.

3 reasons why the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla played as the easiest in history

Many golf fans often play the guessing game early in the week of a major tournament, trying to predict who might win and what the lowest score might be. And if this sounds like you from a week ago, I’d bet you didn’t think scores would be this low!

Let’s quickly rewind to last Monday, just three days before the first round started at Valhalla.

The Wanamaker Trophy on Quail Hollow No. 17.
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There was a healthy breeze, firmer conditions and the course was playing extremely long, just primed to play fast and test the skills of the best golfers in the world. It was hard to imagine anyone coming close to reaching 20 under.

So, what happened?

First the rains came, which softened up the course and made some of the longer par-3s and par-4s become more receptive to longer approach shots. Early in the tournament, many players were hitting fairway woods on tricky holes like Nos. 14, 16, and 17 into the wind, giving them better opportunities to score lower.

Another major factor was the switch to Zoysia from the bent grass that had previously been used at Valhalla during the 2014 PGA Championship (better for the August to May switch). Outside of a few mishits, most players saw their ball almost teed up in the fairway. When you pair that with the soft conditions and the ability these guys have to control their spin, it made for the perfect combination of lower-than-normal scores.

Finally, the incredible conditions of the greens made putting nearly flawless — so kudos to John Ballard and his team for getting the course together and maintaining it all week long. If a guy happened to miss a makable putt, it sure as hell wasn’t due to any imperfections in the greens, which often happens at other tournaments.

Overall, the 2024 PGA Championship produced the lowest scores ever due to some of the factors mentioned above — but also because guys like Schauffele know how to navigate such conditions.

To have the ability to shoot 21 under is a testament to his skills, and, despite Valhalla being a fantastic major venue that would test any golfer, the course wasn’t able to hold down the best golfers in the world as it was originally designed to do.

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