The best of Metro Detroit Home of Oakland Hills Country Club

By Chris LewisAugust 4, 2008, 4:00 pm

During the first week of August, Metro Detroit will welcome a major championship for the first time since the 1996 U.S. Open. While Detroit is known for its automotive industry and Motown music, the suburbs of Detroit are bustling with activity and offer many choices of hospitality, entertainment and dining for visitors enjoying the action of the PGA Championship. The following four Detroit suburbs are conveniently located near Oakland Hills Country Club.

Birmingham, Mich.
Where to Stay: The Townsend Hotel is located in downtown Birmingham and is celebrated for its elegance and service. Cond Nast recently included the hotel on its Gold List of Worlds Best Places to Stay. Luxurious suites include a full kitchen, marble bathroom and fireplace. Guest suites may be smaller but also provide comfort and elegance to visitors. The hotels Rugby Grille creates numerous seafood dishes and was rated one of the Top Ten Best Restaurants in the United States by Zagats Restaurant Guide. For more information on rates of the hotel, as well as Rugby Grilles menu, please visit
Where to Go: Birminghams downtown provides guests with many shopping opportunities, dining experiences and entertainment possibilities in a clean and safe environment. Birminghams The Palladium 12 Theatre is well-known in Metro Detroit for its state-of-the-art projection capabilities, Dolby Digital sound systems and stadium seating with Tempur-Pedic cushioned seats. For nightlife, Edisons is a distinguished choice for its live entertainment, martinis and cocktails. The Corner is another popular night club, with ties to the Townsend Hotel. The Corner attracts guests with its exclusive wines, champagnes and whiskey, as well as fine cigars.
Where to Eat: Aside from Rugby Grille, Birmingham offers numerous dining choices that will delight all tastes. Fort provides an urban and hip dining experience and is located in the heart of the citys downtown. The Detroit Free Press has said the following about Fort: (The menu style) is eclectic - some Asian, some Mediterranean, some seasonal American (it) is a good match for the Oakland County clientele, where fashion must always be evident but classic is never incorrect. Forts menu includes Caribbean grilled Mahi Mahi, as well as duck and lamb shank. Further menu and price information can be found here.
Camerons Steakhouse is also located in downtown Birmingham. Camerons prides itself in providing corn-fed and hand selected beef to guests. Seafood entres are also available, as well as an extensive wine menu. Camerons dessert choices include New York style cheesecake and chocolate lava cake. It is also known for its warm and inviting atmosphere that allows guests to relax while dining. More information about the steakhouse can be found here.
Did You Know?: Birmingham was incorporated as a city in 1932 and its downtown has been praised for its clean and safe shopping and dining opportunities for years. Famous actors like Tim Allen of Home Improvement and David Spade of Saturday Night Live were raised in Birmingham.

Bloomfield Hills
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Where to Stay: The Radisson Hotel Detroit - Bloomfield Hills offers 151 American Contemporary style guest rooms, each complete with high-speed internet access, refrigerator and Sleep Number beds, among other amenities. An indoor pool and whirlpool is available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The hotel also features a 24-hour fitness center and an outdoor courtyard. The four-star Northern Lakes Seafood Company is popular among guests for its fresh fish lunches and dinners. For more information about The Radisson please visit here.
Where to Go: The Cranbrook Educational Community of Bloomfield Hills offers an art museum and institute of science for guests to enjoy. The Cranbrook Art Museum offers examples of contemporary art and provides tours from May through October. Meanwhile, the Cranbrook Institute of Science is very popular for Detroit area residents. The institute offers exhibits, hands-on activities and planetarium shows. More information about both the art museum and institute of science can be found here.
Where to Eat: The Moose Preserve Bar and Grill is well-known in the area for its certified black angus steaks, fresh fish, burgers and Jack Daniels seasoned barbeque ribs. While The Preserve is popular for its food, guests also love the restaurants friendly staff and service, as well as its comfortable atmosphere. More information about The Preserve can be found here.
Meanwhile, another local favorite is Andiamo West Inc., which is beloved for creating terrific Italian entres ranging from fettuccine alfredo to risotti and desserts like cannolis and Italian rice pudding. Andiamo is also a great choice for its wine menu. The following link provides lunch, dinner and banquet menus.
Did You Know?: Bloomfield Hills consistently ranks as one of the top five wealthiest cities in the United States that consists of over 1,000 households. It currently is listed fourth in the nation and in 1990 it was ranked second. Thirty-nine percent of households in Bloomfield Hills have a value of over $1,000,000. Bloomfield Township is the home of Oakland Hills Country Club.

