The Oaks Golf Centre Feature Review
Nestled in the outskirts of the City of London lies The Oaks Golf Centre and the 18-hole parkland layout is fantastic value for money.
You wouldn’t expect a greenery golf course to be situated amongst a vast neighbourhood, but the Oaks’ ideal location is emulated by the quality of their main attraction: the Horley Course.
In addition to the Horley Course is the 9-hole Acorn Course that I have previously played and which provides an excellent environment to dial in wedges and distance control.
As you depart the car park and head for the main entrance, you are welcomed by the pro shop to your right and a bistro centre to the left.
If you take several steps forward, there is an expansive seating area in addition to a small putting green and a large driving range that utilises TopTracer technology.
The venue is evidently proud of their pro shop and the design of the room is exceptional, showcasing the newest releases in golf in addition to a healthily stocked apparel section.
Front 9 Overview
It is unusual for courses to begin with a par-3, but the Horley Course opens with a 157-yard par-3 that should settle you into the round rapidly.
A fairly straightforward hole, only one bunker protects the front of the green and there is room for missing on both the left and the right.
You may have been misled into believing that the Oaks lacks bite after its tame first hole, but the second - ranked SI 2 - immediately responds, requiring an accurate tee shot with out of bounds down the left and major trouble to the right.
An overhanging tree, that lies approximately 100 yards from the green, can hinder approach shots, so accurate placement is needed if you’re hoping to escape with a par.
The third hole completes the opening loop before you traverse into the trees and head towards the 4th hole. However, prior to that, you must conquer a 180-yard par-3 that mirrors the difficulty of the first.
From there, three consecutive par 4s are present and each one is gettable, providing you are driving well - which appears to be a theme at The Oaks.
Birdie opportunities will come but the smallish greens require ultimate precision with irons and wedges: otherwise you’re relying on your short game to salvage pars.
The first of three par 5s reside on the front nine, a 473-yard hole that plays slightly uphill before another accurate drive is needed on the 8th.
The 9th is a short par-3 - measuring 134 yards - and players should fancy their chances of carding birdie with what should only be a wedge in hand.
Back 9 Overview
The back nine has been designed meticulously and it opens with a short par-4 that offers views of central London in the backdrop.
From there, another par-4 requires you to keep your drive on the right-hand side of the fairway before you approach the signature hole: the par-3 12th.
With residential homes in the background, you are hitting from an elevated position towards a green that screams: ‘don’t go long’, as one lengthy bunker proudly protects the back of the green.
The second par-5 may not be reachable in two unless you are a particularly long with the driver but even then, without occupying the fairway to the left, an overhanging gigantic tree will block any heroic efforts of going for the green in two.
The final par-3 is probably the most basic design on the course, a 157-yard hole with no trouble to the left or the right; a forgetful hole, especially in contrast to the standard of the remaining 17.
The 16th hole has been awarded the title of SI 1 and again, an accurate drive is needed if you are looking to find the green in regulation.
With out of bounds occupying the entire left-hand side - and trees dominating the right-hand side - anything other than the fairway will likely end in drop shots.
The third and final par-5 is the 17th and considering it measures 478 yards, it is reachable in two.
A fairly forgiving hole, the width of the fairway is generous and you should score well providing you keep it in play.
Finally, the 18th hole is short in length - 309 yards - and it plays slightly uphill but missing the green through the back will result in a dropped shot so club carefully when approaching the final putting surface.
The Oaks Golf Centre is pulsating with life and I teed off at 07:16 as the next available tee time was 13:35! Which speaks volumes about the popularity of the venue.
The driving range truly is fantastic and TopTracer Technology is something that should be installed at every golf club.
The food and drink are well priced and the large seating area can accommodate up to 30 golfers who wish to reflect on their round.
Generally, the golf course is superb and despite of playing in winter, the condition of the course was phenomenal - with only two temporary tee mats present throughout the entire loop.
For the price of £23.50, it is excellent value for money and a course that everyone local to the area should experience - especially for such generous pricing.
Overall Rating - 8
Course (Conditions) - 9
Course (Hole Variety/Layout) - 8
Course (Green Condition) - 10
Course (Challenge/Difficulty) - 7
Club Facilities & Clubhouse - 9
Practice Facilities - 9
Friendliness/Hospitality - 8
Pace of Play - 9
Value For Money - 9
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|The Oaks Golf Centre
from 567 reviews