Oakland Hills Golf Club's iconic clubhouse is destroyed by fire
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP (Mich.) -- A fire engulfed the Oakland Hills Country Club's century-old clubhouse on Thursday. The course in suburban Detroit was home to artifacts from some of the most prominent golfers and the championships they won.
The multi-story clubhouse was razed by flames. It was constructed in 1922. It houses irreplaceable memorabilia from the nine major championships as well as the Ryder Cup Oakland Hills hosted for nearly 100 years.
Rick Palmer, club president, stated that "we have lost our iconic clubhouse".
There were no injuries. It was not immediately clear what caused the fire. Officials from the fire department said that the clubhouse, measuring 110,000 square feet, was one of the largest wood structures found in Michigan.
The Oakland Hills was established in 1916 and has been home to six U.S. Opens. Only two other courses have hosted it more often than Oakland Hills. Ben Hogan won the 1951 Open and said, "I'm glad that I brought this course to its knees." Over the years, the "monster" has become synonymous with Oakland Hills.
Two U.S. Amateurs were also present at the facility. It also hosted two U.S. amateurs, most recently in 2016.
Palmer thanked firefighters for saving some priceless memorabilia on a "gut wrenching day."
He said, "Only time can tell what the future holds." However, he stated that they will continue to move forward with a purpose in honoring all those who helped to bring this magnificent building to life through their golf and work.
There are two courses at the club. The club's most famous South course was recently renovated for $12 million. This renovation will help to land more majors. It was recently awarded the U.S. Women's Open 2031-2042.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Oakland Hills friends. John Bodenhamer (chief championships officer, United States Golf Association) stated that the club will be supported in any way possible during this rebuilding process.