Rochester, Mich.
Where to Stay: The Royal Park Hotel is a four-star, four-diamond hotel that is located outside of Rochester. The hotel is well-known for its elegance throughout each of its 143 guest rooms and suites. It was designed to resemble an English manor house with Old World feel. Guests of the hotel continually find it to be one of the most comfortable stays of their entire lives. The hotels Brookshire Restaurant is popular for its fine dining, while The Commons serves delicious entres as well. With its fine dining and world-class hospitality, The Royal Park Hotel has also welcomed various famous guests, including President Bush, since its opening in 2004. For more information on this one-of-a-kind hotel, please visit this link.
Where to Go: Downtown Rochester, much like Birmingham, provides visitors with many shopping and dining opportunities in a clean and relaxed atmosphere. The downtown also hosts a Farmers Market every Saturday as well, featuring fresh produce, flowers and Michigan products. The Paint Creek Center for the Arts provides year-round fine art exhibitions for locals and visitors alike.
Awards: Kruse & Muer on Main is located in the downtown and specializes in pasta entres like linguine primavera and tortellini primavera alfredo. Kruse & Muer also serves various choices of fish ranging from Lake Superior whitefish and Atlantic salmon to parmesan encrusted whitefish and fried walleye and chips. It is also popular for its Kruser Kids menu that has a variety of entre choices in smaller portions, including linguine with tomato cream and tortellini with grilled chicken. More information on entres and hours can be found here.
The Rochester Chop House is another Kruse & Muer restaurant located in downtown Rochester. The Chop House is more upscale than Kruse & Muer on Main and specializes in a variety of steaks, chops, fresh fish and fine wines. Kabin Krusers Oyster Bar is located in front of the Chop House, providing guests with two restaurants in one setting. With piano music, elegant decorations and unique entre choices, The Rochester Chop House is one restaurant you must visit at least once during your stay. The following link provides more information about the Chop House.
Did You Know?: Rochester was established in 1817 and is one of the first settlements of the area. The city was named after Rochester, New York. In a 2005 CNNMoney survey of American towns, Rochester was listed in the top 100 of Best Places to Live. Also, during the Christmas season, most of the downtown buildings are covered with Christmas lights for The Big Bright Light Show that has attracted over one million visitors each season since its beginning in 2006.

