Oakland Hills Country Club
By Richard Howting

1916: Oakland Hills Country Club founded by Joseph Mack and Norval Hawkins at a meeting of 47 friends and associates at the Detroit Athletic Club on October 17. It is resolved that there will be 140 charter memberships at a cost of $250 apiece.
Joseph Mack is originally from Peterborough, Ontario. He moves to Detroit in 1892 and in 1901 starts the Joseph Mack Printing House which becomes well known for the creation of catalogues and sales literature for the automobile industry. Mack is also a real estate investor/developer and is a director of several real estate companies. He is one of the major developers of Quarton Lake Estates in Birmingham. He is also a director of the National Bank of Commerce and the Detroit Board of Commerce. He serves as club president, 1916-20.
Norval Hawkins is from Ypsilanti. He moves to Detroit in 1888 and in 1898 starts Hawkins, Gies and Company, an accounting firm. In 1907 Hawkins goes to work for Ford Motor Company as Ford's first general sales manager. He briefly works for General Motors in 1921-22. After leaving the auto industry he authors two books on sales: The Selling Process and Certain Success. He serves as president of the club, 1925-27 and president of the Detroit District Golf Association, 1935-36. Mack and Hawkins' club memberships include the Detroit Club, Detroit Athletic Club, Country Club of Detroit, Detroit Golf Club, and Detroit Boat Club. In addition, Mack is a member of Bloomfield Hills Country Club and Pine Lake Country Club (at the time known as the Automobile Club of Detroit).

1916: The first Oakland Hills executive board is made up of Joseph Mack, president; Luther Trowbridge, vice president; Rawson Harmon, secretary; and Alonzo Ewing, treasurer.

1916: Initial club property purchase, registered December 20, comprises 250 acres from the William Spicer, Edwin Miller, and Frank German farms south of Maple Road. The plan is to use approximately 170 acres for the new club and 80 acres for home sites. The club also has options on 160 additional acres from the German and Leach farms north of Maple Road.

1916-17: Sometime between late October, 1916 and late January, 1917 Donald Ross first visits the Oakland Hills property. He tells Joe Mack, "The Lord intended this for a golf course." In his commentaries on golf architecture, Golf Has Never Failed Me, Ross comments: "I rarely find a piece of property so well-suited for a golf course." He designs the South Course around the 10th and 11th holes – holes he will later call the finest consecutive par 4s he has ever designed.

1917-18: Work on the South Course begins on March 25, 1917 with the arrival of Walter B. Hatch who serves throughout as superintendent of construction. Most of the work is completed by autumn with some of the finishing touches concluded in spring, 1918.

1918: The South Course is formally opened on July 13. Originally, par is 35 out and 37 in (72) – number two being the only par 5 on the front, while 12, 14, and 18 are all par 5s on the back. Interestingly, Ross also designs additional back tees for holes five, eight, and 10 so that they, too, can be played as par 5s – 37 out and 38 in for a total par of 75. (Other Ross courses in the area include: Detroit Golf Club, 1916; Monroe Golf and Country Club, 1919; Barton Hills Country Club, Ann Arbor, 1920; Grosse Ile Golf and Country Club, 1920; Roseland Golf and Country Club, Windsor, Ontario, 1921; St. Clair River Country Club, 1923; Dearborn Country Club, 1925; Rackham Golf Course, Detroit, 1925; Franklin Hills Country Club, 1926; Western Golf and Country Club, Redford, 1926; Warren Valley Golf Club, Dearborn, 1927; Essex Golf and Country Club, LaSalle, Ontario, 1929.)

1918: Automotive legends John and Horace Dodge, James Couzens, and Charlie Sorensen become club members. Edsel Ford joins in 1919.

1918: Walter Hagen hired by Joe Mack as club's first professional for $300 per month plus any profits from the sale of golf equipment.

1919: While "playing out of Oakland Hills" Hagen ties Mike Brady at 301 in the U. S. Open at Brae Burn Country Club (MA). In the playoff, Hagen beats Brady 77 to 78 to win his second U. S. Open.

1920: Hagen resigns as Oakland Hills' pro. Taking Hagen's advice, the club hires Mike Brady to succeed him.

