Oakdale is an established parkland golf course close to the City Centre of Harrogate. Despite its proximity to the hustle and bustle of city life, is set in well over 100 acres of peaceful North Yorkshire countryside.
Predominantly parkland in style, with a splash of moorland, there are many diverse holes. Several are typical of this type of course but Oakdale mixes it up well and there are many highlights throughout the round. A number of holes are played to canting fairways and when the ground is firm you need to shape your drives to obtain maximum length or to gain the best position. Trees are a prominent feature at Oakdale, too much so at times, and line virtually every hole.
The benched greens at three of the par-3s are a particular strong feature of the course. The second, sixth and 17th all feature complexes worked nicely into the hillside with bunkers high-right and low-left to defend them. They may be similar in appearance and head in the same direction but they work well and are spaced out far enough throughout the round.
The two main stars of the show, however, are the holes that close both returning loops of nine; each one is played over Oak Beck. The ninth is a dropping one-shotter to a severely tilted green and uses the angle of the water hazard well to create more interest depending upon the pin position. It’s an intimidating tee-shot and you’re never quite sure if you ball will end up dry until it has landed.
The same brook cuts straight across the front of the green at the 18th and although the hole is only 338-yards and plays downhill it is no less of a bum-squeaker. The problems start on the tee because out-of-bounds is hard to the left, over an old stonewall, and trees creep in from the right. You don’t want to leave yourself too long of a shot into the green, nor from off the fairway, but at the same time you don’t want to get too close either; an 80-100 yard pitch should be just about perfect.
Oakdale isn’t going to pull up any trees in the various golf course rankings (it might if it did) but the 18 holes all come together nicely to make for an enjoyable round of golf at this well respected private members’ club.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.
Date: October 31, 2019