Firefighters broke out a fire Thursday morning in The famous Auckland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Townshipwhere many of the world’s best golfers have played in the last century.
At about ten in the morning, flames engulfed the roof of the private club as black smoke billowed. The fire quickly spread, engulfing much of the wooden structure at 3950 of West Maple Road.
Eventually, the roof collapsed, described by a fire official as a “near-total loss.”
Although it is a luxurious private club with many rules and traditions – “proper attire is required at all times in public,” “when in doubt, the club prefers its members and guests to dress rather than dress,” shirttails must be worn. everywhere”—the devastation was significant to the many Michiganders who saw in the club the aspirations of generations of Michiganders.
Even if you’ve never been to a club – or played golf before – you know The club’s southern stadium It occupies a place among some of America’s greatest. Golf Digest Ranked 21st, it has hosted 14 major golf tournaments and the Golf Association Championships in the United States.
Moreover, the club was a venue for weddings and other community events.
“I was really disappointed when I found out about this fire in Oakland Hills (where I worked as a hostess the summer after high school),” US Representative Haley Stevens, MD of Rochester Hills, wrote on Twitter. “My heart goes out to our amazing Bloomfield Hills community, and I pray for everyone’s safety as we try to save history.”
Several fire departments responded after the fire broke out in the attic.
The Great White Club, which opened in 1922, was designed by architect C. Howard Crane. It was modeled after Mount Vernon, George Washington’s farm home in Fairfax County, Virginia.
It was filled with irreplaceable golf tournament memorabilia and century-old art. However, much of it is likely to be lost forever in a fire or badly damaged by smoke and water.
Throughout the morning hours, firefighters used water cannons and ladders to attack the flames and contain the flames. By noon they were still at the scene. Early reports, however, indicate that the fire destroyed much of the central part of the storied club.
The parts damaged by the fire are where the main dining room and the ballroom were used by the club for its grandest events.
There were no reports of injuries.
The club itself was a place of “family fun” through “innovative and traditional events, celebrations and programs” that offered club members “a variety of opportunities to relax and enjoy themselves in their “home away from home” throughout the seasons.”
In addition to golf, the club offers tennis, swimming, heated paddle courts, and fitness.
News accounts said the club had about 550 members, some of whom paid $72,000 in start-up fees and an additional $8,400 annually in fees and dues, plus another $1,000 a year in food and beverages.
Read more: Auckland Hills hosts two US women’s openings
The Oakland Hills Country Club was founded in 1916 by Joseph Mack and Norval Hawkins, two Ford executives, at a meeting of 47 friends and partners of the Detroit Athletic Club.
They decided there would be 140 charter memberships at a cost of $250 a piece.
Walter Hagen, an 11-time winner, was the club’s first professional president.
The club now includes two 18-hole courses designed by Donald Ross, the south course, the older, and the north course.
Last year, Oakland Hills spent nearly two years and $12 million restoring its southern course, which golfer Ben Hogan dubbed The Beast, when he won the 1951 US Open.
“I’m glad I brought this track – this beast – to its knees,” he said.
The restoration was part of the club’s efforts to host the US Open as early as 2028.
When Ross, the famous course designer, first visited the property, he told Mack, “Lord meant this for a golf course.” In his comments on golf architecture, he said, “I seldom find a piece of property well suited to a golf course.”
Since then, the club has held six US Opens, two US Senior Openings, two US Amateurs, two US Amateurs, three PGA Championships, hosted the 1922 Western Open, the 1964 Carling World Open, and the Fifth Ryder Cup Thirty, in 2004.
In January, the club won the US Women’s Open in 2031 and 2042.
Sports writer Carlos Monárez contributed.
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