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The future of big events at Oak Tree National: When could the course get another major event?

Oak Tree National co-owner Ed Evans doesn’t know what tournament it will be, or when it will be held, but he hopes the club will be making an announcement in “the next several months” about another major event coming to Edmond.
by Scott Wright Published: July 13, 2014
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Oak Tree National co-owner Ed Evans doesn’t know what tournament it will be, or when it will be held, but he hopes the club will be making an announcement in “the next several months” about another major event coming to Edmond.

After a successful week hosting the U.S. Senior Open, Oak Tree National is ready to look for its next big tournament.

It was 2009 when the club announced it would be hosting this tournament, and about four or five years’ advance notice is necessary to allow a course and a community to prepare for such an event.

Some of the biggest events Oak Tree is pursuing, like the U.S. Open and Ryder Cup, are scheduled even farther out. The next available U.S. Open is in 2022, and the United States’ next Ryder Cup opening is in 2024.

But the organizers of those events are trying to slow themselves down, so they don’t schedule tournaments too far in advance.

Oak Tree National can look at its own past to see why organizers have concerns.

After hosting the 1988 PGA Championship, Oak Tree was set to get the tournament again in 1994. But the course went bankrupt in 1990 and fell off the map as a major tournament option.

Oakland Hills in the Detroit area has had to fight hard to keep itself relevant as a major-championship site because of the financial struggles that area has faced.

“Those organizations really want to reel in that lead-up time, but they’re not sure how they do it, because it takes so much time to get the infrastructure set up,” Evans said. “They haven’t figured out the right way to overcome that yet.”

For the Senior Open, the USGA had an official on-site at Oak Tree since 2011 helping to prepare the course for the tournament.

by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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