There are no shortage of regulars on GOLF’s Top 100 Courses in the World list — in fact, it’s nearly all regulars. But that’s not to say there’s no churn or fresh faces. This time around, seven newcomers made the cut, and in the coming days, we’re going to introduce (or reintroduce!) you to each of them. Here’s a closer look at No. 76 on the 2021-22 ranking: Oak Hill’s East Couse in New York.
No. 76: Oak Hill (East)
Donald Ross (1921), Andrew Green (2020)
Championship golf is a double-edged sword. Hosting major events on a regular basis confers prestige and pride to any membership. Conversely, many sites deemed major-worthy were built approximately a century ago when hickory shafted clubs were the norm. Immense pressure is placed on clubs to have their course evolve to handle equipment advancements.
One banal way? Increase the use of penal water hazards. This is what happened at Oak Hill in the late 1970s when the club introduced water at two new one-shotters, the 6th and 15th. The result? The course yielded some moments etched in American lore, such as Jack Nicklaus’s tour de force performance in winning the 1980 PGA Championship by seven shots, and the 1995 Ryder Cup.
So, all was well, right? Actually, no. Much to its credit, the club instead embraced that the course’s original designer, Donald Ross, was the maestro and, given how much time Ross spent in Rochester, that his work should be brought back to the greatest extent possible. Among other enhancements, Andrew Green saw to it that the incongruent water features were removed and that the mighty East Course was once again a cohesive Golden Age masterpiece without blemishes.