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George Pazin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Week 17: the 17th at Oakmont
« on: March 27, 2007, 02:27:29 PM »
I spent a good bit of time on this hole, but didn't take too many photos, unfortunately. Hopefully Ryan will save the day again.

From the website:

Green   313
Blue   296
White   276
Red   259



Although some of you can drive this par 4, severe bunkering 50 yards from the green will make you think twice before trying to do so.  Either a long iron and wedge over "Big Mouth" or a driver to the green makes this hole very exciting.

What's not apparent from the diagram:

The hole is a good bit uphill. The green surface is blind, heck, most of the bunkers are blind, and the green complex is a wonderful skyline type green.

Big Mouth is deeper than deep - I think I have a photo I'll try to find.

Yardage and overhead to follow.

Last Week: The amazing 16th 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

Phil McDade

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Re:Week 17: the 17th at Oakmont
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2007, 02:32:47 PM »
I remember this one from the US Am a few years back -- lots of different approaches to it, with the young guns taking aim at the green and the mid-am types playing for more strategic position off the tee. The tee shot is semi-blind, in that you can't see the landing area? Looked that way from TV.

I think what's really neat is that Fownes put this particular hole (assuming the course never switched nines, or had alternate routing) near the end of the round, where circumstances can dictate how it's played.

Matt_Ward

Re:Week 17: the 17th at Oakmont
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2007, 02:35:17 PM »
George:

The hole needs to play for at least two of the rounds at 296 yards. I believe that prior to the '73 US Open -- that was the official yardage since Oakmont opened. The extension for the tee was put in afterwards.

The goal is to seduce players into going for it and not just the Bubba Watson, JB Holmes, types, etc, etc.

You are 1000% correct about the hole playing uphill. If played from the extreme tips the likelihood is that nearly all of the players will be the pro forma long iron / hybrid / flip wedge to the hole. Forgive me as I yawn at such possibilities.

George Pazin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Week 17: the 17th at Oakmont
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2007, 02:44:02 PM »
Indeed, I hope they do play it at an up tee on some days. Maybe JohnV can comment.

Here she is, Big Mouth!


Yardage, from The Book:


Overhead:
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 17: the 17th at Oakmont
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2007, 04:07:58 PM »
After the thread about connection holes I definitely feel that 17 is one. Of course I have no facts to back up my claim but if you are trying to make the most difficult course in the country who routes a sub 300 yard par 4 at number 17. You could imagine 18 was one of the first holes laid out and 16 sits on a pretty natural green site overlooking the river valley (if we could get a few hundred more trees knocked down). 17 is not the prototypical golf hole and I am sure it was never designed as a driveable hole.

Again I am just rambling, no facts here.

Yes, this hole plays uphill the entire way and Big Mouth has been deepened as part of the restoration. I think its at least 15' deep now.

Another note: This is one of the smallest greens on the course and if you happen to put one in big mouth (or anywhere right of the green) your chances of holding the green on your recovery shot is almost zero.



DISCLAIMER:
To anyone who plays this hole, keep your god damn driver in the bag or this hole will make you look like an idiot.











« Last Edit: March 27, 2007, 04:18:36 PM by Ryan Farrow »

Kyle Harris

Re:Week 17: the 17th at Oakmont
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2007, 07:46:56 PM »
So uhh Ryan, gonna explain the sage and well-earned wisdom behind the advice about the driver?

Hmmm?

Ryan Farrow

Re:Week 17: the 17th at Oakmont
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2007, 08:07:41 PM »
Uhhhhhh. If I laid up I probably wouldn't have posted a 6. Big Mouth is not fun, scratch that, never fun. Not fun to fly mow, not fun to rake, not fun to hit your ball out of, not fun to think about.

Jeff Doerr

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Re:Week 17: the 17th at Oakmont
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2007, 12:26:15 AM »
Thanks you guys - The Open (US!) will sure be fun this year!
"And so," (concluded the Oldest Member), "you see that golf can be of
the greatest practical assistance to a man in Life's struggle.

