Oakmont East Closed...For Good?

Oakmont East From Googe Earth (click to enlarge)
Mike Dudurich
reports on Oakmont Country Club closing it's neighboring 1938 Emil Loeffler public course, possibly for good.

The 18-hole public layout, which borders historic Oakmont Country Club's 3rd hole, was closed for play in the fall of 2006 as preparations began in earnest for the 2007 U.S. Open.

It has not opened in 2007 and, while no decisions have been made beyond 2008, the possibility exists that it may not reopen at all.

"With all of the considerations for the 2010 Women's Open (which will be held at Oakmont CC), at least for 2008, we are not going to open the Oakmont East golf course," said Oakmont CC general manager Tom Wallace. "It would require rebuilding the course so that it's safe again for play and then it would be put back in use for the Women's Open. We need a clearer picture about what the footprint will be for the Women's Open before we make any long-term decisions. We're reviewing all options."

If the USGA Executive Committee were in touch with reality, they might understand that the closing of a public course to make it a one week permanent tent village every few years or could ultimately reflect poorly on them and their all important corporate partners.