Troy, Mich.
Where to Stay: The Detroit Marriott of Troy is respected for its modern decorations, spacious rooms and great service. The hotel is conveniently located by I-75, which is Michigans main highway. A drive on I-75 will lead to downtown Detroit, as well as attractions at various Metro Detroit suburbs. The hotel is also an attraction for its Don Shulas Steak House Detroit, which is one of the best steakhouses in the country. The steakhouse is known for its certified Angus beef and historical football memorabilia. With its five concierge-level floors and steakhouse, the Detroit Marriott of Troy continually attracts guests. More information can be found here.
Where to Go: The Somerset Collection is an exclusive upscale mall located on Big Beaver Road, which is home to various headquarters and businesses. Somerset is co-owned by The Forbes Company and has over 180 shops and restaurants. Stores like Nordstrom, Macys, Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton can be found at the mall. Meanwhile, restaurants like P.F. Changs China Bistro, The Capital Grille and McCormick & Schmicks are located in or near the mall as well. The mall consists of two separate buildings connected by a skywalk over Big Beaver Road. As one of the most profitable malls in the United States, the Somerset Collection is sure to please any shopper.
Where to Eat: The Capital Grille, located in the Somerset Collection, serves dry aged steaks, seafood and other entres, as well as tempting desserts. The Capital Grille also has a wine cellar featuring some of the worlds best tasting wines. Along with its world-class entres, The Capital Grille is also known for its calm and soothing dining areas. Please visit this link for more information.
Ruths Chris Steakhouse is renowned for signature steaks and mouth-watering entres like lamb chops and lobster tail. The dessert menu includes caramelized banana cream pie and apple crumb tart. Ruths Chris also has a wide assortment of wines and cocktails. More information can be found here.
Did You Know?: Troy has also been rated by CNNMoney as one of Americas Best Places to Live. This year Troy was ranked number 22 out of 100 American cities. Troy is a thriving area for business as well and is home to a number of major companies such as Delphi Corporation and DuPont Automotive. As the home of the Troy Sports Center which is the training facility of the NHLs Detroit Red Wings, Sports Illustrated named Troy Michigans Sportstown in 2003.
With numerous lodging, shopping and dining opportunities, Metro Detroit provides comfort and entertainment to all of its visitors. After watching the live action of the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills Country Club, be sure to enjoy these four suburbs while you are in the area.
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    After Further Review: Haas crash strikes a chord

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 19, 2018, 2:39 am

    Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the horrifying car crash involving Bill Haas ...

    I spent a lot of time this week thinking about Bill Haas. He was the passenger in a car crash that killed a member of his host family. That man, 71-year-old Mark Gibello, was a successful businessman in Pacific Palisades, Calif., and a new friend.

    Haas escaped without any major injuries, but he withdrew from the Genesis Open to return home to Greenville, S.C. When he’ll return to the Tour is anyone’s guess. It could be a while, as he grapples with the many emotions after surviving that horrifying crash – seriously, check out the photos – while the man next to him did not.

    The entire Haas clan is some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Wish them the best in their recovery. – Ryan Lavner

    On TIger Woods' missed cut at the Genesis Open ...

    After missing the cut at the Genesis Open by more than a few car lengths, Tiger Woods appeared to take his early exit in stride. Perhaps that in and of itself is a form of progress.

    Years ago, a second-round 76 with a tattered back-nine scorecard would have elicited a wide range of emotions. But none of them would have been particularly tempered, or optimistic, looking ahead to his next start. At age 42, though, Woods has finally ceded that a win-or-bust mentality is no longer helpful or productive.

    The road back from his latest surgery will be a winding one, mixed with both ups and downs. His return at Torrey Pines qualified as the former, while his trunk slam at Riviera certainly served as the latter. There will surely be more of both in the coming weeks and months, and Woods’ ability to stomach the rough patches could prove pivotal for his long-term prognosis. - Will Gray

    On the debate over increased driving distance on the PGA Tour ...

    The drumbeat is only going to get louder as the game’s best get longer. On Sunday, Bubba Watson pounded his way to his 10th PGA Tour title at the Genesis Open and the average driving distance continues to climb.

    Lost in the debate over driving distances and potential fixes, none of which seem to be simple, is a beacon of sanity, Riviera Country Club’s par-4 10th hole. The 10th played just over 300 yards for the week and yet yielded almost as many bogeys (86) as birdies (87) with a 4.053 stroke average.

    That ranks the 10th as the 94th toughest par 4 on Tour this season, ahead of behemoths like the 480-yard first at Waialae and 549-yard 17th at Kapalua. Maybe the game doesn’t need new rules that limit how far the golf ball goes, maybe it just needs better-designed golf holes. - Rex Hoggard

    On the depth of LPGA talent coming out of South Korea ...

