Oakland Hills (North)

Oakland Hills North is a well-regarded complement to the more revered South Course at Oakland Hills which has hosted multiple major championships and the 2004 Ryder Cup. The Ross routing is about half intact as Robert Trent Jones made significant changes to the original routing in the 1950’s and 1960’s. To prepare for the 2016 US Amateur, the firm of Hills and Forrest was hired for tree removal, building more teeing grounds catering to the average member, and adding 300 yards as the North would challenge the world’s best Amateurs in one of the qualifying rounds. In professional majors, the teeing ground shared by the 1st and 10th holes serves as the practice area. On a course with many solid par 4’s 9, 14, 17 are the standouts. The tee shot on 9 is guarded by a course boundary on the left and quality fairway bunkering with an uphill approach to a well bunkered and tilted green. Staying below the hole is paramount. 14 has volcano elements with the approach playing to a green that you can only see a portion of from below in the fairway. 17 is a longer par 4 with a fairway bunker left and a course boundary right playing to another well bunkered green. The 12th is a risk/reward par 5 where the approach plays over a pond that is also in play on the par 3 13th. This is where things get a little quirky - the routing is cramped between 14 tee and 17 tee as 14 and 16 play off teeing grounds near each other and in the same direction. 15 is an improved par 4 in between with a pond hugging the right giving the player different options from the tee. Different from its sister course across the street, the North doesn’t have a lot of holes that will blow you away, but is solid throughout. 10 is a short par 3 that offers views of the Detroit skyline from it’s severely left to right tilted green. The tree removal done in advance of the 2016 Amateur gives Oakland North a good aesthetic pleasure and it always plays firm and true giving it a different feel from a lot of private golf in Detroit.