OAKMONT, Pa. — Just behind the elbow where the 15th green pivots against the 16th tee at Oakmont Country Club sits "The Dump." It features no garbage trucks. No garbage men. Not even any garbage.
What it does have is wood. Lots and lots of wood – chopped and split and piled up 10 feet high. And that's just what's been cut. Next to that pile sits another of stumps and logs and branches that Oakmont's starter Reed Clarke and his four-to-five-man crew haven't gotten to yet.
"I can't tell you how much wood we've split," said Clarke. "We can't get to it all."
The wood in The Dump is what's left of Oakmont's tree removal project, a covert operation that began under the cover of darkness a quarter century ago. Now, 25 years and some 10,000-plus felled pin oaks and sycamores later, Oakmont readies to host its record ninth U.S. Open, and the story of what happened to those trees rises again.
At its inception in 1903, Oakmont's farm-field 18-hole track hadRead More »from U.S. Open: The covert plan to transform America's toughest golf course