Founded in 1916, Oakland Hills, venue for this week’s PGA Championship, has alread hosted 11 Majors.
Founded in 1916, storied Oakland Hills Country Club, according to it’s official website, “has, and will, continue to play a significant role in the history of golf in the United States.”
The club, situated in Bloomfield Hills near Detroit in Oakland County, Michigan, has two 18-hole championship courses, the North and South Courses, but it is the latter that is the most famous, having hosted the 35th Ryder Cup in 2004, 11 major championships, including six US Opens, three PGA Championships and two senior US Opens.
The club has also hosted two USGA championships; the US Women’s Amateur championships on the South Course and the US Men’s Amateur on the North Course.
Member’s guests are welcomed by the club, but neither of it’s two course are open to the general public, Oakland Hills being a traditional private members club which reserves it’s facilities for it’s members and their guests.
When the South Course of Oakland Hills was formally opened on July 13, 1918, it already enjoyed a certain degree of prestige, having been designed by the foremost golf course architect of his day – Donald Ross – and having engaged, as its first professional, the charismatic Walter Hagen, who had already won the United States Open and was to win the PGA Championship five times.
The enjoyment of country club life in those days was pretty well restricted to the golf course. The “Clubhouse” was old the Miller family farmhouse on the North side of Maple Road and the old chicken coop served as Walter Hagen’s pro shop.
Memberships were sold to 140 members at $250.00 each.
The Clubhouse, still the basic structure we recognize today, was completed and formally opened on August, 1922, at a cost of $650,000.00 unfinished.
The original Clubhouse had accommodations for 48 overnight guests and, in those days, it was not uncommon for members to stay at the Club for weeks at a time.
Some of these guest rooms were retained until the major remodeling of the second floor which took place in 1968.
Modern roads and the motels that sprang up around Oakland Hills as well as the need for additional space to meet the needs of its ever expanding membership, meant the end of it’s hotel operation.
Work on the North Course began in 1922, was completed at the end of the 1923 season and was ready for play in 1924.
For the first several years it was operated as it is today, i.e., a second course for the members. During the depression, however, it became necessary to operate it as North Hills, a semi-private Club open to the public for daily green fee play.
It was redesigned by Robert Trent Jones and re-established as a second private course for the members at the beginning of the 1969 season. The barrier which Maple Road presented between the two courses was effectively overcome by installation of the world’s largest arched aluminum pedestrian bridge.
The bridge connecting the two courses is 210 feet long, 11 feet wide, and weighs 40,000 pounds. It was delivered to the site already assembled and erected in less than 2 ½ hours one morning.
Today the Oakland Hills’ South Course is world-renowned and is consistently picked among the top ten tests of golf in the United States and, indeed, the world.
To go to Golf365’s 3D hole-by-hole tour of the South Course on our special 2008 PGA Championship Micro Site CLICK HERE
The club’s website reports that during the past few years, Oakland Hills has spent several million dollars in improvements, renovations, and additions to the Clubhouse and Club property.
Extensive renovations to the main Clubhouse were made in 1968 which resulted in the removal of the sleeping rooms and the building of a new ladies locker room on the North end of the second floor of the Club.
Rooms for private parties were also added on the second floor, a new Mixed Grille was built on the second floor, a new pro-shop was built, and the Men’s Grille was expanded and refurbished.
A new swimming pool and pool house opened in 1971.
Additional tennis courts were added so that there are now six courts available to play. Paddle tennis courts were also added to accommodate the growing popularity of this sport.
Before the opening of the 1974 season, the first floor of the Clubhouse was redecorated and a new half-way house was built on the South Course.
In 1976, both the downstairs and upstairs kitchens were completely remodeled and equipped to meet the demands of increased utilization by members of the Club’s dining facilities.
In 1982, the Galleria was installed along the walls of the second floor hallway from the Mixed Grille to the Ladies Lounge and Locker area. Over 200 pictures of past tournaments as well as views of the early Clubhouse and grounds were hung.
Remodeling and expansion of the Men’s Grille was completed in 1986. At this time major remodeling and decorating brought complete new looks in the Great Room, South Dining Room, Casino Bar as well as the Mixed Grille and Director’s Room.
The Oakland Hills Golf Shop claims to offer its members and guests the finest in golfing merchandise,
teaching instruction and tournament operations.
CONTACT OAKLAND HILLS COUNTRY CLUB
ADDRESS: 3951 W Maple Rd, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301-3221 United States
PHONE: (248) 644-2500
FAX: (248) 644-4376
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