Sunday, September 24

Oakland Hills Country Club fire: Historic clubhouse destroyed in massive blaze

The Bloomfield Township Fire Departments and Southfield Fire Departments have been called to a massive fire at the Oakland Hills Country Club Thursday morning and, according to video from the scene, the fire is raging.

The call for the massive fire came in around 10 a.m. A spokesperson from the Bloomfield Township Fire Department told FOX 2 that every single firefighter from the department is on the scene.

A short time later, the Southfield Fire Department was called in for mutual aid.

It’s unknown how the fire started or if anyone was hurt.

Maple Road is closed while firefighter work to put out the massive fire.

Where is the Oakland Hills Country Club?

The Oakland Hills Country Club is in Oakland County, Michigan, and is about 15 miles north of Detroit.

The country club sits on Maple Road between Lahser and Telegraph and consists of two courses: the north and the south course.

Maple Road runs between the two courses but players can cross to each side via an arched pedestrian bridge.

What is the history of the Oakland Hills Country Club

The Oakland Hills Country Club is one of the most prestigious courses in Michigan and has hosted the six U.S. Open Championships, three PGA Championships, and the 2004 Ryder Cup. 

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Originally founded in 1916, it has played a significant role in history of the sport of golf in the United States. 

Construction started in 1917 after two Ford executives bought farmland on Maple Road. The South Course of Oakland Hills opened first in 1918 and the clubhouse was then finished in August 1922. That same year, construction started on the North Course and was finished two years later.

The two golf courses are on either side of Maple Road and, connecting the two, is the world’s largest arched aluminum pedestrian bridge. It’s 210 feet long, 11 feet wide, and weighs over 40,000 pounds.

The first major tournament was the Western Open in 1922, followed by the U.S. Open in 1924. 

Golf legends including Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, and Jack Nicklaus have all played and won various tournaments.

The club just finished a complete renovation of the South Course in July 2021 with hopes of being considered for a future U.S. Open or PGA Championship. 

It last hosted a major event in 2008 (PGA Championship) but also hosted the U.S. Amateur in 2016.

“The Monster”

In 1951, when Hogan won the U.S. Open at Oakland Hills, he gave the course it’s iconic nickname.

“If I had to play this course for a living every week, I’d get into another business,” Hogan said at the time. “I’m glad I brought this course — this monster — to its knees.”

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The course was made much tougher ahead of the 1951 championship when Oakland Hills’ Executive Committee hired Robert Trent Jones Sr. to “toughen up” the South Course.

How much harder was the course? Hogan won the historic tournament and finished at 7-over-par.

The historic Oakland Hills Country Club caught fire Thursday morning.

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