I played The Oaks on a cold and dreary afternoon the day after some heavy rain; it was Valentine’s Day, and to treat my wife I opted to take our toddler with me for a little bit of slightly more quiet time in the house. (Slightly indeed, as we have an infant at home as well.) While the front nine was more interesting terrain-wise, the much flatter back nine presented a different sort of challenge: some seriously muddy fairways. I’m not sure I’ve seen the firmness of a course vary so drastically as a few holes on the early part of the back nine at The Oaks did between the fairway and green. The fairways were utter muddy sponges – my son and I left footprints in wet areas, unfortunately! – yet the greens were extremely firm, some of the firmest I saw in Mississippi. I can’t begrudge the course for the wetness, as it was not their fault I chose to play on such an unfortunate day.
Holes I liked included: the fourth, a dogleg left short par four featuring a green that falls off hard from front left to back right; the fifth, a par three that if you squint looks a bit like a Redan (but doesn’t really play like one); the seventh, a par three over pond to a horseshoe-shaped green; the tenth, a dogleg right par five with a two-tier green; the fifteenth, a reachable par five that’s pinched just enough by some live oaks past the midpoint; and the eighteenth, a long par four playing to a deep and undulating green surrounded by bunkers and a large tree front right.
The Oaks is a fine course, to be sure, but in such a golf-rich area such as the Gulf Coast, it is a bit overshadowed by its peers. I’d certainly recommend playing here if you’re staying in the area, but probably only after playing five or six other courses first.
Played February 14, 2021
Jeff Kissel visited the Mississippi Gulf Coast for an extended period in early 2021, and wrote about it as a guest on the blog Lying Four.
Date: May 08, 2021