    The South Korean pipeline to the LPGA shows no signs of drying up any time soon. Jin Young Ko, 22, won her LPGA debut as a tour member Sunday at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, and Hyejin Choi, 18, nearly won the right to claim LPGA membership there. The former world No. 1 amateur who just turned pro finished second playing on a sponsor exemption. Sung Hyun Park, who shared Rolex Player of the Year honors with So Yeon Ryu last year, is set to make her 2018 debut this week at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And Inbee Park is set to make her return to the LPGA in two weeks at the HSBC Women’s World Championship after missing most of last year due to injury. The LPGA continues to go through South Korea no matter where this tour goes. - Randall Mell

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    Nature calls: Hole-out rescues Bubba's bladder

    By Rex HoggardFebruary 19, 2018, 2:20 am

    LOS ANGELES – Clinging to a one-stroke lead, Bubba Watson had just teed off on the 14th hole at Riviera Country Club and was searching for a bathroom.

    “I asked Cameron [Smith], ‘where's the bathroom?’ He said, ‘On the next tee there's one. Give yourself a couple more shots, then you can go to the bathroom,’” Watson recalled. “I said, ‘So now I'm just going to hole it and go to the bathroom.’”

    By the time Watson got to his shot, which had found the bunker left of the green, his caddie Ted Scott had a similar comment.

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    “When he went down to hit it I said, ‘You know you haven’t holed one in a long time,’” Scott said.

    Watson’s shot landed just short of the hole, bounced once and crashed into the flagstick before dropping into the hole for an unlikely birdie and a two-stroke lead that he would not relinquish on his way to his third victory at the Genesis Open and his 10th PGA Tour title.

    “I looked at Teddy [Scott] and said, ‘You called it.’ Then Cameron [who was paired with Watson] came over and said I called it. I’d forgotten he and I had talked about it,” Watson said.

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    Bubba Golf takes long road back to winner's circle

    By Rex HoggardFebruary 19, 2018, 1:55 am

    LOS ANGELES – Bubba’s back.

    It’s been just two years since he hoisted a trophy on the PGA Tour, but with a mind that moves as fast as Bubba Watson’s, it must have felt like an eternity.

    Since his last victory, which was also a shootout at Riviera Country Club in 2016, Watson was passed over for a captain’s pick at the 2016 Ryder Cup, endured a mystery illness, lost his confidence, his desire and the better part of 40 pounds.

    He admits that along that ride he considered retirement and wondered if his best days were behind him.

    “I was close [to retirement]. My wife was not close,” he conceded. “My wife basically told me to quit whining and play golf. She's a lot tougher than I am.”

    What else could he do? With apologies to his University of Georgia education and a growing portfolio of small businesses, Watson was made to be on the golf course, particularly a golf course like Riviera, which is the canvas that brings out Bubba’s best.

    In a game that can too often become a monotonous parade of fairways and greens, Watson is a freewheeling iconoclast who thrives on adversity. Where others only see straight lines and one-dimensional options, Bubba embraces the unconventional and the untried.

    For a player who sometimes refers to himself in the third person, it was a perfectly Bubba moment midway through his final round on Sunday at the Genesis Open. Having stumbled out of the 54-hole lead with bogeys at Nos. 3 and 6, Watson pulled his 2-iron tee shot wildly right at the seventh because, “[his playing partners] both went left.”

    From an impossible lie in thick rough with his golf ball 2 feet above his feet, Watson’s often-fragile focus zeroed in for one of the week’s most entertaining shots, which landed about 70 feet from the hole and led to a two-putt par.

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    “His feel for that kind of stuff, you can’t go to the range and practice that. You can’t,” said Watson’s caddie Ted Scott. “Put a ball 2 feet above your feet and then have to hold the face open and then to swing that easy. That’s why I have the best seat in the house. That’s the essence of Bubba golf.”

    There were plenty of highlight moments on Sunday for Watson. There were crucial putts at Nos. 11 (birdie), 12 (par) and 13 (par) to break free of what was becoming an increasingly fluid leaderboard, and his chip-in birdie from a greenside bunker at the 14th hole extended his lead to two strokes.

    “It was just a bunker shot, no big deal,” smiled Watson, who closed with a 69 for a two-stroke victory over Kevin Na and Tony Finau.

    A player that can often appear handcuffed by the most straightforward of shots was at his best at Riviera, withstanding numerous challenges to win the Genesis Open for his 10th PGA Tour title.

