Oak Hill (West) - New York - USA

Oak Hill Country Club,
346 Kilbourn Rd,
New York (NY) 14618,

  • +1 585 586 1660

The East course at Oak Hill Country Club grabs all the limelight – and rightly so with a golfing pedigree that has seen it host US Opens, PGA Championships and a Ryder Cup – but for those who wish to play a largely unadulterated Donald Ross layout, the West course has remained virtually untouched since the old master designed it in 1926.

Golfers who compare the overall yardage, slope and rating of the East against the West will find, as expected, that the former is far longer and tougher than its twin sibling. Nonetheless, give or take a few missing bunkers here and there, and the repositioning of the 9th green, the West offers a more authentic Ross experience.

Measuring 6,781 yards from the back tees, the West course plays to a par of 71, thanks in the main to the layout having only three par fives, just one of which (the 543-yard 6th) extends beyond the 500-yard mark. The opening three holes are testing par fours – rated 7, 5 and 1 on the stroke index – so golfers who don’t get in the game quickly will struggle badly here.
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Description: The East course at Oak Hill Country Club grabs all the golfing limelight, but golfers who want to play a largely unaltered 1926 Donald Ross layout should head for the West course. Rating: 7.5 out of 10 Reviews: 2
M. James Ward

The Empire State is blessed with two striking 36-hole layouts in Wined Foot and Oak Hill. The latter often does not receive the recognition because of its Rochester location and what's even more unfortunate is how the West is literally consumed by the magnitude of the shadow cast by the big brother East Course.

What's interesting is how the West is more of a "pure" Donald Ross layout. Unlike the East which has gone through a series of upgrades over the years because of the need to keep the challenge relevant for the World's finest players with the PGA Championship returning in '23.

The course outline provided by Javier is quite accurate in terms of the various hole challenges faced. The routing is splendidly done -- moving to all corners of the property and the need for quality approaches is an element Ross excelled in creating at his top tier efforts and the West certainly delivers on that front.

Between the two nines the inward half is more compelling and if one wanted to reduce par at the 16th from a 5 to a 4 the ending would be a series of tenacious holes that keep the pressure on for any player wishing to finish the round off in fine fashion.

The green contours are interesting and varied. When cut and rolled for max speed they can inflict pain on any golfer whose stroke resembles Roberto Duran - the hands of stone. If the West had a just a bit more length to test stronger players, it would be even higher rated in New York.

Oak Hill is a vintage club because it's not in the largest of metro areas in the States, and more importantly, pedigree of the golf in the broader Rochester area is quite remarkable and needs to be duly acknowledged.

Unquestionably, the East draws the limelight, but I believe for the day-to-day golfer the opportunity to play the West will be more relished than having to handle the stout and rigorous challenge encountered with the East.

February 27, 2022
7 / 10
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Javier Pintos

As a true lover of old school designer, playing a course that was almost untouched since it was created is something that I really like to do. I was invited to Oak Hill to do a presentation of Argentina as a golf destinationOak Hill (West) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer and as a reward was invited to play both East and West Courses. I arrived to Rochester from Buenos Aires and went directly to Oak Hill, where the member who invited was waiting for me. First he took me on a tour to the fantastic Club House, with a lot of pictures, memorabilia and memories from all the championships played at this Club. While having lunch John and Ed told me a lot about the East Course, but also bout the West and how great it was, as most players say that the greens are more challenging at West. We played the back tees at almost 6800yds and I can tell it is a true golf challenge and a great design. Not one weak hole and the greens are very fast and with a lot of hidden movement. Being in the wrong side of the green is a 3 putt for sure, which I suffered 3 times. And missing the green by long is similar to death penalty, almost no chance of recovering. The course is maintained at the eaxact standard of the East, being the rough at the same height and greens rolling at the same speed. Oak Hill (West) Golf Course - Photo by reviewerThere are many holes that could perfectly be in the East Course maintaining the Chalenge or making it even tougher. 2nd is a very tough par 4, 4 is a very difficult par 3 even if you hit GIR. Then dog left par 4 seven has a very demanding approach shot and 9 is a very strategic par 4 where you need to have a full shot for the approach to the toughest green of the course. After a half way hot dog, we faced the even more challenging back 9, where 13-14-15 is a stretch where you can easily post very big numbers, being par 4s 13 & 15 very demanding both in the tee shot and uphill approach shots. 18th is not as tough as the one on East Course, but believe me that missing the green is a bogey almost always. I was lucky to play it presented in pristine shape, fairways rolling perfect, very demanding rough around the greens and some very nasty pin positions (9th, 13th). But it was a great experience and a very good warm up to play the East, although I can say that West game me a full Donald Ross experience. If you are able to play it, take the chance to play this excellent course, who will host US Amateur again in the near future.

June 23, 2014
8 / 10
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