Oakmont Country Club: Wikis

  
  

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Oakmont Country Club
Oakmont Country Club
Club information
Location Oakmont, Pennsylvania
Established 1903
Type Private
Total holes 18
Website Oakmont
Designed by Henry Fownes
Par 71 (70 for majors)
Length 7255
Course rating 77.5
Course Record 63 Johnny Miller
Oakmont Country Club
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
U.S. National Historic Landmark
Oakmont Country Club is located in Pennsylvania
Nearest city: Oakmont, Pennsylvania
Coordinates: 40°31′32.73″N 79°49′36.35″W / 40.5257583°N 79.8267639°W / 40.5257583; -79.8267639Coordinates: 40°31′32.73″N 79°49′36.35″W / 40.5257583°N 79.8267639°W / 40.5257583; -79.8267639
Built/Founded: 1903
Architect: Fownes, Henry C.; Stotz, Edward
Architectural style(s): Tudor Revival
Governing body: Private
Added to NRHP: August 17, 1984
Designated NHL: June 30 1987[2]
NRHP Reference#: 84003090[1]

Oakmont Country Club is a prestigious "top five" country club and the "oldest top-ranked golf course in the U. S".[2] It is located in the Pittsburgh suburbs of Plum and Oakmont, Pennsylvania, USA. The club straddles the scenic Allegheny River Valley though uniquely has virtually no water hazards, and now virtually no trees. Some 4000 trees were removed during a recent renovation, but the course has some 200 bunkers and severely undulated greens which greatly contribute to its reputation as one of the most challenging courses in the world. Besides being ranked annually in the top 5 of every course list since the 1960s, it was the first golf course to earn merit as a National Historic Landmark in 1987.[3] It hosted its eighth U.S. Open in 2007, the most of any course. It will also be the site for the 2016 U.S. Open. The Pennsylvania Turnpike separates the eastern seven holes (2–8) from the rest of the course.

Contents

Rankings

The course has been consistently ranked as one of the five best by Golf Digest 100 Greatest Golf Courses in America. In 2007 Oakmont was placed in 5th by the magazine.[4] It is one of only a few courses ranked every year in the top ten of the publication's history. The top 50 toughest courses ranks Oakmont also at #5,[5] while GolfLink.com ranks it at #3 overall.[6]

Major championships held at Oakmont

Oakmont has been selected as host of the U.S. Open nine times (more than any other course)[1], and will host the tournament again in 2016. It has also played host to three PGA Championships, five U.S. Amateurs, and the U.S. Women's Open once, and will host it again in 2010.

Year Major Winner
2016 U.S. Open
2010 U.S. Women's Open
2007 U.S. Open Ángel Cabrera
2003 U.S. Amateur Nick Flanagan
1994 U.S. Open Ernie Els
1992 U.S. Women's Open Patty Sheehan
1983 U.S. Open Larry Nelson
1978 PGA Championship John Mahaffey
1973 U.S. Open Johnny Miller
1969 U.S. Amateur Steve Melnyk
1962 U.S. Open Jack Nicklaus
1953 U.S. Open Ben Hogan
1951 PGA Championship Sam Snead
1938 U.S. Amateur Willie Turnesa
1935 U.S. Open Sam Parks, Jr.
1927 U.S. Open Tommy Armour
1925 U.S. Amateur Bobby Jones
1922 PGA Championship Gene Sarazen
1919 U.S. Amateur S. Davidson Herron

Oakmont's course

This course, the only course designed by Henry Fownes (pronounced as "Phones"), was opened in 1903 and is generally regarded in the golf community as one of the most difficult in the United States. Its USGA course rating of 77.5 is among the highest in the country. It features large, extremely fast, and smooth greens that tilt and undulate in unique ways. All the greens are original except for the 8th which was moved several yards to the left to make way for the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the late 1940s. This course originally has a links layout, but trees were added in the 1950s-1960s, and removed again after the 1994 U.S. Open. The grass on the greens is Poa annua.[7] Par for the members is 71. For the 2007 U.S. Open it plays to a par of 70 with number 9 playing as a long par 4 instead of a par 5 as it does for member play.