    That he did so on a frenzied afternoon that featured four different players moving into, however briefly, at last a share of the lead, Watson never appeared rattled. But, of course, we all know that wasn’t the case.

    Watson can become famously uncomfortable on the course and isn’t exactly known for his ability to ignore distractions. But Riviera, where he’s now won three times, is akin to competitive Ritalin for Watson.

    “[Watson] feels very comfortable moving the ball, turning it a lot. That allows him to get to a lot of the tucked pins,” said Phil Mickelson, who finished tied for sixth after moving to within one stroke of the lead early in round. “A lot of guys don't feel comfortable doing that and they end up accepting a 15 to 30 footer in the center of the green. He ends up making a lot more birdies than a lot of guys.”

    It’s the soul of what Scott calls Bubba Golf, which is in simplest terms the most creative form of the game.

    Watson can’t explain exactly what Bubba Golf is, but there was a telling moment earlier this week when Aaron Baddeley offered Watson an impromptu putting lesson, which Bubba said was the worst putting lesson he’d ever gotten.

    “He goes, ‘how do you hit a fade?’ I said, ‘I aim it right and think fade.’ How do you hit a draw? I aim it left and think draw,” Watson said. “He said, ‘how do you putt?’ I said, ‘I don't know.’ He said, ‘well, aim it to the right when it breaks to the left, aim it to the left when it breaks to the right,’ exactly how you imagine your golf ball in the fairway or off the tee, however you imagine it, imagine it that way.”

    It’s certain that there’s more going on internally, but when he’s playing his best the sum total of Watson’s game can be simply explained – see ball, hit ball. Anything more complicated than that and he runs the risk of losing what makes him so unique and – when the stars align and a course like Riviera or Augusta National, where he’s won twice, asks the right questions – virtually unbeatable.

    That’s a long way from the depths of 2017, when he failed to advance past the second playoff event and dropped outside the top 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking. But then, Watson has covered a lot of ground in his career on his way to 10 Tour victories.

    “I never thought I could get there,” he said. “Nobody thought that Bubba Watson from Bagdad, Fla., would ever get to 10 wins, let's be honest. Without lessons, head case, hooking the ball, slicing the ball, can't putt, you know? Somehow we're here making fun of it.”

    Somehow, through all the adversity and distractions, he found a way to be Bubba again.

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    Spieth: 'I feel great about the state of my game'

    By Will GrayFebruary 19, 2018, 1:43 am

    LOS ANGELES – Jordan Spieth is starting to feel confident again with the putter, which is probably a bad sign for the rest of the PGA Tour.

    Spieth struggled on the greens two weeks ago at TPC Scottsdale, but he began to right the ship at Pebble Beach and cracked the top 10 this week at the Genesis Open. Perhaps more important than his final spot on the leaderboard was his standing in the strokes gained putting category – 12th among the field at Riviera Country Club, including a 24-putt performance in the third round.

    Spieth closed out the week with a 4-under 67 to finish in a tie for ninth, five shots behind Bubba Watson. But after the round he spoke like a man whose preparation for the season’s first major is once again right on track.

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    “I was kind of, you know, skiing uphill with my putting after Phoenix and the beginning of Pebble week, and really just for a little while now through the new year,” Spieth said. “I just made some tremendous progress. I putted extremely well this week, which is awesome. I feel great about the state of my game going forward, feel like I’m in a great place at this time of the year as we’re starting to head into major season.”

    Spieth will take a break next week, and where he next tees it up remains uncertain. He still has not announced a decision about playing or skipping the WGC-Mexico Championship, and he will have until 5 p.m. ET Friday to make a final decision on the no-cut event.

    Whether or not he flies down to Mexico City, Spieth’s optimism has officially returned after a brief hiccup on the West Coast swing.

    “For where I was starting out Phoenix to where I am and how I feel about my game going forward the rest of the year, there was a lot of progress made,” he said. “Now I’ve just got to figure out what the best schedule is for myself as we head into the Masters.”