Oakland Hills Country Club has hosted six U.S. Open Championships, two PGA Championships, two U.S. Senior Opens and of course, one Ryder Cup.
At 7,445 yards, the remodelled South Course will ensure a demanding test for the fourth Major of the year. A test that will be eagerly anticipated not only by the players, but also by FootJoy, who have already captured the ‘#1 Shoe’ title at The Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship.
Golf course architect Rees Jones recently described the invitation to guide the renovation programme at Oakland Hills for the 90th PGA Championship “the call I was waiting for my whole life”. Previously remodelled by Robert Trent Jones in 1950, Rees Jones grew up knowing that this famous course was the one that meant the most to his father.
Originally laid out by Donald Ross in 1916, Rees Jones describes the course as “one of those wonderful rolling pieces of property where the holes fit like a glove”. The Championship South Course, which played to a par 70 and 6,974 yards when the U.S. Open was played at the venue in 1996, under Rees Jones’s direction has been extended by 345 yards without moving any of the greens.
15 holes have been lengthened, several fairways narrowed and the depth, size and location of fairway and greenside bunkers have been altered. Additionally, the ponds at the seventh and sixteenth holes have been re-modelled to ensure that the more aggressive drivers will need a well placed tee-shot. Perhaps the most dramatic makeover comes at the par four eleventh hole which played 398 yards in 1996 and is now a 455 yarder featuring a daunting 290 yard carry over a rolling hill.
With the support of so many of the world’s leading players, its #1 position on across the world’s major Tours and Its success at the three 2008 major championships, FootJoy looks forward to another strong count at Oakland Hills. To be trusted by more players in a clean sweep of the 2008 Majors is perhaps the ultimate endorsement of the comfort and performance delivered by the latest generation of FootJoy shoes.
An exciting prospect for the #1 Shoe and Glove in Golf at what Rees Jones and Oakland Hills have ensured will be another supreme test of golf at the highest level.