1920: L. L. Bredin wins inaugural Men's Club Championship (golf), Worden Hunter is runner-up.

1921: By a vote of the membership, Hagen is made an honorary member of the club.

1921: Mabel Hawkins wins inaugural Women's Club Championship (golf), Violet Hanley is runner-up.

1921: 100 maple and 70 elm trees are added to the golf course under the supervision of Donald Ross – mostly around tees to provide shade. (Reported by the Detroit Free Press Dec. 15, 1921.)

1921-22: Clubhouse designed and built. Completed in August, 1922 it includes 24 room-and-baths for overnight accommodation. The architect is C. Howard Crane, a club member and the architect of Orchestra Hall, the Fox Theater, the Capitol Theatre (now the Detroit Opera House) and other prominent Detroit theatres. The total cost is $650,000 – more than $300,000 over budget! 

1922: Western Open. Oakland Hills professional Mike Brady shoots a 291 to become the only host professional to win the Western, which, at this time, is considered a major championship. Jock Hutchison and Laurie Ayton tie for second ten strokes back at 301.

1922-24: North Course designed by Donald Ross in 1922. It's built in 1923 under the supervision of Ross associate Walter B. Hatch. It opens May 13, 1924, three weeks before the U. S. Open.

1924: U. S. Open. Cyril Walker wins Oakland Hills' first U. S. Open with a 297 (74, 74, 74, 75), beating defending champion Bobby Jones by three strokes. Jones performance on the 10th hole sinks him: two fives and two sixes – six over par on that single hole! (Years later, looking back on his career, Jones will refer to 10 as the toughest hole he has ever played.) Bill Mehlhorn is third with 301. Former Oakland Hills pro Walter Hagen ties for fourth with a 303. This is the first U. S. Open where the USGA allows the use of steel-shafted putters.

1924: Michigan Women's Amateur at Oakland Hills won by member Violet Hanley. 

1924: Mike Brady resigns to accept the position as head pro at Winged Foot. He is replaced by Ernie Ford.

1927 & 29: First Ryder Cup Matches are played at Worcester Country Club in Massachusetts in 1927, the second matches are at Moortown Golf Club in Leeds, England in 1929. Both American teams are captained by former Oakland Hills pro Walter Hagen and include future Oakland Hills pro Al Watrous. (Both teams also include Johnny Farrell, Gene Sarazen, Leo Diegel, Johnny Golden, Joe Turnesa, and Al Espinosa. Bill Mehlhorn is on the '27 team only. Ed Dudley and Horton Smith round out the '29 squad.) The Americans win in '27: 9 1/2 to 2 1/2. The British team takes '29: 7 to 5.

1928-33: John H. DeVisser is the club's longest-serving president.

1929: U. S. Women's Amateur. Glenna Collett defeats Leona Pressler 4 and 3 to win the fourth of her six amateur titles. Oakland Hills' Violet Hanley makes it to the quarterfinals. Medalists are Helen Hicks and Virginia Van Wie: 79. This is one of 16 consecutive tournament victories for Collett between 1928 and 1931.
1930: Al Watrous becomes Oakland Hills' fourth golf professional. Watrous had won the Canadian Open in 1922 and, in 1926, had been runner-up at The Open Championship (British Open) at Royal Lytham and St. Annes shooting 293 to Bobby Jones' winning 291. (Former Oakland Hills pro Walter Hagen tied for third with 295.) Watrous’s career record will include eight PGA Tour titles plus six Michigan Opens (’26, ’27, ’29, ’30, ’43, ’49), nine Michigan PGAs (’22, ’24, ’32, ’36, ’38, ’39, ’41, ’52, ’54), and eight Senior PGA titles including three PGA Seniors Championships (’50, ’51, ’57), and the 1957 World Senior Championship.

1931: Michigan Women's Amateur returns to Oakland Hills. Won by Dorothy Higbie of the Country Club of Detroit.

1933: North Course goes into operation as a daily fee public course under the name of North Hills Golf Course.

1934: On February 12 Al Watrous hires Leo Conroy to manage North Hills and serve as pro. On the same day, Leo’s eldest son, John, is born. Later, as members of Oakland Hills, John will become club champion in 1961 and ’70, his younger brother, Mike, will become club champion in 1962.

