Tripp Davis, an All-American at OU who played on the 1989 national championship team, has been involved in golf renovation architecture the past 20 years.
Davis shared his thoughts on how alterations his company and others made during a 10-month renovation at Oak Tree National in 2008 and 2009 could impact the way players approach specific holes.
No. 1 (407-yard, par 4): “Scott and Bob thought that needed to be a difficult driving hole to reintroduce a really big (safe) area down the right side. Adding bunkers to the middle of the fairway will force players to approach it differently than they did in 2006.”
No. 2 (383-yard, par 4): “We introduced a steeper slope in front of the green which is how Pete Dye designed it originally. You now have to hit a low shot to run it onto the green or you fly it to the green. You no longer can hit it short and have it bounce on.”
No. 4 (206-yard, par 3): “It got to a point you could miss right and still bounce onto the green. We made the green smaller and reintroduced little hollows on the right side which forces you to land on the green which also brings water back into play. That’s one of the scariest holes these guys will play, especially if the wind is swirling.”
No. 9 (411-yard, par 4) “Those were the first bunkers Scott, Hollywood, Everett and I worked on. It helped us develop a style we decided to use consistently throughout the course.”
No. 13 (206-yard par 3): “This was a difficult tee shot in the past because if you missed right you avoided water but there were lulls that left a really difficult chip shot. We restored those lulls so if you miss right it’s difficult to save par, the way it used to be.”
No. 14 (599-yard par 5): “We took a couple of fairway bunkers up on the right and brought them closer to the fairway.”
No. 17 (201-yard par 3): “This was one of the most significant changes when we took down a wall. We restored the giant beach bunker. The green is smaller. Some might think it’s easier because you can miss left of the green. You avoid water but you’ll have a long bunker shot that’s straight downwind.”
Editor’s note: Because the two nines are being flip-flopped for the U.S. Senior Open, Davis’ comments are in regard to numbers that will be used for the Champions Tour major July 10-13.