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George Pazin

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Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« on: January 08, 2007, 01:36:47 PM »
Wow, the diagrams and photos likely do not do this hole justice. How Oakmont can maintain such a green speed on a hole with such a pitch is beyond this golfer's ability to comprehend.

Here it is, from the Oakmont website (in case anyone has realized it yet, that's where I'm getting these diagrams - see Oakmont Country Club:

Green   194
Blue    168
White   152
Red    143



On the first of Oakmont's par 3 holes, go with a mid-iron shot to a small green that slopes from right to left.  Missing the green to the right leads to a sure bogey.

Missing the green to the right leads to a sure bogey - yet playing away from the right means flirting with all the bunkers left of the green - yikes!

More to follow.

* for Garland: Last week - the 5th at Oakmont
« Last Edit: January 08, 2007, 01:49:33 PM by George Pazin »
Big drivers and hot balls are the product of golf course design that rewards the hit one far then hit one high strategy.  Shinny showed everyone how to take care of this whole technology dilemma. - Pat Brockwell, 6/24/04

Matthew Hunt

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Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2007, 01:40:48 PM »
Seems to have simular shot values to 7th at RCD and 12th on the Annesly Links.

Garland Bayley

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Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2007, 01:42:06 PM »
Does the terrain of this portion of the course dictate that both this and the previous hole have greens sloping right to left?
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Garland Bayley

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Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2007, 01:43:03 PM »
Seems to have simular shot values to 7th at RCD and 12th on the Annesly Links.

OK Matthew, what is your definition of shot values?
 ;)
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Garland Bayley

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Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2007, 01:44:35 PM »
George,

It would be really cool to have the first post for each hole have a url link back to the previous hole.
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

George Pazin

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Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2007, 01:48:01 PM »
First, the overhead:



Now, some photos:





Big drivers and hot balls are the product of golf course design that rewards the hit one far then hit one high strategy.  Shinny showed everyone how to take care of this whole technology dilemma. - Pat Brockwell, 6/24/04

Garland Bayley

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Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2007, 01:54:26 PM »
Does the terrain of this portion of the course dictate that both this and the previous hole have greens sloping right to left?

I guess the photo answered this for this hole.
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Adam Clayman

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Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2007, 01:57:03 PM »
There appears to be plenty of difference between the this and the previous hole. First off, judging only from the photos, the side slope of the land is quite dramatic on the par 3.

Does this result in a subconscience uncomfortable feeling for any right hander who has trouble sliding the ball right?
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

JohnV

Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2007, 01:57:39 PM »
Does the terrain of this portion of the course dictate that both this and the previous hole have greens sloping right to left?


Yes, both of them are at the side/bottom of the hill where the 4th tee sits.  I suppose the 6th green could have been situated more to the left and been a little flatter, but then the 7th tee would have had to move also and wouldn't have been in as good place.

You definitely don't ever want to miss #6 to the right.

Chris_Clouser

Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2007, 02:04:40 PM »
How long is the green from front to back and what are the actual sections of the green that can house pins?  

Also, with the trees gone from beyond the green does that visually make the hole seem longer than the actual yardage?  

Regardless, this looks like a hole that the tour players will more than likely play to the middle/left side of the green and take par on each opportunity.  

I can't imagine anyone would aim to the right bunker and try to draw a shot into that green.  

George Pazin

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Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2007, 04:15:22 PM »
How long is the green from front to back and what are the actual sections of the green that can house pins?

Hopefully this will provide some answers.

Big drivers and hot balls are the product of golf course design that rewards the hit one far then hit one high strategy.  Shinny showed everyone how to take care of this whole technology dilemma. - Pat Brockwell, 6/24/04

Bill_McBride

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Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2007, 04:19:02 PM »
Does the terrain of this portion of the course dictate that both this and the previous hole have greens sloping right to left?


Check the course map with highlighted #6 - both #5 and #6 are at the base of the hill where #4 tee and #3 green are up on top.  There is a definite right to left bias on both holes.

Probably my greatest greenside bunker shot ever was up and down from the right side bunker to a near pin.  It was the ultimate shortside disaster and everything runs away downhill from the right side!

George Pazin

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Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2007, 04:50:38 PM »
Probably my greatest greenside bunker shot ever was up and down from the right side bunker to a near pin.  It was the ultimate shortside disaster and everything runs away downhill from the right side!