Tilt

In addition to the one-of-a-kind greens surface that Oakmont boasts, the undulating tilt and slope of the course adds a whole other dynamic to a round. Most noted on holes 1, 3, 10 and 12, Oakmont's greens pitch away from the fairway.[8]

The Church Pews

One of Oakmont's most famous hazards is the Church Pews bunker, a large bunker that measures about 100 yards long and almost 40 yards wide with twelve grass covered ridges running across it. It comes into play on the 3rd and 4th holes. A smaller version comes into play along the left side of the 15th hole.

For many years the bunkers on the course were groomed with a special kind of rake with wider tines, creating deep furrows into which a ball might roll. The rakes were last used in U.S. Open competition in 1962 and eliminated from the club in 1964.[9]

Oakmont scorecard

Oakmont
Tee Rating/Slope 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 OUT 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 IN TOTAL
Green 77.5 / 147 482 340 428 609 382 194 479 288 477 3679 462 379 667 183 358 499 231 313 484 3576 7255
Blue 74 / 134 441 325 390 512 349 168 370 225 462 3242 440 328 562 153 340 434 211 296 430 3194 6436
White 72.4 / 130 423 317 378 504 347 152 357 209 459 3146 436 307 550 139 332 428 189 276 420 3077 6223
Red 75.6 / 136 418 309 339 467 275 143 274 185 431 2841 431 271 466 129 327 421 135 259 412 2851 5629
Par Men's 4 4 4 5 4 3 4 3 5 36 4 4 5 3 4 4 3 4 4 35 71
Handicap Men's 1 5 3 15 11 9 13 7 17 2 12 8 14 18 6 10 16 4
Par Women's 5 4 4 5 4 3 4 3 5 37 5 4 5 3 4 5 3 4 5 38 75
Handicap Women's 7 13 5 1 11 17 9 15 3 4 10 2 16 12 6 18 14 8

A hole-by-hole course map from GOLF magazine (June 2007) can be viewed here [2] Flyovers of the holes can be seen here [3]

U.S. Open Championships at Oakmont

Photo galleries of the U.S. Opens at Oakmont from the USGA's official site can be seen here [4]

1927

Won by Tommy Armour, who defeated Harry Cooper in a playoff. Their 72 hole score was 13 over par. The par 72 course played to 6929 yards in 1927. [5] The average score for the field was 78.6 (+ 6.6) and the field recorded just 2 rounds under par. The total purse of prize money was $800.[6]

1935

Won by Sam Parks, Jr. at 11 strokes over par. The par 72 course played to 6981 yards in 1935 and the average score for the field was 80.55 (+ 8.55) and the field recorded 3 rounds under par. The total purse of prize money was $5,000.

1953

Ben Hogan won his second of three straight majors in 1953 at Oakmont by six strokes, coming in at five under par. Questionable scheduling conflicts made it difficult to play all four majors that year, as the PGA Championship, then a match-play event, and the British Open overlapped in early July. Hogan won The Masters by five strokes and the British Open at Carnoustie by four strokes. The par 72 course played at 6916 yards in 1953 and the average score for the field was 77.12 (+ 5.12) and the field recorded 20 rounds under par. The purse was $14,900 and the champion earned $5,000.

1962

At the 1962 U.S. Open, an up-and-coming 22-year-old named Jack Nicklaus defeated the world's top player at the time, Arnold Palmer, in a Monday playoff round in Palmer's home state. Both competitors had completed the 72 holes with at 1-under par (283). Nicklaus and Palmer played in the same group for all five rounds. It was the first professional victory for Nicklaus, and the first of his 18 professional majors. Palmer would win the next major, the 1962 British Open, and his fourth Masters in 1964, but never another U.S. Open. In 1962 par was reduced by a stroke to 71 course length slightly reduced to 6893 yards; the average score for the field was 75.86 (+ 4.86) and the field recorded 19 rounds under par. The purse was $81,600 and the champion earned $17,500.

1973

Johnny Miller shot a final round 63 (-8) to set a record low score at a U.S. Open, and finished at five under par to win by one stroke. Following an overnight rainstorm, Miller entered the final round in 12th place at three-over, six strokes behind the four co-leaders.[7] Miller had carded a disappointing five-over 76 on Saturday, and his tee time on Sunday was about an hour ahead of the final pairing, which included Arnold Palmer.