1934-37: Judge John P. O'Hara serves as club president. He is president during the 1937 U. S. Open and later serves as General Chairman of both the 1951 and 1961 U. S. Opens.

1935: Western Junior Amateur. 19-year-old Arkansan Freddie Haas defeats local amateur Walter Burkemo 7 and 6 in the final match.  (Burkemo will go on to become an assistant pro at Oakland Hills, head pro at Franklin Hills and, in 1953, winner of the PGA Championship at Birmingham Country Club [MI].)

1936: Western Girl's Junior Amateur. Iowan Edith Estabrooks wins final match 1-up over Hope Seignious. At just 15, Estabrooks is the WWGA's youngest girl's junior champion.

1936: Prior to the '37 Open, noted golf architect Albert W. Tillinghast is asked to look over the South Course and offer advice for improvements. Tillinghast reports, "This course needs nothing more to prepare it for the Open. What it needs is to be left alone." He also observes, "Oakland Hills is one of the finest golf courses, not alone in this country, but in the world."

1936: Joe Dey, Jr., Executive Director of the USGA, approaches Chris Brinke (member and noted amateur golfer) and suggests that Oakland Hills increases par on the eighth hole to 5 and reduces par on 14 to 4, creating a balance of two par 5s per side. The Open is played this way in '37 and the adjustment is made permanent for member play.

1937: U. S. Open. Ralph Guldahl shoots a low-scoring record 281 (71, 69, 72, 69) to win first of back-to-back U. S. Opens beating Sam Snead by two strokes in Snead's first Open appearance. Bobby Cruickshank is third with 285 and Harry Cooper fourth with 286. At 7037 yards, this is the first U. S. Open held on a course over 7000 yards long. And this is the last U. S. Open in which players are allowed to carry more than 14 clubs in their bag – Guldahl carries 19 throughout the tournament. Guldahl proves to be golf’s most dominant player from 1937 through ’39.

1938: Club hires Donald Ross for suggestions to improve South Course. Preliminary drawings of possible changes to each hole are made. Board decides to put Ross suggestions on hold to cut costs during depression. Only Ross’s suggestions for bunker removal go forward (in 1941 they sod over at least 19 bunkers).

1938-59: Margaret Russell, over a 21 year period, wins 15 club championships and is runner-up three times.

1938: First swimming pool opens on September 3 thanks to the persistent efforts of member Warren Pease over a ten year period.

1939: Women's Western Amateur. Edith Estabrooks returns to Oakland Hills and defeats Ellamae Williams 8 and 6 – a 39 year record-winning margin in the Women's Western Amateur.

1940 & 42: With the Ryder Cup suspended during the war, and to help raise money for the Red Cross, Oakland Hills hosts a series of exhibition matches. In 1940, Walter Hagen captains the Ryder Cup Team (Vic Ghezzi, Ralph Guldahl, Jimmy Hines, Dick Metz, Byron Nelson, Henry Picard, Horton Smith, Sam Snead) vs. Gene Sarazen's Challengers (Billy Burke, Harry Cooper, Jimmy Demaret, Ben Hogan, Lawson Little, Ed Oliver, Craig Wood, Gene Sarazen player/captain). The Ryder Cup Team comes out on top 7 to 5. In '42 Hagen changes sides and captains the Challengers (Sam Byrd, Harry Cooper, Ralph Guldahl, Chick Harbert, Clayton Heafner, Lawson Little, Dick Metz, Henry Picard, Jimmy Thomson, Joe Turnesa, Al Watrous) vs. Craig Wood's Ryder Cup Team (Jimmy Demaret, Ed Dudley, Vic Ghezzi, Ben Hogan, Lloyd Mangrum, Jug McSpaden, Byron Nelson, Gene Sarazen, Horton Smith, Craig Wood player/captain). Once again, the Ryder Cup Team triumphs, 10 to 5.

1940s-60: Hearst Tournaments are hosted by North Hills Golf Course from the mid-40s until 1960 when The Detroit Times, the local Hearst newspaper and sponsor, is sold to The Detroit News.

