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Old May 19, 2017, 04:36 AM   #26
Pingeye2_fan
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Default Re: Oakmont is a monster!

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Originally Posted by The Troll View Post
Your question was if the interstate was noisy....well I never noticed the interstate (noise).
He probably doesn't have your focus.
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Old May 19, 2017, 07:40 AM   #27
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Default Re: Oakmont is a monster!

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Originally Posted by 4underthru9 View Post
Thanks for the interesting report, looking forward to more photos.

However this year's Open at Erin Hills at 7812 yards makes that place look like a pitch and putt course.
I have played Erin Hills a couple of times. Have also played a few other U.S. Open venues (Shinnecock, Pebble, Olympic, Erin Hills) and I have got to say - Oakmont is in a different league altogether. The USGA can make just about any course unplayable for amateurs but Oakmont plays like U.S. Open conditions all the time. And the membership seems to thrive on the difficulty and embrace it.
It is an interesting culture where members appear to be very proud of the facility and love that it is so tough. There is a regular mens group that plays together (I think they call it "The Swat") and they demanded of the new superintendent of difficult pins all the time. I call them (affectionately of course) "Oakmontsters".
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Old May 19, 2017, 07:43 AM   #28
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Default Re: Oakmont is a monster!

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Originally Posted by Big Shooter View Post
Is it "noisy" by the Interstate?
The picture above is taken from the third tee looking back toward the clubhouse, one of the higher points on the course. I believe the third green is the highest point and you can see every hole on the course from there.

You are looking over the Pennsylvania turnpike in that picture, it runs behind the first green. You can see a bit of a wall along the picture (and a couple of bridges if you look really closely) that runs along the edge.

There is a constant hum but you get used to it quickly and rarely pay attention to it after that. A bit like playing Don Valley with the 401 overhead.
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Old May 19, 2017, 07:51 AM   #29
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Default Re: Oakmont is a monster!

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removing 15,000 mature trees from the course proper is gutting it......maybe they were short of firewood. joking of course

I understand the stated rationale behind the carnage , it was also to assist with course conditioning as its always tougher to maintain the best turf conditions with tree lined courses......

fwiw my buddy still says it his fav course with in his words "no better challenge anywhere" preferred it as a tree lined course saying it was more beautiful. Interestingly the reason the course was changed from links style to tree lined was because after the 1962 US Open a prominent writer , Herbert Warren Wind, called it " An Ugly Old Brute" in an article. This prompted the membership to initiate the tree planting process to beautify it.

have you play it both prior to and after the gutting ?
Since this was my first go, I had not played it prior to tree removal. I spoke with several members about it. They all agreed that it was controversial when it was first considered. Interestingly, there is no controversy anymore, there is almost universal agreement it was a huge improvement. After talking to a bunch of members, I joked to my buddy that we might need a paternity test to figure out who was the real "father" of the plan to get rid of the trees. More than one person mentioned to me how he had been involved in the early planning stages ..... hmmmm.
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Old May 19, 2017, 07:54 AM   #30
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Default Re: Oakmont is a monster!

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Yea I just called for a tee time and was shocked they didn't accept them..... Is this like Bethpage black and I should just go and camp out in the parking lot?
You might be camping a while unfortunately .....

More seriously, the members and staff at Oakmont could not have been more welcoming. A very down to earth membership.
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Old May 19, 2017, 07:57 AM   #31
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Default Re: Oakmont is a monster!

Shot a smooth 92 (50 - 42) on round 2. In my defence it was still kind of windy. A few members mentioned that the wind is a much greater factor on the course since the removal of the trees.

Greens continued to confound me, and I am usually a half decent putter. I am not sure that if I hit the middle of 18 greens in regulation I could break 80. Without the help of a caddy I would have been a lot worse. Very difficult greens to read. Also very fast and undulating with lots of little crowns and valleys. Great fun.
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Old May 19, 2017, 08:09 AM   #32
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Default Re: Oakmont is a monster!

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Originally Posted by gotogolf View Post
Yea I just called for a tee time and was shocked they didn't accept them..... Is this like Bethpage black and I should just go and camp out in the parking lot?
Yes you should. Go camping in the parking lot at Oakmont. It will earn you a one night stay in one of Pennsylvania's finest, state-sponsored accommodations.

I caddied for a few Oakmont members last year, and they were thrilled with the "gut job" of Oakmont. St. George's is currently in the process of trying to do the same kind of reno (removal of trees to improve growing conditions for the greens, albeit not to the same extent). Here, in Ontario, there is a lot more resistance to this kind of tree removal and a lot of bureaucracy to navigate. Environmentally, I think that's great. America doesn't seem to have any environmental issues to worry about (just ask their President), so I guess it's no problem to clear cut down there.
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Old May 19, 2017, 10:10 AM   #33
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Default Re: Oakmont is a monster!

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Originally Posted by bcampb00 View Post
Shot a smooth 92 (50 - 42) on round 2. In my defence it was still kind of windy. A few members mentioned that the wind is a much greater factor on the course since the removal of the trees.

Greens continued to confound me, and I am usually a half decent putter. I am not sure that if I hit the middle of 18 greens in regulation I could break 80. Without the help of a caddy I would have been a lot worse. Very difficult greens to read. Also very fast and undulating with lots of little crowns and valleys. Great fun.
What a dream to play there!

In order to put these scores into context for us, would you be able to let us know what your cap or index is?
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Old May 19, 2017, 11:03 AM   #34
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Default Re: Oakmont is a monster!

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Originally Posted by 3whack View Post
What a dream to play there!

In order to put these scores into context for us, would you be able to let us know what your cap or index is?
10.8 - struggling the past few months. It has been as low as 6 and I don't think I would have had a hope of breaking 80 even at my best.
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Old May 19, 2017, 11:06 AM   #35
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Default Re: Oakmont is a monster!

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Originally Posted by 3 off the tee View Post
Yes you should. Go camping in the parking lot at Oakmont. It will earn you a one night stay in one of Pennsylvania's finest, state-sponsored accommodations.

I caddied for a few Oakmont members last year, and they were thrilled with the "gut job" of Oakmont. St. George's is currently in the process of trying to do the same kind of reno (removal of trees to improve growing conditions for the greens, albeit not to the same extent). Here, in Ontario, there is a lot more resistance to this kind of tree removal and a lot of bureaucracy to navigate. Environmentally, I think that's great. America doesn't seem to have any environmental issues to worry about (just ask their President), so I guess it's no problem to clear cut down there.
I played last fall at the California Golf Club of San Francisco (Cal club). They had done a similar restoration to Oakmont where they removed hundreds of trees. Totally rejuvenated the course and membership. Got them into the top 100 in Golf Magazine's list of best courses. I thought the course was really really good. Members were thrilled. Seems to be a theme here ...
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