Probably made some money with that one!

I didn't see anyone get up and down from anywhere right of the green during the '03 Am, and I sat behind the green for a couple hours.
Big drivers and hot balls are the product of golf course design that rewards the hit one far then hit one high strategy.  Shinny showed everyone how to take care of this whole technology dilemma. - Pat Brockwell, 6/24/04

Bill_McBride

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Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2007, 05:34:59 PM »
Probably my greatest greenside bunker shot ever was up and down from the right side bunker to a near pin.  It was the ultimate shortside disaster and everything runs away downhill from the right side!

Probably made some money with that one!

I didn't see anyone get up and down from anywhere right of the green during the '03 Am, and I sat behind the green for a couple hours.

Did I mention I made a 15'er back up the hill for the 3?  ;D

Garland Bayley

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Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2007, 06:56:21 PM »
Probably my greatest greenside bunker shot ever was up and down from the right side bunker to a near pin.  It was the ultimate shortside disaster and everything runs away downhill from the right side!

Probably made some money with that one!

I didn't see anyone get up and down from anywhere right of the green during the '03 Am, and I sat behind the green for a couple hours.

Did I mention I made a 15'er back up the hill for the 3?  ;D

So your greatest greenside bunker shot got you to 15 feet. I guess I would hate to see what your worst shot got you.  ;D
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Bill_Yates

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Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2007, 07:11:07 PM »
The first professional golfers I ever saw in person were playing in the 1962 Open at Oakmont.  I very clearly remember sitting under the ropes at the right front corner of the green on No. 6 just above the bunker.  After a couple of hours watching them play this 190 yard hole (probably a 3 iron in those days), I realized how good they really were.  

The hole was cut in the narrow front portion of the green (Note: on returning to Oakmont for the '94 Open, I believe that all of the holes were cut in alternating right and left portions of the back of the green for each of the fours days.  Not one was located in the trecherous front half of the green).  What I suddenly realized was that from 190 yards away, the pros were aiming at the 3 foot wide strip of rough that lay between the right bunker and the green.  That rough is a raised section with the collar and green sloping away to the left and the sand in the bunker sitting several feet below on the right.  Missing the shot slightly to the right puts the player in the bunker with a narrow green target sloping away. Missing it left (I mean hitting the ball on the green to the right of the hole) for the most part would cause the ball to roll left and on to the collar, but hitting it perfectly to that strip of rough with just a hint of a draw, would take enough off of the ball to cause it to hop left and trickle down to the hole.

Somehow I think the days of challenging the world's best players to be creative shotmakers are sadly gone.  Let's just see if this year the USGA plants the flag in the front of the green on this spectacular hole.   I'll bet they don't.
Bill Yates
www.pacemanager.com 
"When you manage the pace of play, you manage the quality of golf."

Jonathan Cummings

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Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2007, 07:23:58 PM »
George - forgive me but this is beating a dead horse.  

Please, hands all - who thinks Oakmont isn't razor-close to the very top?  

I play it several times a year even though the course is light-years beyond my ability.  The photos and history in/of the clubhouse are damn near second to none.  The showers rival Merion.....the head pro came from Mt Olympus.....the caddie program is stuff from the old school and...oh forget it, Oakmont is and will forever be one of the top 5-10 courses in the world....

That was before they restored it.

Now it is even better.

JC  

JESII

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Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2007, 08:07:39 PM »
Jonathan,

Forgive me if I misread your intentions, but I think it is incredibly rude to ask George to cease these threads. I for one am really enjoying reading the opinons and seeing the pictures posted. Again, If I misread your "beating a dead horse" line I apologize, as clearly you are fond of the course but perhaps a bit exasperated by these threads.

Jonathan Cummings

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Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2007, 09:03:34 PM »
JES II - discussing the merits of something damn near perfect detracts from the enjoyment.  Some things you just have to marvel over... discussion is simply tedious.

JC

(BTW - George is a pal of mine)

Ryan Farrow

Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2007, 10:27:02 PM »
Jonathan, I pretty much agree with you. I don't really have anything to add other than to say that it is a great hole, just like #5. Now I may have to jump in if someone bad mouths a hole ;D.