1946: Hearst National Junior Championship. In his first national tournament competition, 16-year-old Arnold Palmer is runner-up to MacGregor Hunter.

1948: Donald Ross dies April 26, 1948. His 1938 rough drawings of suggestions for changes to the South Course are turned over to Robert Trent Jones once he is hired in 1950 to modernize the course.

1949: John Anderson, an Oakland Hills caddy, is the first caddy in the Detroit District to be awarded a college scholarship by the Western Golf Association. 

1950: Robert Trent Jones is hired to modernize and strengthen the South Course. He narrows the fairways, eliminates bunkers that are out of play and adds new bunkers to squeeze the tee shot landing zones and the entryways to greens. The course goes from just under 90 bunkers to just over 120. On 15 he replaces the old fairway bunkers with one new one – in the dead center of the fairway driving zone. On 16 he nudges the green onto a new peninsula in the pond to create a more precarious approach shot. He reduces par on eight and 18 to 4 for tournament play. Most penal of all is the unintended consequence of over-seeding the ground around the new bunkers with rye grass to hold everything in place. The rye grows in fast and thick and stubbornly resists letting go of golf balls. In the process of this work, Jones invents the modern championship golf course. After Oakland Hills, Jones is hired to renovate Baltusrol (1952), Olympic (1954), Oak Hill (1956), Southern Hills (1957), and Winged Foot (1958), all in preparation for U. S. Opens. Jones becomes known as the "Open Doctor."
1951: U. S. Open. Defending champion Ben Hogan shoots a 287 (76, 73, 71, 67) to win his third U. S. Open by two strokes. He calls his final round 67 the greatest of his career and calls Oakland Hills "the hardest course I've ever played." At the award ceremony Hogan sums up his feelings with a few words that become more famous than any victory speech in the history of the U. S. Open: "I'm glad I brought this course –this monster—to its knees." Clayton Heafner is second with 289, Bobby Locke third with 291, and Lloyd Mangrum fourth with 293.

1952-88: Dorothy Thompson Keller, over a 36 year period, wins 12 club championships and is runner-up 14 times.

1955: Michigan Women's Amateur returns to Oakland Hills for a third time. Won by Margaret "Wiffi" Smith, who will win the World Women's Amateur and the North and South Women's Amateur this same year.

1960: All Star Golf television with host Jimmy Demaret films matches for three days at Oakland Hills: Bill Collins beats Dick Metz 71 to 78. Collins beats Al Besselink 71 to 74. In the final match, Collins is defeated by Walter Burkemo 70 to 71.

1960: A new tee is built for the eighth hole behind the 13th green by Trent Jones. It is an attempt to offer members an alternate tee that protects players on the seventh green from shanks off the regular eighth tee. This matter will be addressed again by redesigning the seventh hole in 1968.

1960-61: Casino Bar is constructed in what was originally the women’s (north) wing of the clubhouse by combining “Harry’s” Bar (originally the women’s lounge), the writing room, the card room, and the women’s coatroom. It’s completed in time for the 1961 U. S. Open.

1961: U. S. Open. Gene Littler wins with a 281 (73, 68, 72, 68). Bob Goalby and Doug Sanders are runners-up at 282. Future Oakland Hills pro, Mike Souchak, comes in fourth, tied with Jack Nicklaus at 284. This is Nicklaus's last U. S. Open as an amateur.

1963-2008: Hunter McDonald, over a 45 year period, wins 18 club championships and is runner-up eight times. In an 11 year period from 1998 to 2011 he wins the senior club championship seven times.

1964: Carling World Open: Bobby Nichols wins the inaugural Carling World and its record golf prize of $35,000 shooting a 278 (72, 68, 66, 72) to edge out Arnold Palmer by a stroke. Gary Player and Ben Hogan come in third and fourth at 281 and 282. It is during this tournament's first round that George Archer sets Oakland Hills' competitive course record of 65. The Carling World Open lasts only four years.

