Oakridge

Port Perry, Ontario

Shot Options: 7.0 Challenge: 7.0 Layout Variety: 7.5 Aesthetics: 7.5 Conditioning: 6.0 Fun: 7.5

Overall Grade: 7.1

Oakridge golf course was designed by Thomas McBroom in 1988. Given this timeframe, Oakridge must have been one of McBroom’s first solo designs although I have been unable to corroborate that fact. I first played Oakridge golf course back in the early 90s when I lived in the Markham area. My first impression was very favorable. I thought it was an undiscovered gem and introduced a lot of my friends to the course. The key factors influencing my impression of the course were that I tended to score well here, it was an interesting design and it was value-priced. However, many years later, having just completed two rounds at Oakridge, the “scoring well” factor seems no longer the case.

The golf course is very well-designed. All 18 holes present a unique challenge, and without local knowledge, require some thought and planning before firing away from the tee. The course would be considered on the short side at slightly more than 6300 yards from the tips and 5500 yards from the whites. Clearly, McBroom could have used a few more acres to work with. He protected this layout with tight landing areas and well-guarded, smallish greens. This is a course that demands accuracy off the tee and on your approach.

As nicely designed as this golf course is, it is not recommended for every type of golfer. For the young bomber, even from the tips, this course will be extremely restrictive. There are perhaps only four or five holes where a driver will be required and those with low single-digits will find the course much too easy. For mid-handicappers who hit it crooked off the tee, you will have fun but expect your scorecard to be littered with bogies or worse. But for those who hit it short and straight, head for the white tees and you will likely have a great score and a great day.

The nature of this golf course makes it difficult to accurately evaluate. I can be conclusive in the areas of layout variety, aesthetics and fun (all good), and conditioning (not so good), but my scores for shot options and challenge are more of an aggregate. The course is not long enough to present much of a challenge to long-hitting, better players but an extreme challenge for mid to high-handicappers.

Key Tips:

This is a walkable golf course but there are a handful of steep climbs and long treks from some greens to tees.

The best advice I could give anyone playing Oakridge is to take the “safer” route off the tee. McBroom provides plenty of risk/reward opportunities but most holes have a “fat side” where you will have a longer approach shot…but at least you will have an approach shot. The same advice holds for most approach shots – aim away from the trouble.

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