June 28, 2016

A golf course on Sixth Avenue in New York City? No problem. FOX Sports just turned to the experts at JHE Production for a realistic set to help promote their coverage of the 116th U.S. Open.

FOX Sports wanted something authentic and fun to mark its coverage of the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club. JHE delivered with a realistic, albeit miniature re-creation of the third and fourth holes at Oakmont along with the famed “Church Pews” from the iconic golf course.

It wasn’t your normal miniature golf course. JHE’s design mixed artificial and organic materials into the course layout to create an authentic feel. The famous “Church Pew” bunkers of Oakmont were filled with beautiful white sand and real fescue. The traditional thick U.S. Open rough bordered the edges of the 35-foot long fairways while flowers bloomed in the background.

In addition to playing the two-hole course fans were able to capture their experience and share it with their social network in a photo area that included a visit from the U.S. Open trophy.

The display was also used as a broadcast set throughout the week, with various FOX NEWS, FOX Sports and FS1 shows filming live and taped segments. From hall-of-fame baseball players to Emmy Award winning Katie Nolan, celebrities toured the course before, during and after interviews.

There were challenges to this accurate depiction of Oakmont, though.

All building and striking had to be done between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., the time frame the JHE truck was allowed to be onsite in Manhattan.  The JHE team worked from 7 p.m. Saturday, June 11 to 7 a.m. Sunday, slept until 11 a.m. and then were back at work until 9 p.m. to make sure the set was ready for an 8 a.m. unveiling on that Monday.

The JHE team had to switch from their normal experiential duties throughout the week into a role of head agronomist as they had to keep the course in top condition, watering it several times a day to keep it fresh in the withering New York City heat.

U.S. Open, Golf, PGA, USGA, Events, Event Production