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Thame, England
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ArchitectBadgeRees Jones
Thame, England
  • AddressRycote Ln, Milton Common, Thame OX9 2PU, UK
  • Championships hosted

If you like tradition, then steer clear of the Oxfordshire Golf Club. If you are seeking excitement, this might be the course for you.

The prolific golf course architect Rees Jones designed the Oxfordshire and the course opened for play in 1993 after significant earth works. Jones is big in the States, and has designed many courses, including the redesign of the South course at Torrey Pines and Bethpage’s Black course, host of the 2002 US Open.

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The Oxfordshire is laid out on fairly flat and uninspiring land, built in an American style to extremely high specifications with sand-based greens and tees. Ostensibly, it’s a tournament course with good vantage points for spectators. The B&H International Open was held here on four consecutive occasions (1996-99). Ames, Langer, Clarke and Montgomerie were the respective winners. In 1996, Laura Davies won the Ladies’ English Open here too.

We wouldn’t recommend the back tees (7,200 yards) for the average golfer. The yellow tees (6,300 yards) probably present a more enjoyable challenge. With well over 100 bunkers (some of which are huge), and four man-made lakes, this is a serious test. If you are striking the ball well, you’ll be OK. Otherwise you may find it a bit of a slog, especially if the wind is up.

The 8th is a hazardous par four measuring 390 yards that doglegs around a lake. The green is sited on an island peninsula where a sentry oak stands guard. The 17th is the Oxfordshire’s nerve-racking signature hole, a downhill par 5 with a right to left dogleg. A huge lake runs all the way down the left of the fairway. The green is opposite the lake. The safe but longer route is to play around the water, but if you’re feeling lucky, you could go for it across the lake with your second shot.

At one stage the course was open only to members and their guests. Now visitors can get on by simply paying a green fee. We think that the Oxfordshire (in a similar vein to the Belfry) is a great competition course and well worth playing, but only if you go for it on the 17th.

The Oxfordshire is owned by Leaderboard Golf Limited, which also holds the property of Dale Hill Golf Club in East Sussex.


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Course Architect

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Rees Jones

Rees Jones considers himself a multi-themed architect, which means he is constantly seeking variety, trying to give the player a new experience on every hole, not just on every course.

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