The USGA and Oakland Hills have announced that Oakland Hills will host the 2034 and 2051 US Open Championships.
In all, Oakland Hills will host eight USGA Championships over the next three decades, including the 2031 and 2042 US Women’s Open, 2024 U.S .Junior Amateur, 2029 U.S. Women’s Amateur, the 2038 US Girls Junior Amateur and the 2047 US Amateur.
The club completed a restoration of the South Course in 2021, under the guidance of Gil Hanse.
John Bodenhamer, USGA chief championships officer, said that the agreement with Oakland Hills was completed some months ago.
“We could not be happier to bring six additional championships to such an iconic venue as Oakland Hills,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA chief championships officer. “Since its first U.S. Open in 1924, Oakland Hills has provided a supreme test for the game’s very best, and it will continue to do so for professionals and amateurs alike in the coming years.”
It has been an emotional month for Oakland Hills, Rick Palmer, Oakland Hills club president said. The historic clubhouse burned to the ground in February.
“We were horrified to see what happened,” Bodenhamer said, but “our first thoughts were to hope that everyone was ok.”
Palmer said the process to this moment began six years ago with the initial planning on the South Course restoration.
““This is a significant and meaningful day for all of us at Oakland Hills,” said Rick Palmer, club president. “The commitment of two U.S. Opens as well as four top amateur championships is a testament to the fabulous work of everyone at Oakland Hills. With a total of eight USGA championships coming to our club starting in 2024, we can’t wait to add to our storied history. We look forward to continuing our championship golf tradition at Oakland Hills and our long-standing relationship with the USGA.”
Bodenhamer said that Oakland Hills long absence from the Championship was in part due to the club being in the process of a long-range plan:
I think it was more about the process and the place that Oakland Hills was in as a golf course. They were on a journey. They wanted to achieve some things. And the question did come, what do we need to do to host a major championship?
Rick said it, it is a theme for us. It is a genuine belief that these great clubs need to do what’s best for their membership.
We can adjust the great venues from the masters that created them, the Donald Ross, the William Flynns, the Hugh Wilsons, all of those, the bones are there. You can play a major championship on many of them.
But it wasn’t for us to come in and tell Oakland Hills what to do to have another U.S. Open or U.S. Women’s Open. It was really about doing what was right for their members, getting to know them better, building on that relationship that we’d always have with some of the new leadership. It
was that simple.
Members of the club, though, clearly had bringing USGA Championships back as a top priority.
The South Course at Oakland Hills, also known as “The Monster,” was designed by Donald Ross and opened in 1918. It was renovated by Robert Trent Jones Sr. (1950), Rees Jones (2006) and Gil Hanse (2021). The most recent restoration, which aimed to return the property to its original early 1900s layout, included tree removal throughout the property and the reshaping of all 18 greens to their original specifications.
Andy North, the winner of the 1985 US Open at Oakland Hills, said that he appreciates the golf fans of Michigan.
“I think you look at Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, upper Midwest has the best golf anywhere in the world. The people are so gung ho to play, they understand the game. It’s fun to go places where people understand you hit a good shot, you didn’t hit a good shot. People talk about that in Scotland particularly where they won’t clap for a shot that you hit close when they know it wasn’t the right shot to hit.Andy North, 1985 US Open Winner at Oakland Hills
I think it is the same here. When you get around sports fans who understand the competing part of it and have played the golf courses and that sort of thing, it’s fantastic. I’ve been very, very fortunate in the state of Michigan golf-wise and always look forward to coming back.
To date, Michigan has been home to 33 USGA championships across 16 host sites.
|Future USGA Championships at Oakland Hills|
|2024 U.S. Junior Amateur|
|2029 U.S. Women’s Amateur|
|2031 U.S. Women’s Open|
|2034 U.S. Open|
|2038 U.S. Girls’ Junior|
|2042 U.S. Women’s Open|
|2047 U.S. Amateur|
|2051 U.S. Open|
Major Championships held at Oakland Hills include: