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Rees Jones has been charged to ensure the South Course's viability as a major championship venue. (Photo: Getty Images)

Oakland Hills membership approves remodeling plan

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The membership at Oakland Hills Country Club has approved a plan to remodel the club's South Course, with famed architect Rees Jones (left) being retained to modify the layout in preparation of the 90th PGA Championship in 2008.

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- The PGA of America reports that the membership at Oakland Hills Country Club, site of 14 major championships, including six U.S. Opens, two U.S. Senior Opens, two PGA Championships, both the USGA Men's and Women's Amateur and, most recently, the 2004 Ryder Cup Matches, and host of the 2008 PGA Championship, has approved overwhelmingly Rees Jones' recommended enhancements to the South Golf Course.

Rees Jones was retained in 2002 to make recommendations to ensure the South Course's viability as a major championship venue given the advancements in equipment technology and the athleticism of today's tour players.

The changes, approved by nearly a 9-1 margin among voting members, will lengthen the championship, par-70 course to 7,303 yards while leaving all 18 greens in their current locations.

Work will begin in August of 2006 and will conclude in the spring of 2007. The Oakland Hills South Course will remain open for member play until October of 2006.

"Our membership is thrilled with Rees' recommendations," said Richard H. Bayliss, Jr., Chief Operating Officer of Oakland Hills. "Championship golf has always been part of the fabric of Oakland Hills and these approved changes are indicative of their ongoing commitment to that vision. Mr. Jones understands that challenging the best players in the world is not just about adding distance, but allowing angles, hazard placement, ball bounces and our dramatic greens complexes test them."

Oakland Hills was founded in 1916 and on July 13, 1918, the first rounds were played on the now famous South Golf Course. Ben Hogan named it the "Monster" following his U. S. Open victory in 1951. Hogan's win followed extensive renovations by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., completed in 1950, that addressed many of the same issues his son, Rees Jones, is addressing in the recently approved plan.

Oakland Hills Country Club has hosted:
6 U.S. Open Championships (1924, 1937, 1951, 1961, 1985, 1996)
1 Western Open (1922)
1 U. S. Women's Amateur Championship (1929)
1 Carling World Open (1964)
2 PGA Championships (1972,1979)
2 U.S. Senior Open Championships (1981, 1991)
1 U.S. Men's Amateur Championship (2002)
1 Ryder Cup (2004)

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