1966: The Best 18 Golf Holes in America by Dan Jenkins is published by Sports Illustrated. One of Jenkins' selections is Oakland Hills' 16th. (The complete 18 includes: 1 Merion, 2 Scioto, 3 Olympic, 4 Baltusrol, 5 Colonial, 6 Seminole, 7 Pine Valley, 8 Prairie Dunes, 9 Champions, 10 Winged Foot, 11 Merion, 12 Augusta, 13 The Dunes, 14 Cherry Hills, 15 Oakmont, 16 Oakland Hills, 17 Quail Creek, 18 Pebble Beach.)  
1967: Member Warren Pease is voted recipient of the Ben Hogan Award by the Golf Writers Association of America. The award honors those who remain active in golf despite serious illness or physical handicap.

1967: Al Watrous retires as head professional, he is succeeded by Mike Souchak.

1967-69: North Course once again becomes private second course for Oakland Hills after a membership vote in 1967.  A major redesign and renovation by Trent Jones takes place in ’68 and ‘69. First and ninth holes are reversed as are 15 and 16. Course goes from fewer than 20 bunkers to over 90, and from 6,300 yards to 6,668. Front nine opens in July ’69, back nine opens in the Fall. Also in ’69, an aluminum bridge (210 feet long, 11 feet wide, and weighing 40,000 pounds) is erected over Maple Road to connect South and North Courses.

1968: Major clubhouse renovation. Sleeping accommodations replaced on second floor by rooms for private parties.

1968: In preparation for the '72 PGA (and to avoid member shanks off the eighth tee), Trent Jones redesigns the seventh hole in order to move the green rightwards. What was a relatively straight hole of 381 yards to a rolling green becomes a 408 yard dogleg right to a more benign green.

1971: After 33 years, original pool is replaced by a new, larger pool and a two-floor pool house.

1972: PGA Championship. Gary Player wins with a 281 (71, 71, 67, 72) after "miracle nine iron" over trees and pond to within four feet of the cup on 16. Tommy Aaron and Jim Jamieson are runners-up at 283. Sam Snead, at 60-years-old, ties for fourth with Billy Casper and Raymond Floyd at 284.

1973: Member Violet K. Hanley inducted into the Michigan Amateur Sports Hall of Fame for golf.

1973: First Men's Invitational is held in response to member Howard Acheson's suggestion to President Ray West and the club's directors. The Scottish Highlanders introduce bagpipes to the conclusion of the event in 1978. In 1980 the pewter piper trophy is introduced and the invitational becomes casually referred to as "The Piper." The name becomes official by 1983.

1973 & 74: Member Bill Prew serves two terms as president of the Golf Association of Michigan.

1973-74: Mike Souchak leaves Oakland Hills to take up head professional duties at Innisbrook (FL). Leo Conroy fills in for a year, retires, and is replaced by Al Mengert.

1975: Member William A. (Bill) Prew inducted into the Michigan Amateur Sports Hall of Fame for swimming.

1976: C. Boyd Stockmeyer is president of Detroit Athletic Club.  Having served as Oakland Hills president in 1965, he is one of only two people to serve as president of both clubs. Also see 1981.
1979: PGA Championship. David Graham shoots 272 (69, 68, 70, 65) and ties Ben Crenshaw. In the sudden-death playoff Graham hangs on with nearly miraculous putting on the first two holes and then grabs the victory with a deuce on the third hole. Rex Caldwell is third with 274 and Ron Streck is fourth with 276. At 67 Sam Snead is the oldest player to ever make the cut in a major. Nine players are under par, more than at any other major in Oakland Hills' history.

1980: Member Kay Healey first introduces the idea of establishing a galleria for the display of photographs and artifacts to help preserve the history of the club. It is constructed in the second floor hallway. 

1981: Bill Prew is president of Oakland Hills. Having served as Detroit Athletic Club president in 1970, he is one of only two people to serve as president of both clubs. Also see 1976.

1981: U. S. Senior Open. Arnold Palmer's 289 (72, 76, 68, 73) ties Billy Casper and Bob Stone. Palmer wins the 18-hole playoff by four strokes with a 70 to Stone's 74 and Casper's 77. Art Wall is fourth with 290. 1961 Open winner Gene Littler comes in fifth with 292.

1981-84: Members Margaret K. Russell ('81), Thomas E. (Tommy) Sheehan ('83), and Christian A. Brinke ('84) inducted into the Michigan Amateur Sports Hall of Fame for golf.

1982: Al Watrous inducted into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame.

