September brings with it a lot of great things. The start of the NFL season, cooler temperatures, the leaves changing colors, and pumpkin bread at your local Starbucks. But for me, the best thing that September brings is the John R Williams Invitational, at historic Oak Hill Country Club.
Oak Hill Country Club, located just outside of Rochester, New York, has two world-class golf courses. The West course is a Donald Ross design, and it’s a real treat to play. But it’s the longer, tougher, more famous East Course that I really love. The East Course is the only course in the world to have hosted every major men’s golf championship that moves around (the US Open, the PGA Championship, the US Amateur, the US Senior Open, the US Senior PGA Championship, and the Ryder Cup). Just last year it hosted the PGA Championship, won by Jason Dufner. But every September the club opens its doors for their annual invitational for nationally-ranked mid amateur golfers. And I’ve been fortunate enough to get that invitation for the last few years.
Oak Hill East is a traditional, tree-lined golf course that has every design element a golfer could want (trees, rough, bunkers, water hazards, and elevation changes). Here in the Denver area we have several classic, tree-lined golf courses that have some of those same design elements (including Cherry Hills Country Club, which is hosting the PGA Tour’s BMW Championship this week), but none of them can hold a candle to Oak Hill East. For starters, Oak Hill East plays at least 500 yards longer than any of the courses out here in Denver, due to the lack of altitude. Second, there are at least 10 times as many trees at Oak Hill as there are at any course here in Colorado. And finally, the piece of property that Oak Hill sits upon is just better than anything we have here in Colorado. There really is no comparison.
For a guy who loves classic, old, tree-lined golf courses there is no better place to play than Oak Hill’s East course. It is literally my favorite golf course in the world. If you ever get the chance to play it, I recommend you drop everything and do so. And the picture above? It’s the world famous 18th green at Oak Hill East.