©rbaril Chambers Bay Panorama

Will the 2015 US Open be described this way?

  • Player’s arriving experienced “psychological shock”.   
  • They were used to dominating courses, not finding ways to simply make par. 
  • (One player said) I thought I was going to a golf tournament, not on a safari.  It’s a nightmare.  Just awful.  We’ve got to play it, but we don’t have to like it. 
  • Never before…did the competitors complain so loudly about the architectural character of the host golf course. 
  • (It) proved to be the most rugged course on which the Open championship had ever been played. 
  • The pros were playing a “real course” where one will get “mighty few scores below par” and where “par will mean something” because the golf was being played on a course with “true character”.

The above is a compilation of quotes describing the 1951 US Open played at Oakland Hills – more than 60 years ago…..

Leading up to 1951, the US Open winning scores were further and further under par.  In preparing to host the 1951 US Open, Oakland Hills leaders felt the “greatest title there is” should be staged on a worthy golf course: “The course should be so hard nobody can win it”. Oakland Hills commissioned Robert Trent Jones Sr. to renovate the South (tournament) course, to make par relevant again.  He succeeded admirably.

Ben Hogen played one of the finest final rounds in US Open history, shooting a 3 under 67 – one of only two sub-par tournament rounds.  Upon winning the 1951 US Open Ben Hogen is quoted, saying: “I’m glad I brought this course—this monster—to its knees.”  Oakland Hills  -“The Monster”.

Will history repeat itself at this year’s US Open?  After 64 years, is Chambers Bay a new kind of “monster”?   Will someone play Ben Hogen’s role in the 2015 version, and bring this monster to it’s knees?

The 2015 US Open and 1951 US Open similarities are already spooky – right down to the architectural pedigree…  There is every reason to expect player’s reaction’s to be eerily similar as well!



References and quotes for this article came from the following sources:
 A Difficult Par: Robert Trent Jones Sr. and the Making of Modern Golf
THE DEFINING MOMENT:  THE 1951 U.S. OPEN By Richard Howting

CREEPY SIMILARITIES (added July 14, 2015):

1951 Open – 2015 Open (just switch the 1 and the 5)

Architect: Trent Jones Sr. – Trent Jones Jr.

Winner: Ben Hogen (Texan) – Jordan Spieth (Texan)

And, all that other stuff about the course being a “monster”.