1985: U. S. Open. Andy North wins his second U. S. Open with a 279 (70, 65, 70, 74). Dave Barr, Chen Tze-chung (aka T. C. Chen), and Denis Watson are runners-up at 280. Tied for fifth are Lanny Wadkins, Payne Stewart, and Seve Ballesteros at 281. It's at this Open that Chen takes the lead with a double-eagle 2 on number two in the first round (the first double-eagle in U. S. Open history) and holds the lead until a quadruple bogey 8 on number five in the final round.

1986: Al Mengert retires as head pro and moves to Scottsdale (AZ). Assistant pro Pat Croswell takes over as head professional.

1986: Walter Hagen Invitational first played as the Mini-Piper but named for Oakland Hills’ first professional in 1987. John Morad Sr., Jim Beachum, Bill Neff, Mike Savoie, Jerry Tranzow, and Tom Woods begin tournament for members unable to play in the Piper Invitational. Originally a two-day best ball with the winning team determined by Stableford Points, the format changed in 2017 to match play to better honor Hagen, the greatest match play golfer in history.

1991: 75 Years at Oakland Hills, a history of the club, by member Bryon Perry (with the assistance of club historian Kay Healey) is published to celebrate Oakland Hills' diamond jubilee.

1991: U. S. Senior Open. Jack Nicklaus's 282 (72, 69,70,71) ties Chi Chi Rodriguez. In the 18-hole playoff Nicklaus matches the competitive course record firing a 65 to best Rodriguez's 69. Al Geiberger is third with 283. Third round leader Lee Trevino ties Jim Dent for fourth with 284.

1992: Michigan Amateur held on North Course. Randy Lewis of Alma defeats Dean Kobane of Livonia 3 & 2 in the final.

1993: Walk of Champions is built at first tee – a series of plaques mounted on stone commemorating the winners of the club's major championships and matches.

1995: Renowned golf artist, Linda Hartough, paints the 16th hole in honor of the upcoming ’96 Open. The original painting is purchased for the club by the generous donations of 44 members and their spouses. The painting hangs over the fireplace in the south dining room.

1996: U. S. Open. Steve Jones wins with a 278 (74, 66, 69, 69). Tom Lehman and Davis Love III are runners-up at 279. John Morse is fourth with 280. Ernie Els and Jim Furyk tie for fifth with 281. This is Tiger Wood's (294) last U. S. Open as an amateur.

1999-2000: $16,250,000 extensive renovation of clubhouse, construction of new and expanded pro shop, and new first tee facility that includes bag storage and cart garage.

2002: Club transforms the Casino Bar into the Heritage Room with photography and plaques that provide an overview of the club's history.

2002: U. S. Amateur held on both South and North Courses. Medalist: Bill Haas (Wake Forest) 135 (67, 68). In the semi-finals, Ricky Barnes (U. of Arizona) defeats Bill Haas 1 up, and Hunter Mahan Oklahoma State) defeats Dustin Bray (U. of N. Carolina) 1 up. In the final match, Barnes defeats Mahan 2 and 1. 

2004: Ryder Cup Matches. Bernhard Langer and Team Europe (Paul Casey, Darren Clarke, Luke Donald, Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington, David Howell, Miguel Jimenez, Thomas Levet, Paul McGinley, Colin Montgomerie, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood) defeat Hal Sutton and Team USA (Chad Campbell, Steward Cink, Chris DiMarco, Fred Funk, Jim Furyk, Jay Haas, Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson, Kenny Perry, Chris Riley, David Toms, Tiger Woods) 18 1/2 to 9 1/2. It is the widest margin of victory for the Europeans in the history of the matches.

2004: Ryder Cup Opening Ceremonies are emceed by future U. S. president Donald J. Trump. The matches are attended by former U. S. president George H. W. Bush and former British prime minister John Major.

2004-05: Driving range is doubled in size and an all-season golf instruction facility is built. A new swimming pool, tennis courts, and pool/tennis house are constructed between the parking lot and Oakhills Drive. The paddle tennis platforms are moved behind the first tee house. On the north side of Maple Road, a short game practice area is constructed between Gilbert Lake Road and the 18th hole.