I will be back at school in a few more days and I will catch up on posting pictures for you guys. Itís a real pain back home transferring pictures from computer to computer and uploading them.

Phil McDade

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Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2007, 12:46:28 AM »
Well, I hope George keeps it up for all 18 at Oakmont. Here's why:

Those of us (like, me) who have never played the course, and never will, and care about golf architecture, find much of this stuff pretty interesting. I like the descriptions, the photos, the discussions about how best to play the holes, and some of the evolution of these holes.

It's particularly relevant, given that it's hosting the US Open this year. It's really, really neat, because Oakmont -- beyond that of probably every single other major-worthy course in the country -- embarked on a fairly radical tree-removal project that most courses probably wouldn't have the guts to even discuss (like, Winged Foot or Oak Hill), and did so with the intent of presenting its course as nearly as possible to its original state, as envisoned by Fownes, in preparation for the Open.

In and of itself, that's a pretty cool thing. To have George on-hand to describe that process, hole by hole, and have others weigh in, is something to grateful about.


Matt_Cohn

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Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2007, 01:04:10 AM »
Is it possible to land and stop a ball at that back-right corner? Or is that just an absolute no-go pin?

Mark Pearce

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Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2007, 04:46:03 AM »
Well, I hope George keeps it up for all 18 at Oakmont. Here's why:

Those of us (like, me) who have never played the course, and never will, and care about golf architecture, find much of this stuff pretty interesting. I like the descriptions, the photos, the discussions about how best to play the holes, and some of the evolution of these holes.

It's particularly relevant, given that it's hosting the US Open this year. It's really, really neat, because Oakmont -- beyond that of probably every single other major-worthy course in the country -- embarked on a fairly radical tree-removal project that most courses probably wouldn't have the guts to even discuss (like, Winged Foot or Oak Hill), and did so with the intent of presenting its course as nearly as possible to its original state, as envisoned by Fownes, in preparation for the Open.

In and of itself, that's a pretty cool thing. To have George on-hand to describe that process, hole by hole, and have others weigh in, is something to grateful about.


What he said.

If reading these threads detracts from your enjoyment of the course, stop reading them.  For those of us who have never and are unlikely ever to visit Oakmont these threads are fascinating.
In June I will be riding the first three stages of this year's Tour de France route for charity.  630km (394 miles) in three days, with 7800m (25,600 feet) of climbing for the William Wates Memorial Trust (https://rideleloop.org/the-charity/) which supports underprivileged young people.

Jonathan Cummings

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Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2007, 06:56:05 AM »
If you want to know a poorly kept secret about the recent revisions in Oakmont, here's one.

The USGA is concerned with all the trees removed there are now exposed unwanted possible lines of attack.  Specifically they are sweating bullets over the tee shot at nine.  The far safer way to now play nine (to avoid those new hideously penal fairway bunkers) is to nuke your drive up one's fairway.  The angle of your approach in from there is much less protected and considerably easier.

The USGA has discussed making one's fairway an "internal" OB for hole nine (never been done before in US Open) or REPLANTING lost trees on the left off the tee to block this avenue.  When I was last there Ford told us they still haven't figured out what they are going to do.

Allow them to play it like it is and we'll be in for 7 hour rounds during the Open.

JC

Gordon Oneil

Re:Week 6: The splendid 6th at Oakmont
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2007, 09:11:58 AM »
FYI, I have played Oakmont far many more times than I, or any non-member, deserves.  These posts are very interesting in discussing a "Top 10" (for what's that's worth these days, for better or worse) course that has been rediscovered in the past dozen years as one of the great major championship venues all the while undergoing substantial architectural and cosmetic renovations.  
I don't mean those to be mutually exclusive but when you take out something like 5000+ trees not all of them directly affect play.
I have always thought the overall perception of Oakmont as one of the great golf courses is that of all of the great golf courses it is the one that is described the most often as "too damn difficult."
It is damn difficult, for every golfer of every talent level.  That will be proved in June, when the best players in the world compete there.  And the winning score won't be several shots over par because the USGA did their thing to the golf course.
After the Open, the Oakmont members will swear that the playing conditions of the course were far more challenging two weeks before the Open in the Men's Invitational.
And they will be correct.

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