Oxfordshire - Oxfordshire - England

The Oxfordshire Golf Club,
Rycote Lane,
Thame,
Oxfordshire,
0X9 2PU,
England


  • +44 (0) 1844 278300

  • Tim Pettifer

  • Rees Jones

  • Justin Barnes


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Oxfordshire

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.

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.

If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Write a review

Reviews for Oxfordshire

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: If you like tradition, then steer clear of the Oxfordshire Golf Club. If you are seeking excitement, this might be the course for you. Rating: 4.3 out of 6 Reviews: 27

I wasn’t supposed to like The Oxfordshire. But I did. The traditionalist in me shouldn’t really warm to this big and modern, Rees Jones designed tournament-style course that is essentially a manufactured Americanised layout.

There are a handful of gigantic, man-made lakes and linear mounding to accommodate spectator viewing as well as the inevitable long walks from green-to-tee to make room for the five sets of tees and buggy paths. It’s a par 72, 36 each side, two loops of nine, with the obligatory four par-threes and four par-fives dah, di, dah, di dah…

However, I found enough engaging holes to come away quietly impressed with what The Oxfordshire offers. Sure, it isn’t to my personal taste but I can see why it is a popular venue, especially for professional golf competitions, and I have a lot of respect for the test it provides.

I think the main reason I enjoyed The Oxfordshire, unlike some other similar venues, is because the course does ask some fairly interesting questions. Admittedly there are no easy answers but you are presented with choices. Not always, but several times it gives you options as to how to play the hole and offers reward for those risking, and pulling off, the harder shots.

Water comes into play on almost half the holes. None-more-so dramatically than at the fifth, eighth, 10th, 11th, 13th and the 17th where you must cross (or at least flirt dangerously with) the hazards in order to get your ball onto the green. There are no shades of grey at The Oxfordshire; you’re either wet or dry.

I’ve played half-a-dozen courses in this county now and the challenge and style of course at The Oxfordshire is unique to the area. You know exactly what you are getting here and it doesn’t pretend to be anything else, which is all credit to the venue.

Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.

4 / 6
Oxfordshire
May 28, 2017


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
1 person found this review helpful and 1 did not
Respond to above review

I have to say my visit to the Oxfordshire left me quite underwhelmed. A clubhouse that doubles as a hotel is a little "soul less". The course itself, well if you are a fan of longish open field "mounded and moulded into stadium type" courses then this might be for you, but not for me. It plays well and the course is well maintained with large fine greens but it feels like the clubhouse, soul less and personally I look at every lake and see it has been dug so they could place some mounding onto the otherwise flat farmland.

3 / 6
Oxfordshire
May 10, 2017


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
1 person found this review helpful and 2 did not
Respond to above review
A refreshing change to park courses up and down the UK. This course is brilliantly layed out, and has some fantastic golfing holes and challenges for all players. The different tees really change how you play each hole. Well kept tee to green. Staff a bit flakey, especially the starter. Course can get quite busy. Can see why this used to hold tournament golf, some amazing natural grandstands and plenty of walkways. Great views. Top track.
5 / 6
Oxfordshire
September 15, 2015


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
1 person found this review helpful and 1 did not
Respond to above review
Played the Oxfordshire for the 1st time in the Captains Day and I must say what a fantastic test of golf it is. The views from the clubhouse, 1st/10th tees are to die for. I was very impressed with the condition of the course with the greens running fairly quick (10.5/11 stimp) and some of the smoothest you'll find anywhere. As for the layout this is what most impressed me. You can see it has been built with tournament golf in mind with every hole being flanked by large dunes of rough, almost creating an Ampitheatre on each hole.Oxfordshire Golf Course - Photo by reviewer Greens very undulating and tons of bunkers to watching out for. From the tee it is a very generous golf course with only a couple of holes where you need to stay away from the water, 8/17. These are the 2 signature holes ranked in the top 500 in world golf. They are both fantastic golf holes with the 8th a stunning short par 4 that winds round the lake, guarded by a huge oak tree that sits on island directly infront of the greens. The latter is a white brilliant risk reward par 5, the 2nd shot to be played to a relatively small green but with a carry of 220+yards. It really questions you into going for it. However my personal favourite was the 6th hole. A cracking short par 4 where you hit a long iron or 3 wood to a straight fairway flanked on either side by huge dunes, and pot bunkers on either side. As you walk down the fairway you get the feeling you are playing a true links course (like a hole you'd find at Royal Lytham & St Annes). The approach is particularly impressive, only a flick of a wedge to an elevated table top green with 2 huge bunkers guarding the front, and steep run off areas on every side with shaved banks. With it been such a small green and the wind being a huge factor and defence of the course round the Oxfordshire, it really does require 2 quality golf shots to hit the putting surface. All in all I was very impressed with the whole layout and condition of the course!
5 / 6
Oxfordshire
July 18, 2015


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
1 person found this review helpful and 1 did not
Respond to above review
Superb track. I love tradition but this modern creation really blows away so many older tracks. Stunning views, challenging yet playable holes, huge bunkers, lots of water. Even went on a winter fourball for one of the best £25 I have ever spent !! Really looking toward to trying those greens out in the summer
6 / 6
Oxfordshire
December 19, 2013


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
2 people found this review helpful and 2 did not
Respond to above review
Unfortunately there is a market for these sorts of mass misrepresentation of golf. Thankfully I played the place on a freebie so can't complain about cost but, believe me, I'd not part with a penny to play here again.It's what can be best described as international in style, which is surely just a polite way of saying it's bland. I'm afraid from start to finish I found nothing that would rank this above a score of 1 on the Doak Scale (online search should clarify if needed). Serious architectural malpractice is around ever corner here. The sooner these places are resigned to the history books as a late 20th century error the better. Certainly this is not golf for the intellectual/knowledgeable golfer.
1 / 6
Oxfordshire
October 19, 2013


