Travelogue: Oakmont CC

By |  March 22, 2016 0 Comments

oakmont2Last week I had the pleasure of visiting one of the most famous, well-respected, “major” oakmontgolf courses out there… legendary Oakmont (Pa.) CC.

The last time I was there was back in 2007 when they hosted that year’s U.S. Open. I was excited to get back and see what looked familiar and what looked different.



First, the familiar: John Zimmers warmly welcomed me, as he did nine years ago, as the course’s director of operations. Another familiar face was Dave Delsandro, who in the ensuing years had left to be a superintendent on his own before returning to take the position of Director of U.S. Open Operations and Projects (more on that in the GolfdomTV video, which goes live today — apologies for the wind in the audio, I’ll fix that in future videos.)


IMG_2609The different: the views across the course, which are now wide-open, and one Mike McCormick, assistant superintendent, a Boston-bred disciple of Dick Bator.

I’ll get more into this for our upcoming feature story on the 2016 U.S. Open, and I’ll again refer you to the GolfdomTV video… but there’s been some serious work done at Oakmont since I was last there. Not to the way the course plays, but to the views of the property. Many more trees and brush were removed and massive work was done to beautify the area surrounding the Pennsylvania Turnpike that bisects the course.



Mike McCormick

On my short visit, McCormick was directing a crew of four Toro ProCores and about eight guys shoveling cores. I got some good action shots of that… they were doing some serious work! Almost felt bad being the guy standing there holding a three-pound camera while these guys were burning calories at an alarming rate. Every time I got caught up in a conversation, I’d turn around at the conclusion and the crew would be done clearing the green and moving on to the next one…



I’ve got my notebook out now, I’m getting ready to transcribe these interviews I did for my feature story. So stay tuned for that in the next couple issues…

IMG_2615In the meantime, one last thing: if you make it to the US Open this year, go out the front gate, take a left and stop in at Somma Pizza & Sports Bar… and order the Roethlisberger. You won’t regret it (unless you’re on a diet.)

Photos: Golfdom

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About the Author: Seth Jones

Seth Jones, a 25-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at

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