Dustin Johnson won the 116th US Open Championship at Oakmont Country Club on greens prepared with specially adapted Jacobsen PGM 22 walking mowers. In a controversial final round he held off the challenge of Shane Lowry, Jim Furyk and Scott Piercy to win by three strokes with a total score of 276
This latest US Open was a record 9th time that Oakmont had staged the event and much has been said about the famed course over the years and its unrivalled reputation as being tournament ready every day of the year.
John Zimmers, the Superintendent of Oakmont Country Club said,
"When you say things like tournament ready or championship ready, these are the expectations of Oakmont Country Club and what we strive to provide for our members every day. Part of the history, the culture here at Oakmont has always been about firm and fast greens. Our greens are a very unique poa annua grass that we found are best maintained with a Jacobsen PGM 22 fitted with a 19" reel on a 22" roller. I've been using them since I first arrived here in 1999.
"I've been doing this for years now and we've tried other mowers, other technology and we always come back to this mower. It cuts better, you get a better green speed, better quality-of-cut, better performance, better turf health and it's just undoubtedly, hands down the best mowers for Oakmont's greens."
David Delsandro, Director of U.S. Open Operations and Projects added,
"Of course, the high level of expectations at Oakmont brings a certain level of stress, but we embrace that pressure and although we really don't maintain the course that differently for the U.S. Open, we focus on what we normally do and let our body of work show for itself.
"The new Jacobsen HR700 rotary enables us to meet the USGA specifications for rough mowing and we can mow at a 5-inch height-of-cut and as a result, get a more uniform, denser stand of rough."
Lee Trevino once said that there's only one course in the country where you could step out right now - right now - and play the U.S. Open, and that's Oakmont.
What the team at Oakmont 'normally' does is nothing short of incredible - consistently providing green speeds over 13 and 14 feet - in addition to maintaining 210 bunkers and keeping 300 acres looking picture-perfect every day. Even the famed church pews get special attention to ensure they look good year round as it's not unusual to have visitors in the dead of winter wanting to see them.
"Ultimately, it goes back to what course designer Henry Fownes' originally wanted: a very brutal test of golf, but fair," said Zimmers. "And I think that's really how you describe the U.S. Open, you want the players to grind and the best player will get the trophy."
"We recently renewed our fleet of greens mowers and local Jacobsen dealer, Krigger & Co, came in and replicated the identical setup of our mowers, which have been dialled in so precisely for our needs," Delsandro added.
For Zimmers, one of the most rewarding things about working at Oakmont is seeing his team come together and realize how much they have accomplished.
"Right now, we have a very special group of young men who are starting to see in these last few weeks the results of all their hard work and dedication. They can look back and appreciate what they did on those cold March mornings. And, best of all, it will be very rewarding for me to see where these young men will be in a few years and how successful they will undoubtedly be."
For more information, visit www.ransomesjacobsen.com.