This discussion group is best enjoyed using Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


  • Karma: +0/-0
Oak Tree Renovations
« on: June 01, 2003, 08:55:01 PM »
As many of you know, Pete Dye has recently been renovating many of his best course designs, with Harbor Town and Kiawah Island among the examples. He has also done some substantial work on Oak Tree Golf Club, site of the 1984 US Amateur and 1988 PGA Championships.

Pete Dye was the main contributor, although Mark Hayes was involved and I have heard Perry Dye's name as well. The renovations began less than a year ago, with the back nine completed by the beginning of winter and the front nine opening around a month ago.

I played Oak Tree on May 30th and I thought I'd write briefly about the changes.

Renovations were made to both provide a better course for the members, and to attract more top-level events to the club. Generally, there were a few main themes of the work:

-New back tees wherever possible, on about 6 or 7 holes.

-All greens resurfaced, with subtle changes to the contours to provide more viable pin positions at tournament speeds. This included enlarging several of the greens.

-Perhaps most notably, the ground around several of the greens has been rolled off, meaning a ball that just misses one of those greens might roll 20 or 30 yards away and 8-10 feet below the green.

-Several bunkers were deepened or changed in shape to make them more difficult. In particular, some of the large beach bunkers have been given "fingers" on the green side, making it play almost like a series of small, deep pot bunkers right next to the green. Severl pots have been added around the course.


1. Ten more yards, the ground rolls off on both sides, and new bunkering.

2. Twenty more yards and a new pot short of the green.

3. Slightly larger green.

4. "Fingering" in the left bunker.

5. Beach bunker left and behind green doesn't extend down right side of green anymore, but a very deep bunker was built short-right of green.

6. Drop-off in front of green made much steeper; balls will roll back 20 yards in front of green.

8. Narrower beach bunker on left, slightly larger green, I think.

9. Larger green, with back-right pin over hump more viable.

10. Tree in fairway and railroad ties down right side removed; now conventional looking (for Dye) with bunkers left and right.

11. Green rolled off short and right; this one is really scary! The ball will roll 25 yards and finish 10 feet below the pin.

12. 10 more yards; this green is still basically impossible to hit. Still, to me, one of the all-time hard par 4's.

13. New tee left of the creek at about 170.

16. I think there was a new tee a couple of years ago closer to 500 than the original 479. I think.

17. Redone green isn't as severe as old one; fingering in right beach bunker.

18. 40 more yards. The ground right of the green rolls away.

I thought the changes to the course were well done. The new rolled-off areas around the greens are quite scary because standing back in the fairway, you realize, that the ball could potentially bounce and roll very far away from the green. The greens themselves have been toned down just a bit to handle tournament green speeds, but they're certainly still plenty hard. Overall the changes around the greens make the course better all the way back to the tee, and will provide some new short game challenges as well.

The extended yardages help lengthen some otherwise relatively short holes, although some of the shortest holes like 6 and 10 have not been lengthened at all, mostly because they couldn't be. I don't think any sense of balance has been compromised with the new tees.

The only thing that looked funny to my eye was the bunker fingering. Imagine #17 at Pebble Beach, although not really anthing like that - a lot more rugged and random-looking. It's tough to describe. Maybe they just look different than the old bunkers. They certainly are effective though, and you don't want to be in one of the tiny fingers of a redone bunker. You might as well be in a 4-foot-wide pot.

That's a minor think though, and I think I would start to enjoy the look before long. Overall I would wholeheartedly say that Oak Tree Golf Club did a first rate job with its renovation, and has made the course better for both their membership and for potential top-level competition.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Steve Lang

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Oak Tree Renovations
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2003, 08:02:26 AM »


This all was many years in the making.  Dye was there walking around in 99 when I was last there, and talking to folks about some of the changes you note...

I can picture most of the changes... what has the course and slope rating gone up to,... 77 & 156?

Can you still play #1 by going over the trees and playing in #9 fairway?

Glad to see the tree on #10 gone, I was wondering if the old hangman's tree in bunker left of #17 green was still there?

Are the bunkers still flat with that chipped rock type sand?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Inverness (Toledo, OH) cathedral clock inscription: "God measures men by what they are. Not what they in wealth possess.  That vibrant message chimes afar.
The voice of Inverness"


An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()