Oakland Hills Country Club is located on Michigan’s rolling Bloomfield Hills. The club has two courses, the famous South course and the less famous North course.
Donald Ross laid out the South course in 1917 and Robert Trent Jones toughened the layout up ahead of the 1951 US Open, which was won emphatically by Ben Hogan. After his win, Hogan commented that he had “brought this monster to its knees” and since then the course is affectionately known as “The Monster”.
”The most pungent remark made during the controversial 1951 Open Championship at Oakland Hills Country Club,” wrote Robert Trent Jones in The Complete Golfer, “came from that patriarch of professional golf, Walter Hagen: ‘The course is playing the players instead of the players playing the course.’ In this comment, Hagen summed up the psychological shock suffered by the world’s ranking golfers when they encountered the remodelled course, for these modern players had been getting away with murder for years, and didn’t know it. They had been playing over course that, with a few exceptions, had been laid out in the 1920s, or earlier, and which had been tailored for the equipment and the ball and the playing conditions of that era.”
Rees Jones – son of Robert Trent Jones – undertook a series of renovations (mainly bunkering) to the South course ahead of the 2008 PGA Championships and the layout was stretched out in excess of 7,300 yards. Oakland Hills once again became a fearsome test with only three players beating par. Padraig Harrington followed in the footsteps of Gary Player and David Graham who were former Oakland Hills PGA winners (1974 and 1979 respectively). Harrington’s two closing rounds of 66 were enough to give him a two shot victory over Sergio Garcia. But Harrington was perhaps even more pleased to become the first European to win consecutive majors as he followed up his 2008 Open Championship win at Royal Birkdale by triumphing in the 2008 USPGA at Oakland Hills. Click here for more details.
With many holes lined by trees, six US Opens and one Ryder Cup under its belt, Oakland Hills Country Club should be treated with respect. We think that you’ll certainly appreciate the challenge and therefore we recommend that you befriend a member immediately. We also think that Oakland Hills is one of the fairest tests of golf in the land. Do you agree?