Miller birdied the first four holes and hit all 18 greens in regulation, and used only 29 putts. Miller and four others were the only ones to break par during the final round in 1973. The par 71 course played at 6921 yards and the average score for the field was 75.45 (+ 4.45) and the field recorded 40 rounds under par. The purse was $219,400 and the champion earned $35,000.

His record low score (9 birdies with 1 bogey) led the USGA to set up the course at the following year's championship, now known as The Massacre at Winged Foot, in an extremely challenging manner; Hale Irwin's winning score in 1974 was seven strokes over par.

Johnny Miller's 63: - club selection and results - 17-June-1973

  • 1. - 469 yards, par 4 - Driver, 3-iron to 5 feet, birdie
  • 2. - 343 yards, par 4 - Driver, 9-iron to 1 foot, birdie
  • 3. - 425 yards, par 4 - Driver, 5-iron to 25 feet, birdie
  • 4. - 549 yards, par 5 - Driver, 3-wood, bunker shot to 6 inches, birdie
  • 5. - 379 yards, par 4 - Driver, 6-iron to 25 feet, 2 putts, par
  • 6. - 195 yards, par 3 - 3-iron to 25 feet, 2 putts, par
  • 7. - 395 yards, par 4 - Driver, 9-iron to 6 feet, 2 putts, par
  • 8. - 244 yards, par 3 - 4-wood to 30 feet, 3 putts, bogey
  • 9. - 480 yards, par 5 - Driver, 2-iron to 40 feet, 2 putts, birdie
  • 10. - 462 yards, par 4 - Driver, 5-iron to 25 feet, 2 putts, par
  • 11. - 371 yards, par 4 - Driver, wedge to 14 feet, birdie
  • 12. - 603 yards, par 5 - Driver, 7-iron, 4-iron to 15 feet, birdie
  • 13. - 185 yards, par 3 - 4-iron to 5 feet, birdie
  • 14. - 360 yards, par 4 - Driver, wedge to 12 feet, 2 putts, par
  • 15. - 453 yards, par 4 - Driver, 4-iron to 10 feet, birdie
  • 16. - 230 yards, par 3 - 2-iron to 45 feet, 2 putts, par
  • 17. - 322 yards, par 4 - 1-iron, wedge to 10 feet, 2 putts, par
  • 18. - 456 yards, par 4 - Driver, 5-iron to 20 feet, 2 putts, par [8]

1983

In 1983, Larry Nelson was six over par at 148 after the first two rounds. He then established the 36-hole record at the U.S. Open when he finished 65-67 to score a 4-under par 280, defeating Tom Watson by a single shot. Nelson's two-round total of 132 (10 under par) broke the previous record by four shots, established by Gene Sarazen 51 years earlier. Nelson's record performance, although not receiving level acclaim to Miller's 63 finish, has yet to be equaled.[10] The par 71 course played at 6972 yards in 1983 and the average score for the field was 76.13 (+ 5.13) and the field recorded 27 rounds under par. The purse was $506,184 and the champion earned $72,000.

1994

In 1994, a 24-year-old Ernie Els outlasted Loren Roberts and Colin Montgomerie in another Monday playoff round to capture the U.S. Open, his first major and first victory in the U.S. The three in the playoff completed the four rounds at five under par (279), but all were well over par during the playoff round, played in oppressive heat and humidity, as temperatures approached 100°F (38°C). [9] Montgomerie shot a 42 on the front, ending with a 7-over 78 and was eliminated, but Els and Roberts were tied at 3-over 74, with Roberts missing a short putt on the 18th hole to win outright, so they kept playing. On the second extra hole, Roberts bogeyed and Els made a par to win the championship. The par 71 course played at 6946 yards in 1994 and the average score for the field was 74.25 (+ 3.25); the field recorded 62 rounds under par. The purse was $1.75 million and the champion earned $320,000.

2007

Ángel Cabrera of Argentina shot five over par (285) to defeat Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk by a stroke. A course renovation had deepened the bunkers and removed over 4000 trees that had been planted mostly in the 1960s, returning the course to its original links style appearance. [10]

The course was lengthened to 7230 yards and par was reduced by a stroke to 70, as the uphill 9th hole became a par-4. The par-3 8th hole played at 300 yards in Round 4, the par-5 12th hole at over 660 yards, and the par-4 15th at 500 yards. The average score for the field in 2007 was 75.72 (+ 5.72), with every hole averaging an over-par score.[11] The field recorded just 8 rounds under par, only two per round. Cabrera had two of these sub-par rounds, shooting a 69 (-1) on Thursday and Sunday.

