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SquirrelNutz

Oakmont a Good US Open Site?

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I know Oakmont has a great history, but it was a different golf course when Jack won there, before they cut down most of the trees. For many, and definitely for me, a big part of the beauty of playing golf or watching golf on tv is the beautiful outdoor setting. Oakmont, with its nearby turnpike and giant smokestack spewing god knows what into the atmosphere, is not a beautiful natural setting. Usually, I enjoy PGA majors more than LPGA majors. But to me, even before the Dustin Johnson ball moving screwup by the officials, that last LPGA major at Sahalee, outside Seattle, won by Brooke Henderson in a playoff over Lydia Ko, was much more enjoyable than the US Open at Oakmont, mainly because it was such a beautiful golf course with so many beautiful trees.

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I was thinking the same thing. Oakmont is actually pretty ugly for a golf course.

Last year at Chambers Bay was so much more impressive.  I would take a sound over a turnpike any day!

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It was OK but I wasn't overly impressed.  I was more excited pre-tournament having learned the history of the place.

Guess I'd compare it to Carnoustie.  Not an especially pretty course but the history makes up for any aesthetic shortcomings.

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1 hour ago, SquirrelNutz said:

I know Oakmont has a great history, but it was a different golf course when Jack won there, before they cut down most of the trees. For many, and definitely for me, a big part of the beauty of playing golf or watching golf on tv is the beautiful outdoor setting. Oakmont, with its nearby turnpike and giant smokestack spewing god knows what into the atmosphere, is not a beautiful natural setting. Usually, I enjoy PGA majors more than LPGA majors. But to me, even before the Dustin Johnson ball moving screwup by the officials, that last LPGA major at Sahalee, outside Seattle, won by Brooke Henderson in a playoff over Lydia Ko, was much more enjoyable than the US Open at Oakmont, mainly because it was such a beautiful golf course with so many beautiful trees.

Yes, the Pacific Northwest has a lot of trees. Better...not sure, just different. Oakmont for me is the quintessential U.S. Open course. I'd put it in my top 5 U.S. Open courses. 

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I wasn't there but what I saw on television looked great.  I would put it right up there with Bethpage Black and Shinnecock. 

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I think Oakmont CC is the best track for the US open in years.  Rewards good shots and punishes bad or medicore shots.  Chambers Bay was a horrible golf course.  The golf course could bring luck of the bounce into play in a big way.  The greens had two types of grass on each green that made the putting surface horrible(and it was not the same for everyone).  Pinehurst was okay, but the greens with their design are not receptive to golf shots.

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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.

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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."

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I agree with those who feel that Oakmont is among the top US Open sites.  A beautiful course, and a real test of golf.

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I get your points Chilli, but the cream did rise to the top at Sahalee, with Lydia Ko losing in a playoff and the Thai golfer that had won 3 or 4 straight LPGA events, missing the playoff by 1 stroke. Sahalee worked well for an LPGA major. Beautiful golf courses make me happy.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

I think it's the best U.S. Open course. And very beautiful. Just a different kind of beautiful.

I agree. I always love those old style courses that just fit in with what the land gives ya. I thought it looked fantastic. The view from the clubhouse was awesome. I don't think the TV did it justice. 

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3 hours ago, SquirrelNutz said:

Oakmont, with its nearby turnpike and giant smokestack spewing god knows what into the atmosphere, is not a beautiful natural setting. Usually, I enjoy PGA majors more than LPGA majors. that last LPGA major at Sahalee, outside Seattle was such a beautiful golf course with so many beautiful trees.

Turnpike was out of sight mostly and the smokestack was just sending up water vapor (a vertical cloud). I think both courses were aesthetic tracks. Personally, I'd rather walk Sahalee with the majestic trees, but Oakmont has more vista. The trees at Sahalee would eat a lot of my tee shots, but the rough at Oakmont would too. I like brunettes & I like blondes. It's all good.

Edited by natureboy

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24 minutes ago, Chilli Dipper said:

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."

I'm not sure I agree with your assessment of Sahalee. It has many open tee boxes and not a ton of 'chutes' that constrain initial ball flight from the tee. It has many doglegs that put a premium on shaping shots both ways. Being able to flight and shape the ball to avoid rough, trees, or hazards and being consistent enough to avoid them most of the time are all plus ballstriking skills IMO.

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Note: This thread is 1234 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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