JohnV

Re:Week 17: the 17th at Oakmont
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2007, 08:44:10 AM »
I've always hit driver on #17.  I put it in Big Mouth one time and made par.  I think I've birdied it once and bogied it twice along with a couple more pars.  The worst thing you can do is leave a little flip wedge over BM with the green is very firm.

In 2005 or 2006, Vinny Giles became the first player known to make an ace on 17.

Phil McDade

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Week 17: the 17th at Oakmont
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2007, 10:29:29 AM »
John:

Do you think that's how folks will play it at the Open, if as MWard suggested, it plays at @ 300 yards? Is the pitch over that bunker really harder than the other trouble that lurks around that green? Just curious...perhaps the day's pin position, rather than the yardage from the tee, might dictate play?

tlavin

Re:Week 17: the 17th at Oakmont
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2007, 11:37:04 AM »
George Pazin:

We've only got one hole to go and before I forget, I want to thank you for this amazingly generous exercise that you've undertaken for  our benefit.  I've never gotten out to play Oakmont, but I can tell you that my enjoyment of the US Open is going to be heightened because of your hole by hole seminar.  Thanks.

Mike_Cirba

Re:Week 17: the 17th at Oakmont
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2007, 11:43:01 AM »
George Pazin:

We've only got one hole to go and before I forget, I want to thank you for this amazingly generous exercise that you've undertaken for  our benefit.  I've never gotten out to play Oakmont, but I can tell you that my enjoyment of the US Open is going to be heightened because of your hole by hole seminar.  Thanks.

Terry,

Here, hear!!!

Although I didn't get to post much or get involved in the discussion as much as I would have liked, I did read all of them in detail and I wanted to thank George for this, as well.

Really nice job, and very kind of him.  ;D
« Last Edit: March 28, 2007, 11:43:42 AM by MPCirba »

JohnV

Re:Week 17: the 17th at Oakmont
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2007, 12:10:42 PM »
John:

Do you think that's how folks will play it at the Open, if as MWard suggested, it plays at @ 300 yards? Is the pitch over that bunker really harder than the other trouble that lurks around that green? Just curious...perhaps the day's pin position, rather than the yardage from the tee, might dictate play?

I don't know, but I guess that most players tend to be conservative at the Open so I think they'll layup.  That little pitch from 20 to 40 yards is a beast so a 80 or 100 yard shot might be better.  Of course, if the grandstands wrap around the hole and the ball drops are in a generous spot they might give it a rip like Ernie did the last round in 1994.

Matt_Cohn

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Week 17: the 17th at Oakmont
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2007, 03:54:39 AM »
I hope that on one of the days, they'll play the par-3 #8 at 300 yards, and the par-4 17th at 299. What are the odds?

Ted Kramer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Week 17: the 17th at Oakmont
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2007, 08:37:33 AM »
George Pazin:

We've only got one hole to go and before I forget, I want to thank you for this amazingly generous exercise that you've undertaken for  our benefit.  I've never gotten out to play Oakmont, but I can tell you that my enjoyment of the US Open is going to be heightened because of your hole by hole seminar.  Thanks.

Terry,

Here, hear!!!

Although I didn't get to post much or get involved in the discussion as much as I would have liked, I did read all of them in detail and I wanted to thank George for this, as well.

Really nice job, and very kind of him.  ;D

Before George's "hole by hole" I really knew close to nothing about Oakmont. While I think we all agree that pics are only worth so much, they did a whole lot for my sense of knowing the couse a little bit before the Open.

I know that I am often in the minority here while saying that I really tend to love the "antiseptic test" as it relates to golf courses. And after this "hole by hole" Oakmont has jumped WAY up on my list of Hope-to-Play-Courses.

Thanks George, this was a lot of fun for me!!

-Ted
« Last Edit: June 06, 2007, 08:38:14 AM by Ted Kramer »

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