2006: Rees Jones, Trent's son, updates and toughens the South Course, repositioning many bunkers, enlarging the ponds on seven and 16 and building new tees to stretch the course to 7,445 yards.

2006: Arnold Palmer is named an honorary member of the club by the board of directors.

2007: Club hosts the International Final Qualifier for the Americas for the 136th Open Championship (British Open) at Carnoustie. Both courses are employed. Qualifying: Brian Davis, Mark Hensby, Charley Hoffman, Anders Hultman, Jerry Kelly, Matt Kucher, Spencer Levin, Ryan Moore, Sean O’Hair, Michael Pultnam, John Senden, Duffy Waldorf. Padraig Harrington wins Open in a four hole playoff against Sergio Garcia after both finish with 277s. (They come close to repeating this finish at Oakland Hills in the 2008 PGA Championship.)

2008: PGA Championship. Padraig Harrington puts together back-to-back final rounds of 66 to capture the title by two strokes with a 277 (71, 74, 66, 66). Ben Curtis and Sergio Garcia are runners-up at 279. Tied for fourth are Camilo Villegas and Henrik Stenson at 281.

2008: Half-Way Shack on the 10th tee is torn down – often referred to as “Iris’s shack” in honor of Iris Harrelson who managed it for over 35 years. This is the fourth half-way shack to occupy this site since the ‘40s. A new food shack is built at the eighth tee behind the 13th green.

2009: October 15 David Feherty speaks at Scholarship Trust event.

2010: September 15 Arnold Palmer and Andy North speak at Scholarship Trust event.

2010-11: Member Lee Juett serves as president of the Golf Association of Michigan.

2011: September 22 Hank Haney speaks at Scholarship Trust event with Long Drive Champion Cary Shuman.

2012: The Mixed Grill is remodeled and transformed into the Hagen Grill to honor one of the world's greatest golfers and the club's first professional.

2012: Michigan Amateur returns to North Course. Drew Preston of Ada wins championship 2-up over Tom Werkmeister of Kentwood.

2012: September 19 Chi Chi Rodriguez speaks at Scholarship Trust event with CBS Sports broadcaster Gary McCord and retired USN Admiral Timothy J. Keating.

2013: Shawn Smith of Hills and Forrest carries out major renovations of the North Course, redesigning 15 and 16 to deal with drainage issues, removing many trees, repositioning many bunkers, realigning most tees, and lengthening the course to 6,908 yards.

2013: Member Scott Strickland wins the Golf Association of Michigan Championship at Birmingham Country Club firing a final round 64 to beat Casey Baker of Ann Arbor by six shots, 208 to 214.

2013: September 30 Jack Nicklaus speaks at Scholarship Trust event with Rich Lerner as moderator.

2013: Jack Nicklaus is named an honorary member of the club by the board of directors.

2014: Professionals Room honoring all of the club’s head professionals is opened at the north end of the clubhouse second floor replacing the Jones Room.

2014: Oakland Hills Centennial Poster designed by member Richard Howting and president of Golf Curator, Inc., Andrew Mutch, goes on sale.

2014: September 8 Former U. S. president George W. Bush speaks at Scholarship Trust event with his daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, as moderator.

2015: Hall of Champions is installed in the second floor hallway featuring displays celebrating every major golf competition held at Oakland Hills.

2015: Majors Trophy Case is installed in the main foyer to display replicas of trophies for the U. S. Open, U.S. Amateur (Havemeyer Trophy), U. S. Women’s Amateur (Cox Cup), U. S. Senior Open (Ouimet Memorial Trophy), PGA Championship (Wanamaker Trophy), Ryder Cup, and Western Open (J. K. Wadley Trophy).

2015: The Monster 1916-2016 by noted golf writer Vartan Kupelian, a coffee-table book celebrating “100 Years of Golf and Glory” at Oakland Hills, goes on sale.

2016: Pat Croswell retires as head pro. Steve Brady, the club’s Director of Instruction since 1997, becomes the new head professional.

2016: The Heritage Room is redesigned and rebuilt to commemorate the 1951 U. S. Open.

2016: Lost Donald Ross South Course revisions of 1938 are found in the Trent Jones archives at Cornell and sent to the club by Ron Whitten.

