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SquirrelNutz

Oakmont a Good US Open Site?

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Another nice course up here is TCP Snoqualmie designed by Jack Nicklaus. They hold the Boeing Classic here on the Champions Tour. There is one blind possibly driveable par 4. 

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1 hour ago, Chilli Dipper said:

Saying that Sahalee is a better course than Oakmont because it has more trees is a lot like saying The Avengers is a better movie than Jaws because it has more explosions.

The trees at Sahalee may look pretty, but they make the holes extremely narrow. As a result, tournaments held there tend to become contests in who has the straightest ball flight. However, most players, even the best in the world, are not usually trying to hit the ball dead straight. Sahalee, then, is less likely to identify the best player than it is to identify the best at doing a specific thing.

The lack of trees at Oakmont, on the other hand, opened up the leaderboard to a wide variety of playing styles. There were long hitters in contention, short hitters, draw players, fade hitters, low-ball hitters, high-ball hitters, you name it. The goal at Oakmont is to avoid the bunkers and deep rough, but there is no correct way of doing that; that makes a more challenging test of skill than "hit it straight every time."

Sahalee is a better course than Oakmont because it has fewer sharks. :P

(You're gonna need a bigger analogy) ;)

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1 hour ago, SquirrelNutz said:

How about TPC Sawgrass? Seems like that golf course deserves a major. I love that Sawgrass is an exciting course and so spectator friendly. Seems like a lot of the major courses are not spectator friendly, that was definitely true at Torrey Pines, beautiful scenery, dramatic tournament won by an injured Tiger, but not good viewing areas for the spectators.

Nah.Since its a regular stop and so close to the open I dont see em playing it twice and supposedly takes time to get course ready for open.

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I doubt that you'll ever see a US Open in Florida.  Open courses rarely have much water, and of late not a lot of trees.  

Also, nobody in his right mind wants to play golf in Florida in late June. :~(

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I am partial to the traditional courses:
Oakmont, Oakland Hills, Winged Foot, Olympic, etc; but I hate what they do so the courses to extra trick them up (kill the greens so they stimp at 12+ & unplayable rough being the primary examples)

 

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18 minutes ago, Wally Fairway said:

I am partial to the traditional courses:
Oakmont, Oakland Hills, Winged Foot, Olympic, etc; but I hate what they do so the courses to extra trick them up (kill the greens so they stimp at 12+ & unplayable rough being the primary examples)

Oakmont's greens are fine. :-)

But yes, sometimes in the chase of 12-13 greens, they push greens a little too far. It doesn't help that they play for 12+ hours on Thursday and Friday (they don't like to water greens during play, of course).

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20 hours ago, iacas said:

Oakmont's greens are fine. :-)

But yes, sometimes in the chase of 12-13 greens, they push greens a little too far. It doesn't help that they play for 12+ hours on Thursday and Friday (they don't like to water greens during play, of course).

Agree - but IMO what saved Oakmont greens from being browned was Mother Nature, not Mike Davis; similar to what happened at #2 when they got rain the week before.

I do recognize that the old traditional courses have been made somewhat obsolete by the equipment, balls and players being able to hit any par 5 in 2, and almost any par 4 driver/wedge. So the only defense is to grow the rough, narrow the fairway & stimp up the greens

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Pinehurst's holes, for the most part, are framed by trees that really don't come in to play. That is a look I prefer to Oakmont's. That being said, Oakmont is a great US Open course. It really seemed to test every part of the player's game. I really liked the lush green look, along with the natural looking fescue areas, vs the burned out look of Chambers Bay and Pinehurst.

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4 hours ago, Wally Fairway said:

Agree - but IMO what saved Oakmont greens from being browned was Mother Nature, not Mike Davis; similar to what happened at #2 when they got rain the week before.

No. Not really. Oakmont plays their greens fast all summer. It's not true they show them down, but they don't cut them any lower for the US Open. (The small increase in added speed is from rolling most likely.)

The greens would be fine without the rain.

