Laid out close to Wolf River Marsh Coastal Preserve on the Gulf Coast, The Oaks Golf Club course is routed around a rather demanding landscape of native wetlands and thick forests.
The Oaks Golf Club is an in-house design by Stephen Caplinger and Chris Cole from Landmark National that originally opened in February 1998. In August 2005 they took a direct hit from Hurricane Katrina and reportedly lost over 3,000 trees but you’d hardly notice.
This is a terrific well-treed parkland golf course with plenty of natural wetlands. The greens were in perfect condition and run very true.
The first four holes are short par-4s but extremely tight and sets the stage for your entire round. Positioning is much more important than distance here as you still must contend with 36 bunkers and water that comes into play on nine of the holes.
Here are some of my most memorable holes.
Hole #7 is an awesome par-3 with a pond on the right and in front and a wooden retaining wall to frame the picture.
The par-5 8th hole starts off from an elevated tee area across an environmentally protect area then uphill to the green with a slight dogleg right.
The 10th hole is shorter par-4 with a huge swampy area the juts out twice so make sure you stay left on this hole.
#12 is 160-yard par-3 entirely over water with an ominous bunker if you are slightly short. The 13th has a long carry over swamp followed by a sharp dogleg right over another swamp.
Hole 14 is a short par-4 with a slight dogleg left but don’t be left on your drive as a ravine runs the entire length of the hole.
18-hole rates with shared power cart range from US$49 to $89. I would highly recommend this course.
My only negatives are that there are no distance markers on the tee-blocks and the fact that the bunkers hold water, but in their defense, we had a huge storm pass through the day before.
Dave Finn is our Canadian Correspondent. To read more about his golf adventures visit www.golftravelandleisure.com.