2016: U. S. Amateur held on both South and North Courses. Medalist: Alex Smalley (Duke) 133 (65, 68). In the semi-finals, Curtis Luck defeats Nick Carlson (U. of Michigan) in 21 holes, and Brad Dalke (U. of Oklahoma) defeats Jonah Texeira (USC) 3 and 2. In the final match, Luck defeats Dalke 6 and 4.

2016: Club celebrates its centennial on Ocotber 15 with a dinner/dance held in the clubhouse, on the veranda, and in a large tent constructed on the first tee for the event. Former club professionals Al Mengert and Pat Croswell are named honorary members. Past tournament champions Gene Littler (’61), Bobby Nichols (’64), Gary Player (’72), David Graham (’79), Andy North (’85), Steve Jones (’96), Ricky Barnes (’02), Padraig Harrington (’08), and Curtis Luck (’16) are also named honorary members, as is Lisa Scott, Ben Hogan’s grandniece, who attends in his honor together with Robert Stennett of the Ben Hogan Foundation.

2016: October 17 Oakland Hills 100 years old.

2017: October 9 Gary Player speaks at Scholarship Trust event with Steve Sands as moderator.

2018: July 13 100th anniversary of the official opening of the South Course.
2019: Ryder Cup Room is opened to commemorate the many personalities and events that connect Oakland Hills with the Ryder Cup – from the first official matches of 1927 and ’29, through the Red Cross Matches of the 1940s, up to the 2004 Matches. This replaces the Ross Room.

2019: Michigan Amateur returns once again to the North Course. Ben Smith (Georgia Tech.) of Novi is medalist: 133 (68, 65) and, in match play, defeats Patrick Sullivan (U. of Michigan) of Grosse Pointe 2 & 1 in the final. 

2019: Holes 14 and 16 on the North Course swap positions.

2019: September 30 Tom Watson speaks at Scholarship Trust event with Brandel Chamblee as moderator.

2019: October 1 South Course closes for 21 months. Gil Hanse restores the original Donald Ross design.

2020: Erik Johnson of Nels J. Johnson Tree Experts, Inc. informs the club that the old Bur Oak on the North Course, between the second and eighth fairways, is 300 to 400 years old. It is the most valuable and important tree on Oakland Hills’ property.

2021: Restored South Course opens July 1. Phil Cuffare, Director of Agronomy, cuts ribbon and officially opens course July 11. Celebratory dinner party features Gil Hanse as guest speaker.

2021: Bringing Ross Back: The Restoration of Oakland Hills’ South Course, a book on the history of the South Course –its original design by Donald Ross, its 1950 changes by Trent Jones, and its restoration by Gil Hanse— goes on sale.

2021: Al Watrous named to PGA of America Hall October 30. Formal ceremony held in Milwaukee November 3.

2022: Fire destroys most of the clubhouse on February 17 while crews from eleven area fire departments fight to save what they can.

2022: Club Championship record set by Jimmy Chesnut who wins by 21 strokes shooting 10 under par: 67 South Course, 68 North Course, 69 South Course for a 204 total.

2022: USGA announces eight future championships for Oakland Hills at Detroit Athletic Club, March 22: 2024 U. S. Junior Amateur; 2029 U.S. Women’s Amateur (centennial of Glenna Collett’s victory); 2031 U. S. Women’s Open; 2034 U. S. Open; 2038 U. S. Girls’ Junior Amateur; 2042 U. S. Women’s Open; 2047 U. S. Amateur; 2051 U. S. Open (centennial of Ben Hogan’s victory).

2022: December 28, membership vote approves master plan proposal to rebuild Clubhouse.

2023: Michigan Amateur returns to the North Course for the fourth time. Patrick Deardorff (Eastern Michigan U.) of Clarkston is medalist: 134 (67,67). In the final match, August Meekhof (Michigan State U.) of Eastmanville defeats Will Anderson (U. of Michigan) of Portage 2 and 1.

2023: Groundbreaking ceremony for new clubhouse held on December 19. More than 250 members, staff, and township representatives in attendance for on-site speeches and groundbreaking followed by a champagne toast and celebration in the 1918 Pavilion.