The weather was much more agreeable than in 1994: the high temperatures were 75-79°F for the first three rounds and 90°F for the final round, and there were no weather delays in any of the rounds. The total purse was $7.0 million and the champion earned $1.26 million.

Quotes from notable golfers

  • USGA Sr. Director of Rules and Competitions Mike Davis: "There's a reason [the U.S. Open is] coming back to Oakmont. This really is the gold standard for championship golf. It doesn't get any better than Oakmont."[11]
  • Phil Mickelson: "It's really a neat, special place."[12]
  • Johnny Miller: "It's probably the best course in the world . . . This is the greatest course I've ever played."[12]

On Oakmont's greens:

  • Tiger Woods:"That golf course is going to be one of the toughest tests that we've ever played in a U.S. Open, especially if it's dry, it will be unreal because those greens are so severe."[8]
  • Arnold Palmer: "You can hit 72 greens [in regulation] in the Open at Oakmont and not come close to winning."[12]
  • Rocco Mediate said of the greens that they are "almost impossible"
  • Sam Snead once commented that he tried to mark his ball on one of Oakmont's greens but the coin slid off.[8]
  • Lee Trevino claimed every time he two-putted at Oakmont he knew he was passing somebody on the leader board.[8]
  • Johnny Miller said that Oakmont's are the greatest set of greens for testing a player's ability to putt.[8]
  • USGA Sr. Director Mike Davis: "[Oakmont's greens are the] scariest in golf."[8]

References

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. http://www.nr.nps.gov/.  
  2. ^ a b "Oakmont Country Club". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/detail.cfm?ResourceId=1880&ResourceType=District. Retrieved 2008-07-02.  
  3. ^ "Pennsylvania Elks Trivia Page". Pennsylvania Elks State Association. 2000-01-26. http://www.pennsylvaniaelks.homestead.com/files/PaTrivia.htm. Retrieved 2007-06-10.  
  4. ^ "America's 100 Greatest Courses". Golf Digest. May 2007. http://www.golfdigest.com/courses/americasgreatest/index.ssf?/courses/americasgreatest/gd200705greatestranking.html. Retrieved 2007-06-10.  
  5. ^ "America's 50 Toughest Golf Courses". Golf Digest. March 2007. http://www.golfdigest.com/courses/index.ssf?/courses/gd200703toughestcourses2.html. Retrieved 2007-06-10.  
  6. ^ "Top 100 United States Golf Courses". Golf Link. 2007. http://www.golflink.com/top-golf-courses/. Retrieved 2007-06-10.  
  7. ^ Dvorchak, Robert. "Oakmont-inspired Stimpmeter allows USGA to accurately measure speed, consistency of putting surfaces". http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07164/793591-382.stm. Retrieved 2008-11-07.  
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Oakmont: Rock & roll (& roll & roll & roll) nightmare". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2007-06-10. http://www.postgazette.com/pg/07161/792746-382.stm. Retrieved 2007-06-10.  
  9. ^ Dulac, Gerry (2007-06-15). "U.S. Open Notebook: Oakmont eyes tougher bunkers in '07". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06166/698442-136.stm. Retrieved 2007-06-17.  
  10. ^ "USGA Past Champions of U.S. Open". USGA. 2007-06-12. http://www.usopen.com/history/pastchamps/1983.html. Retrieved 2007-06-12.  
  11. ^ Dvorchak, Robert (2007-06-10). "U.S. Open: At Oakmont, golf is played the way it was meant to be". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.postgazette.com/pg/07161/792986-382.stm. Retrieved 2007-06-17.  
  12. ^ a b c Dulac, Gerry (2007-06-10). "Oakmont Country Club: Awakening of The Beast". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07161/792747-382.stm. Retrieved 2007-06-17.  

Further reading

  • Ward-Thomas, P., Wind, H.W., Price, C., Thomson, P. (2002). World Atlas of Golf. London: Hamlyn. ISBN 0-600-60720-8.  

External links

Coordinates: 40°31′42.85″N 79°49′23.03″W / 40.5285694°N 79.8230639°W / 40.5285694; -79.8230639








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