10 Historic Things To Know About Oakmont Country Club

The view of the church pew bunkering on the third hole at Oakmont Country Club Photo Credit: Rick Stewart/Getty Images 2006

Oakmont Country Club, host of the 116th United States Open Championship, is one of the most challenging golf courses in all of America, with deep bunkers, including the famed Church Pews, and lightning-fast greens.

It’s also one of the most historic.

To celebrate, here are ten historic things to know about the western Pennsylvania golf course as it’s related to America’s national golf championship.

1. Most U.S. Opens

Oakmont holds the distinction of having hosted more US Opens than any other course, with the 2016 version being the 9th time the event is being held there. Oakmont also holds the record of hosting the most number of USGA Championships (21).

2. Johnny Miller’s Final Round 63 in 1973

Johnny Miller’s final round 63 (-8) set the US Open record for the lowest score ever. He started the final round 6 strokes behind the leaders and eventually won by a single stroke.

3. The Stimpmeter

The Stimpmeter wasn’t invented at Oakmont but this iconic venue was surely an inspiration towards its creator, Edward S. Stimpson Sr. A spectator at the 1935 US Open at Oakmont, Stimpson, the Massachusetts State Amateur champion, watched as a putt by Gene Sarazen casually rolled off the green. Determined that the greens were too quick, the Harvard-educuated Stimpson invented the Stimpmeter for this very purpose.

4. Ben Hogan’s Wire-to-Wire Win in 1953

Ben Hogan won the second of three straight majors in 1953 at Oakmont. It was also his record tying 4th US Open win. The win was also the first wire-to-wire victory at a US Open.

5. Sam Snead Makes U.S. Open Cut in 1973 at Age 61

Sam Snead remains the oldest player to make the cut at the US Open. At the 1973 edition, he was 61 years old and finished at T-29. He also won the 1951 PGA Championship at Oakmont.

6. The Age of Nicklaus Begins at the 1962 US Open

In Arnold Palmer’s backyard, the 22-year old Nicklaus beat the King in a Sunday Playoff. Watched by over 10,000 fans, the win was Nicklaus’ first professional victory and the first of his 18 major championships.

7. Ernie Els Wins in Three-way Playoff in 1994

24-year old Ernie Els outlasted Loren Roberts and Colin Montgomerie in a Monday playoff for his first major and also his first win on U.S. Soil. It was the last three-way playoff at the US Open, and the first since 1963.

8. Larry Nelson’s Final 36-Hole Scoring Record

Larry Nelson, on his way to his win at the 1983 US Open, shot 65-67 (10-under/132) to set the Final 36-Hole record at the US Open. This record still stands to date.

9. The Highest Scoring U.S. Open Win

In 2007, Angel Cabrera won with a score of 285 (+5) which was also shot by Geoff Ogilvy in 2006 at Winged Foot. This score remains the highest winning score at the US Open since Hale Irwin won at Winged Foot with a score of 287(+7).

10. Longest Par 3 in US Open History

The 288 yards Par-3 8th Hole has the distinction of being the longest Par-3 in US Open history. Last time around it played between 261 – 300 yards. You’ll find a lot of players hitting fairway metals, unless the wind is up, in which case you might find the odd player hitting driver as well.

SOURCE: USGA

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