In 1903, founding members of Oswestry Golf Club played on a 9-hole layout on the top of Llanymynech Hill. In the late 1920s, problems with the lease and the remoteness of the course from Oswestry saw the club move to the grounds of Aston Hall, where James Braid was called in to set out a new course.
According to the architect’s site visit report in “James Braid and his Four Hundred Golf Courses” by John F. Moreton and Iain Cumming, he had “pleasure in stating that a really high class course can be constructed. The site is nicely undulating… the land is light loam and sand appears to be nearly all over, within a foot or two of the surface”. Braid then proceeded to map out the course, hole by hole, noting where bunkers should be placed and where trees should be either trimmed or cut down.
The book then goes on to say: “Play began in June 1931. The course measured 6,040 yards, and apart from the moving of the 2nd tee, is virtually unchanged in yardage and layout, as confirmed by the club’s 1950s handbook and today’s card. Braid could return and be immediately at home, viewing his course and the Welsh hills in the distance.”The course is blessed with a fine set of par three holes, measuring between 124 yards at the uphill 4th and 181 yards at the 12th, where the green is protected by an oak tree on the right and an old cart track to the front of the putting surface. The short par fours at holes 7 and 11 are also worthy of mention, with the former doglegging slightly left to the green and the latter playing to a small raised putting surface.
Oswestry could best be described as mature rolling parkland. Sloping fairways mean that accuracy off the tee is required to avoid running off into the trees flanking the fairways. There was a certain similarity to some of the course and I'm struggling to come up with a favourite or memorable par 5 or par 4 hole (maybe the 1st because it was the 1st ?). Of the par 3's I thought the 12th was the pick, but the other 3 seemed to be all distinctly uphill (something I'm not a great fan of). The day I played the greens were quite slow after a day of heavy rain so it would be unfair to make any judgement on normal course condition.
Overall a bit uninspiring, someway below Llanymynech in terms of quality and interest.