Oakland Hills lands U.S. Open in 2034 and 2051
Mar 22, 2022
Tom VanHaarenESPN Staff Writer
- ESPN staff writer
- Joined ESPN in 2011
- Graduated from Central Michigan
The USGA announced on Tuesday that Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan will host the U.S. Open in 2034 and 2051, along with six other USGA championships.
The club recently went through a $12.1 million renovation to its course with renowned course architect, Gil Hanse, with the hopes of attracting another major championship. Oakland Hills has hosted six U.S. Opens in the past. Opens, along with a PGA Championship and the 2004 Ryder Cup.
The announcement comes only a few weeks after the clubhouse at Oakland Hills was destroyed in a fire in February. Club president, Rick Palmer, said the clubhouse will not be rebuilt in time for the 2024 U.S. The first tournament announced was the Junior Amateur. However, there is a plan to begin the process.
” We have contracted with an architect to design the initial design. We are going to, in the next two weeks, have a member focus group, totaling what I think is 200 members, to give their thoughts about where we want to be. Ironically, Chris Ilitch, the CEO of Ilitch Holdings Inc., is one of our most valued members. He spoke to our leadership team and talked about how you can embrace your history with our iconic clubhouse, just as they did with the Fox Theater. “
Ilitch is the owner of the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Tigers. He encouraged the members to embrace their history while also planning for the future. This means adapting the clubhouse for future needs and accommodating major championships.
The club is looking to complete demolition, prepare construction plans, and obtain permits. This will take approximately a year. To design the clubhouse, a long-range planning committee has been established with members.
Palmer thinks that once ground is broken, it will likely take two years, which will be three years from now.
Although the majority of the clubhouse was damaged, firefighters and staff were able to save some historic items and memorabilia. These included trophies and golf clubs, photos, and other artifacts. Palmer isn’t able to estimate what was lost and what will be salvageable, so not all was saved.
” Our construction restoration company was able access our basement vault, which contained a lot archives and stores. We were able to recover a lot more items,” Palmer stated. The process of recovering and fully restoring are two different things because they were damaged by water and the items were wet. This is still ongoing. “
The clubhouse fire had no impact on the USGA’s decision not to award the major championships in Oakland Hills. This decision had been made before the fire.
“These were announced after the fire. “
The support of (USGA’s managing director for Open championships), Reg Jones, who’s an outside the ropes guy in terms of what we are going to do for our member for the next multiple season,” Palmer stated. “(USGA Chief Championships office) John (Bodenhamer) came to us and said we stand with you, are you ready to host a 2024 U.S. Junior and our members said that we are ready for it, but we also need it. We will have it, and we won’t even have a clubhouse. But we’ll host the best U.S. Junior has never been hosted. “
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