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George Pazin

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Week 15: The 15th at Oakmont
« on: March 12, 2007, 04:19:32 PM »
Almost home....

Another hole I regret not studying more closely. It doesn't wow you, standing in the fairway, but that green is pretty damn tough.

From the website:

Green   499
Blue   434
White   428
Red   421



This long par 4 features a blind tee shot to a fairway that slopes from left to right.  The Church Pews left and severe ditches and bunkers on the right call for another straight drive.  A mid-to-long iron sets up a second shot to a very large green with many difficult subtleties.  Take four here and smile going to 16!

Not apparent from the diagram - there's a ridge out in the fairway a good ways out that makes the tee shot even tougher.

Photos, yardage scan and overhead to follow.

Last Week: The 14th at Oakmont
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

Ryan Farrow

Re:Week 15: The 15th at Oakmont
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2007, 01:25:02 AM »
This is a great hole, just don't ask me why.



















Jeff Doerr

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Re:Week 15: The 15th at Oakmont
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2007, 01:45:56 AM »
Thanks you guys. That'll be a brutal drive on Sunday afternoon with the pressure on.
"And so," (concluded the Oldest Member), "you see that golf can be of
the greatest practical assistance to a man in Life's struggle.

Doug Sobieski

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Re:Week 15: The 15th at Oakmont
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2007, 08:49:01 AM »
This hole is terrifying. Not only is it a very difficult tee shot, but this green has always been the one that has scared me the most at Oakmont.

I've always felt that 15 created a perfect sense of emotion during your round after you walk off 14 green. First, you realize that you've only got about an hour left to play the golf course, and you don't want it to end. Second, it is a VERY difficult stretch of four holes coming in, and there is no room for error, so mentally you need to make sure you are all there until the finish. Third, 15-17 occupy the most secluded property on the course. It's the first time you really feel any isolation (there's a hill to the left of 15 fairway, and trees to the right on 15-17). If you look at the last picture (looking back up the fairway), you'll see that there's not much to see aside from the hole you are playing for the first time. It's much different than the rest of the course. For me, there are few holes that are able to generate so many different thoughts as you step onto the tee.

Plus, the way the tee blends into the 14th green is REALLY cool.

Phil McDade

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Re:Week 15: The 15th at Oakmont
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2007, 10:49:41 AM »
Boy, that looks like one really neat hole. A question in terms of strategy -- is there a reward for just pounding a drive over the church pews on the left, or is the risk too great, and the reward (shorter iron) not worth it? It sounds like with that green, the shorter iron in, the better. Because even a fairway wood/long iron off the tee squeezed in between the church pews and the bunkering on the right seems a tough proposition, given the fairway contours look like they tend to kick things right.

Is that an aiming pole? Will it be there for the US Open?
« Last Edit: March 13, 2007, 10:51:21 AM by Phil McDade »

JohnV

Re:Week 15: The 15th at Oakmont
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2007, 10:55:01 AM »
Phil,

I believe I heard that all the aiming poles are being removed before the US Open.

This hole is great.  The green is huge, but every bit of it has wonderful character and undulations.  The bunker right of the green is as deep as anything that Raynor or Macdonald ever built and the fairway bunkers, especially on the right are really tough now.

Hitting the fairway gets tougher the further you hit it as the slope to the right gets more pronounced.  I watched a big hitter at the West Penn Open in 2005 hit a "perfect" drive down the left edge of the fairway that ended up in the right rough.  Once it gets over the ridge that crosses the fairway, watch out.

Mike_Cirba

Re:Week 15: The 15th at Oakmont
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2007, 11:25:22 AM »
Interestingly, the 15th at Oakmont made Dan Jenkins Ideal 18 holes of golf when he came up with a listing for Sports Illustrated back in the 70s.   I used to have a board game with all of the holes he selected, so I've played this hole before, at least on paper.  ;)

If distant memory serves, Jenkins list was something like this;

1) Merion
2) Scioto
3) Olympic Lake
4) Baltusrol
5) Colonial
6)
7) Pine Valley
8) Prairie Dunes
9) Champions (Cypress Creek)

10) Winged Foot
11) Merion
12) Augusta
13) Augusta
14)
15) Oakmont
16) Oakland Hills
17) Quail Valley
18) Pebble Beach

I'm pretty sure about the majority of these but feel free to fill in the blanks or make corrections.

Getting back to 15 at Oakmont, how long is that green front to back?   I'm guessing about 70 yards.

Doug Sobieski

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Re:Week 15: The 15th at Oakmont
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2007, 11:33:47 AM »

Getting back to 15 at Oakmont, how long is that green front to back?   I'm guessing about 70 yards.

54 Yards

Peter_Herreid

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Re:Week 15: The 15th at Oakmont
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2007, 11:34:28 AM »
We've done this exercise about the Dan Jenkins holes before, and I do have distant memories of that plasticized board and grease pencil game as a youngster...

I think I remember there was a hole from Seminole and one from Cherry Hills on that game, so maybe those are the two missing holes...

Mike_Cirba

Re:Week 15: The 15th at Oakmont
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2007, 11:43:02 AM »
We've done this exercise about the Dan Jenkins holes before, and I do have distant memories of that plasticized board and grease pencil game as a youngster...

I think I remember there was a hole from Seminole and one from Cherry Hills on that game, so maybe those are the two missing holes...

Peter,

Yes, they were the two!  6 Seminole & 14 at Cherry Hills..thanks!

Amazing the changing state of the "game" industry over the past 35 years, huh?   :o ;D

Phil McDade

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Re:Week 15: The 15th at Oakmont
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2007, 02:12:20 PM »
John:

That's interesting about the aiming poles. I looked at the other thread re. Oakmont's scorecard, and I see 15 will play at 500 yards, which is a lot, given that it's a blind tee shot. Do you think anyone will try to hit driver over the church pews? Is the carry too long with a 500-yard hole? Or do you think most everyone will go for the fairway, given the fairway penalties? Think Tiger, one or two down on Sunday, might try it? It looks like a hole with the potential for lots of trouble, which is pretty good, in my book, given where it sits in the round.

JohnV

Re:Week 15: The 15th at Oakmont
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2007, 02:56:08 PM »
Phil,

The only way to hold the fairway if you are hitting it long is to hit a draw into the left side of the fairway and then pray.  A fade or straight shot hit over the hill will always run to the right rough.  But, by hitting it long, the big hitters can knock it past the bunkers.  I wouldn't be surprised to see a back right hole location on Sunday.

I don't think that you can carry the mini-pews and end up in the fairway.  Especially if they let the fescue grow like it is in some of the pictures that Ryan posted.  I think you would need to stay right of them.

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