The 2015 US Open has concluded and Jordan Speith is halfway to a grand slam. After winning the Masters in April, he was able to overcome the difficult course at Chambers Bay to win the U.S. Open late Sunday. It was a US Open to remember for a long-time.
As soon as the 2015 edition of the US Open concluded, tournament organizers and the United States Golf Association started to focus on the 2016 edition and Oakmont Country Club. Truthfully, they’ve probably already been working on Oakmont for the past few years now in preparation– it’s the nature of the USGA.
Oakmont was home to the US Open in 2007.
While there are 12 months still to go before the tournament in 2016, the co-chairman of the tournament Rob Hoffman said things are already getting busy.
The biggest project Oakmont did to prepare for the 2016 US Open is flatten an area of the property that is beyond the second green and along the third fairway– an area at one time Oakmont East, a public course of 18-holes.
This was completed to create more room for the USGA to house merchandise, display and hospitality tents during the tournament. By doing it, Oakmont also tripled its available usage of its property to 75 acres from 25 acres. This past fall the project was finished.
The USGA apparently is pleased with the project. They visited during the winter and called it “a wonderful improvement.”
Hoffman said the project was completed to ensure Oakmont could continue hosting the tournament in future years. The 2016 US Open will be the ninth held at Oakmont– a record for any club.
Oakmont US Open Champions
2007: Angel Cabrera
1994: Ernie Els
1983: Larry Nelson
1973: Johnny Miller
1962: Jack Nicklaus
1953: Ben Hogan
1935: Sam Perks Jr.
1927: Tommy Armour
Oakmont’s look will be different from the U.S. Open of 2007, when its dramatic restoration was debuted. It was a course restoration that included a removal of close to every tree that was not along the perimeter of the course.
Part of a continued restoration included the club removing every tree on the right side of hole No. 12, which separated the 610-yard par-5 hole from the turnpike overlook.
Hoffman stated that without the trees, one could currently stand on the patio at the ninth and see part of all 18 holes on the course.
This is typically only possible on links courses.
Oakmont was also involved in a two-year intensive program to improve the condition and firmness of the surface of its greens, considered amongst the world’s most famous.
The 2016 US Open is still a year away, but organizers are preparing Oakmont to showcase it at the USGA’s biggest annual event.
Who will be crowned champion?