Off to Oakmont

“It’s probably the best course in the world . . . This is the greatest course I’ve ever played.”

– Johnny Miller

Most golf seasons are winding down after our unusual Indian Summer, but I’ve been looking forward to one last taste of greatness before the clubs get plunked in the basement to begin their seasonal hybernation.

I’m going to Oakmont. It’ll be the last of the Top 10 courses in the world I had yet to see, and the place where Ben Hogan won a third of his 1953 Triple Crown of majors. Sure I’m bragging — but hell, it is Oakmont and you’d brag too.

Yep, ththis is the course with greens that stimp at 14, one some regard as one of the hardest in the world. This is a course with greens so difficult that Sam Snead once said he tried to mark a ball and the coin slid off the green.

I’ve been invited for a couple of seasons by a member who read one of my articles from a few years back in the now defunct T&L Golf. We tried to get a game last year, but difficulties with Oakmont’s greens following the women’s US Open kept me away.

I’m going to make that right this week with a fall golf road trip, driving through Erie, playing the Donald Ross designed Kahkwa before heading to Oakmont for dinner followed by an early morning game the next day and a drive home from Pittsburgh.

I’ll report back when I’ve returned.

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Jeff Lancaster

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Live a few minutes from Kahkwa. Lake View just east on I-90 is a nice course as well. Perhaps better than Kahwka, which feels just a wee bit older (it is).

    Hope the weather holds out for you. If you’re returning through Erie let me know – we’d love to show you our downtown, indoor facility.

    • Erik, is the former mayor Louis Tulio still alive in Erie? I used to get invited to the Greater erie Charity Classic and he was my “host”. Agree that Robert should play Lakeview as well as Kahkwa, loved them both. Played Lakeview with Julius Boros and Joe Dimagio!

  • The over/under is 200 to get out of “Big Mouth” the right front bunker on the 17th.

    Was the golfing experience of my life and I am sure you will enjoy it tremendously. They took all the trees out years ago so I am sure that will make your day easier. lol

    As you walk off the first just remind yourself that Sarazen, Hogan, Snead, Palmer, Nicklaus and Troll all walked here before me….it’s tres cool.

    Have a blast.

  • Robert,
    Ian triggered the challenge… the Robert Thompson Challenge… this is perfect … you need to tee it up at Oakmont (preferably from the back tees) and play it as if you are in a USGA tournament and hole out every putt and count every shot (no laterals for lost balls and pending enough daylight) … your score must be attested by all your playing partners and you must post the card.
    In a little role reversal play… then we can get some players to report about it.
    This is going to be fun…

  • Zoke: I’ll see what I can do — weather looks lousy, but I’m playing either way. Hell, it is Oakmont. How hard can it be in a 35 mph wind and some rain? I think Johnny’s 63 is in jeopardy.

  • Ian… I’ll take the over, RT can’t break 100 at the nest from the golds. All that free golf and he’s still a hack.

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