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Yes...undoubtedly a very good US Open venue.....even though we sometimes feel like we (the viewing public) is the most important thing, it really doesn't matter that the course is not visually spectacular......also feel like the fact that DJ won and Furyk was right behind says a lot about the quality of the course for a major.....it deserves a US Open every 10 years 

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On 6/23/2016 at 8:57 PM, Wally Fairway said:

I am partial to the traditional courses:
Oakmont, Oakland Hills, Winged Foot, Olympic, etc; but I hate what they do so the courses to extra trick them up (kill the greens so they stimp at 12+ & unplayable rough being the primary examples)

 

What they do for Open venues these days falls far short of what Oakmont did to "trick up" the course way back in the day. In the clubhouse are displayed 10 foot long rakes with 17 lb heads! The teeth are at least 4" long and probably 1 1/2" wide at the top. Oakmont would water down the sand in the bunkers and drag these rakes through them perpendicular to the line of play! There was no way you could advance the ball toward the green, you had to come out sideways! And they would also "spot water" the greens.

On 6/23/2016 at 9:17 PM, iacas said:

Oakmont's greens are fine. :-)

But yes, sometimes in the chase of 12-13 greens, they push greens a little too far. It doesn't help that they play for 12+ hours on Thursday and Friday (they don't like to water greens during play, of course).

True, but I have seen exactly that at Oakmont. I've been there twice in person, '73 when Johnny Miller won, and '94 when Ernie Els won. Talk about contrasts! '73 was the year it rained nearly all night every night of the Open. The course got soft and that, along with Miller's considerable skills, allowed him to shoot 63 in his final round to win.

'94 was entirely different. That was the year of baking heat, unrelenting sunshine, and temps 95 degrees and higher every day. During the Wednesday practice round I got in the grandstand at the 18th green to watch some groups finish. There was grounds crewman standing by with a hose. After every couple of groups, he would venture out and hose down the green just to keep it playable!

31 minutes ago, iacas said:

No. Not really. Oakmont plays their greens fast all summer. It's not true they show them down, but they don't cut them any lower for the US Open. (The smell increase in added speed is from rolling most likely.)

The greens would be fine without the rain.

Yes, the members like to brag! But even back in the day when Henry Fownes was still alive, he would go to certain greens, drop a ball at the top from shoulder height, and if it didn't roll off the front the green keeper was in for a tongue lashing!

As far as the tree removal program, that was just to restore Oakmont to something like it's original condition. The place was built on a big cow pasture! There were a few groves of trees here and there to give the cows a shady place to lay down and chew cud, but most of the place was grass.

BTW, speaking of the '94 Open, Oakmont really let the rough grow that year! The top margin of every bunker had 3 foot tall fescue growing on it! I got a good look at the 18th from the tee box, and it is the single scariest golf hole I have ever seen in my life!

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11 minutes ago, Buckeyebowman said:

True, but I have seen exactly that at Oakmont. I've been there twice in person, '73 when Johnny Miller won, and '94 when Ernie Els won. Talk about contrasts! '73 was the year it rained nearly all night every night of the Open. The course got soft and that, along with Miller's considerable skills, allowed him to shoot 63 in his final round to win.

image.jpeg

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On 6/23/2016 at 3:07 PM, No Mulligans said:

Oakmont:

A good U.S. open course - yes 

A beautiful outdoor setting - um, maybe yes, maybe no... undecided

Yeah a lot of great courses around the country are located in less than desirable neighborhoods. Local example for us, San Diego CC in Chula Vista.

 

Oakmont is easily one of the best if not the best U.S. Open course, especially the way it looked/played last week. I've always seen it as the "model" U.S. Open course.

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Actually even my local course, if someone were to dump $1 million into it, put some more bunkers on it, and really spruce it up it could hold the US Open. It has the length to play about 7500 yds from the tippy tips. It's one of the nicest public courses in the area. It just needs some TLC.

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Everybody has their own sense of asthetics - some people feel that Augusta overdoes the "manicured" look compared to a course look Oakmont that has a hugh amount of gnarly rough, ditches and a freeway running through it.  Perhaps the one thing that sets golf apart is the number of different venues on which it is played.

The qualities IMHO that stuck out at Oakmont were the (a) difficult greens, (b) absolute premium on hitting fairways and greens and (c) mix between long and short holes.  Given those factors, it seemed like a very good US Open venue to me.

Oakmont membership apparently feels that the lack of trees is something they like - you get some tremendous vistas and from the standpoint of being able to view the tournament from a number of spots that offer views of a number of holes without moving, you would have to think that situation in some ways beats a heavily wooded course where only one hole at a time can be seen. 

And you can't really deny the fact that a number of great champions have been crowned in the Opens that have been played there.

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18 hours ago, Coronagolfman said:

Oakmont membership apparently feels that the lack of trees is something they like

It's also healthier for the turf/grass.

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Note: This thread is 1146 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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