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kfowler

Played Oakland Hills South yesterday w/ pics

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I had the opportunity to play Oakland Hills South course yesterday. I was obviously really excited to be playing such a legendary course. The round was a fund raiser for the Detroit YMCA. The format as a shotgun start and a modified best ball. We'd all tee off and the pick the best drive and then play our own ball out from there. Two best scores were totaled.

My impressions of the course

The condition of the course was spectacular. Very green and the sand was very white. You could easily tell it was a private course as it did not show the typical wear this late in the season.

There terrain fairly rolling. More so than I expected as most of Detroit is fairly flat all though it does get hilly the further north you go. The Donald Ross course really uses terrain as a challenge. Even in the middle of the fairway, the ball can be about or below your feet.

I have never spent so much time in the sand. What the course lacks in water is made up in sand. Almost every whole you play has fairway bunkers on the left and right side near your standard drive landing zone. No matter what tees you play from, you'll have the same challenge. Most of the greens are fairly elevated so the bunkers are pretty deep. I was in the right bunker on #17 Par 3 and couldn't even see the flag. I am proud to say I didn't have to take any shots twice out of the bunker.

The rough was deceptively thick. It's almost like it's laying down and you don't realize how think it is until you hit out of it. I heard it's much longer when the pros are in town. I can imaging.

Now for my favorite part, the greens. They were fast, but not pool table fast. They were huge with all kinds of undulation. You just can't get an idea on tv how much the greens move. Even for a charity event, most of the pins were not in an easy location. The wost was #11 which had a false front that dropped off into the fairway. It was comical watching us putt around it. On #18 par 5, I was proud to be on the green in three after hitting out of a fairway bunker. I probably had a 15 foot putt for Birdie. I ended up four putting. The hole was on top of a mound and it would role off either way if your speed wasn't right.

I was surprised how how little water and trouble there is on the course. Really only two holes have water in play. Even bad drives, you should be able to find your ball fairly easily. That being said the ruff, slope, and sand punish you for inaccurate drives. From the whites at 6534 yards, 73.2 rating and 135 slope, OHCC is certainly the hardest course I've ever played.

The club house is what you'd expect from a famous course like this. White with huge columns. It's on top of a hill overlooking the course. Looks like something out of the movies. I wasn't sure of the rule but I took my hat off every time I went in. I was glad to find out later that that was standard practice. They've got a set of beach lawn chairs overlooking #10 and #18. I cigar and a bourbon watching players come in would be a fine way to spend the afternoon.

If I had one complaint it would be that Mondays must be ground maintenance day. There was constant mowing and trimming going on all day long. I was surprised that wasn't wrapped up in the AM.


Finally, here's some pics. You can tell it got sunnier as the day went on.

#13 Par 3 154 yards



Overlooking #9 Par 3. You can see #10 Par 4 to your right and #11 Par 4 to your left.



At tee box #9 Par 3 198 yards



#1 Par 4 at the tee box



#18 Par 5 from the middle of the fairway

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Nice course - glad you enjoyed. How did your team fare, score-wise?

We certainly didn't win. They had kind of a weird scoring system that I couldn't quite follow. We didn't have a single birdie in the group. I play at a 14 hcp and one of my other partners is about an 8. The other two guys were 20+. I drove the ball pretty well but struggled with my irons. I shot a 93 using the format above. I really only had one melt down putting wise on #18.

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My great uncle was a member there for over 50 years before he passed. I was lucky enough to play that course 11 times. It is still one of my favorites to this day. One of my great stories is the last time I got to play it was in 2002. I had driven in from Chicago so my uncle took me into the locker room to change. As I was tying my shoes I hear an "excuse me"...I look to and see Stevie Yzerman. Along with Barry Sanders and Isiah Thomas my all time sports hero. He was so nice, sign a few things for me then asked if I was alone. I said no, with my uncle. He said, "well I am...mind if I tag along." Are you kidding me . He is a good golfer...but I beat him pretty good that day.

Glad you liked the course...I doubt I will ever get the chance to play it again. But the memories are great.

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Nice!
I caddy there. And I know what you mean about how extreme the undulations are on every green!
TV doesn't do it justice.
Hope you had fun , it definitely is a fun (and tough) course to play!
If you have any questions, hopefully I can help! ;)

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Nice!

That's awesome that you caddy there. The staff was great. I would love to play again with a caddy. Due to the event, we all had carts. Couple of oddities I noticed was how they have no signs for what hole you're on. The cart paths didn't exactly lead to the next whole sometimes. Also noticed they had no trash cans on any of the holes. Not a complaint, just and oddity.

I had a blast. I think if you go in having the mind set that you're probably not going to shoot better than your handicap, you'll have a good time. After I parred the first whole, I thought about quitting. How could it get any better than that? :)

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Yea, the people there are great.
I know what you mean by lack of signs and trashcans (i can only think of 2 on the south of the top of my head), but that's just how its set up.
Nice, yea. It's a HARD course to play. I've seen people get 10s, 11s, and even someone who got a 14 (that was on #11, the one that you mentioned about the false front....yea fun! ;)
Once again, glad you got a chance to play it. I'd definitely recomend it to anyone who had the opprotunity to play a premier course like that. :D

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