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
2 people found this review helpful and 6 did not
Respond to above review
Response
Matthew Adams
October 21, 2013
Your review made me smile and contemplate in equal measure. Thank you for highlighting the Doak scale: very handy. You’re right, courses like the Oxfordshire have a heavy emphasis on the market. For international visitors to London the informality, motorway connections and access to the Oxfordshire will appeal. Its international aspect limits its quintessence. You would not make any such parallel statements to yourself such as “this could only be a Surrey heathland” or “this is just like a Scottish links”, etc. To ignore the courses of Surrey or the Kent Coast to play here would be a shame. The Oxfordshire is surrounded by arable land with rich soil, whereas golf courses should ideally be built on thin, acidic or sandy soil not suitable for crops so as to maximize agricultural land. For the record, I’ve played the course twice and that will do for me. But it has some decent/pretty holes and is well maintained, which should at least bump it up the Doak scale: 4, maybe 5, as it’s better than average. The 8th demands nerve and a tee shot hit to a specific distance and the same for the approach to a peninsula green. The hilltop green 6th is good, the par 3 2nd is pretty enough and 14 and 18 offer uphill fading doglegs. There are some comedy holes though: I’m looking at you number 17. The worst complaint I can make is the incongruity of playing parkland golf on a windy site with many carries over water. For those seeking international golf then this course will fit the bill. The more people that play courses like the Oxfordshire the more tee times remain available at more quintessential courses, so everyone wins.
Adam Harrison
November 28, 2013
I played this course today for the first time. I love this game and have travelled the world ticking off this Top 100 list with friends since it began. We are some 40 courses into it and enjoy comparing the courses and experiences. The review above is a general comment about these "types" of course and is far too dismissive or what is a good course. Sure, it has an American manufactured feel to it, but you know that before entering the grounds. If you really don't like that, don't make the journey. If you are more broad minded, more modest (cant believe this reviewer assumes intellect and knowledge), The Oxfordshire is a brilliant example, a wonderful test of golf and is kept immaculately. For me, the course is certainly as good if not better than The Grove, The Buckinghamshire, The London Club (both) - all of which I put in this "type" of course. The Club House does need refreshing and is a bit corporate, but the welcome was warm and I really enjoyed the day. I would recommend it to anyone who loves this game, but not to those who lecture that traditional golf is the only golf. Surely one of the great things about golf is the variety of types of course we can choose to play.
I agree with the last poster about the yellow tees, if you hit the ball 260+ this course is not much fun and very tedious. It is ok for £220 for a 4 ball, but certainly won't be driving past Frilford Heath and Southfield to play here again.
3 / 6
Oxfordshire
July 09, 2013


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
2 people found this review helpful and 1 did not
Respond to above review
Played here over x2 days in early May 13 on a over-nighter golf break. You can't fault the venue for this type of trip, a course well suited for all standards of golfer. The accommodation, food, service etc.... was excellent and staff very helpful. Good practice/warm up facilities, although beware they close the driving range on Monday am's to 'cut the grass' ! The course is interesting to play, while not very pleasing to the eye, and was in great condition. a couple of memorable holes where risk/reward can be played out in all its glory or failure - Par 4 8th and Par 5th 17th. only downside was we were keen to play of the 'white tees' for one of the rounds as the yellows lacked the degree of difficulty we were looking for as a group of x12 good standard golfers, but there was little in the way of flexibility and negotiation about this ... disappointing considering the weather conditions were good and overall we must have added well over £2.5k to their coffers over the day or so we were there.....come on The Oxfordshire .. its only grass and does grow back !
4 / 6
Oxfordshire
June 06, 2013


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
2 people found this review helpful and 2 did not
Respond to above review
This is not a course for the traditionalist, its long and has little natural character! However, for a modern day course, this is as good as it gets. In my opinion there are no 'bland' holes and every one offers something different, whether its a long carry over water, a gamble to go for a par 4 in one (or par 5 in two for that matter) this golf course requires you to hit every type of shot! I've played here a number of times and i must say considering the weather we have had, you will struggle to find another course in such good condition, the greens were quick and the tees immaculate! all for £25 at the weekend!
5 / 6
Oxfordshire
January 14, 2013


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
1 person found this review helpful and 2 did not
Respond to above review
The Oxfordshire is certainly aimed at a specific market and there is little in the way of a traditional Oxfordshire golf club about the place. Having said that, once you get past the pro shop/clubhouse/hotel and you stand on the first tee, you realise that you're in for a rollercoaster golfing ride. The view out over the acres reveals ribbons of fairways snaking their way between large lakes and deep fescue rough, the latter swaying in what will often be a stiff breeze. As for the course, you cannot fault its conditioning. Certainly among the best teeing areas and fairways I've ever seen. There must be a very good sprinkler system because even in the middle of summer the fairways were springy and green. The course plays very much like an American-style course with the greens extremely receptive to approach shots. The most memorable holes are clearly those where the water is in play - and boy is it in play, particularly on 8, 10 and 11. If you can get through this stretch with a dry ball you may be on your way to a good score. Having said that, after you reach the 12th green and you are at the other end of the course, you turn for home and an uphill trek. Those last 6 holes are excellent, with 17 and 18 being the pick. The 17th when we played (from the Blue tees which measured about 7,200 yds in total) was brutal and even after a solid drive, 3 wood lay up, required a 6 iron all-or-nothing approach. It is, overall, a fun course if you're on your game, or a bit of a grind if you're not. There are birdie opportunities out there though which you'll need to take because sooner or later you'll be in one of the lakes.
4 / 6
Oxfordshire
July 22, 2011


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
2 people found this review helpful and 2 did not
Respond to above review