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Revisiting an old friend

Bravo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
5,822
15
When I graduated from college, we played most of our golf at a local state park - Oak Mountain. This is an urban state park of about 10,000 acres that gets a lot of cyclists and hikers. Oak Mountain is a ridge that runs about 1000 feet above the valley floor. As the name implies, this course is run by the state government.

Over the past 20 years, the course was poorly maintained and it gradually got worse. I had not played it for at least 15 years until today.

Myself and two friends went out this morning. We had 1.5 inches of rain in the last 36 hours and it was foggy this morning. Weather radar showed a big blob of rain has just passed through and we decided to chance it anyway. It is about 25 minutes from my house.

The course had a makeover last year and reopened in January. The entire park is getting renovations and we looked forward to seeing what the place looked like.

We drive up and the pro shop is closed (under renovations). The golf carts are out in the parking lot - soaked and dirty. We pay at a temporary building and start to drive to the range. The cart path is just destroyed from all the heavy trucks and equipment that have been used in the renovation/construction.

This course is 6760 from the tips and we decided to play it back. The course is completely saturated with water.

90% of the golf courses in this area converted from bermudagrass greens to bentgrass greens over the past 20 years. This includes the public access facilities. Bentgrass was originally a cool climate grass but heat resistant strains have been developed (at Penn State U) that work well in this hot summer climate. This course however, was redone in TiftBermuda - which is a strain of bermudagrass with small blades. While it will not putt quite as well as bentgrass - it is extremely heat tolerant.

We had a great time - nobody was on the course because the weather was so ominous the entire day. And it didn't rain a drop. The course renovations were very well done and the course overall was in good condition.

This course has a very nice layout and looks like many course in my photos of the area. Unlike the courses in my photos, this course is in a true valley and is almost perfectly flat. Its Walkability Rating is a 9.5...

The thing that makes it very attractive is the price: $15 greens fee M-T and $20 on Weekends and Holidays. Cart rental is $14 per person. I could very easily see walking this course on a routine basis and getting a great deal of pleasure from the $15 expenditure.

I forgot the camera - sorry about that. I will play here again before November and post some pix. This course is a candidate for our trip and can be reached within 15 minutes of two others we could play in the area.
 

caddyshackgolf

Be The Ball
Feb 22, 2005
272
0
"Wildlife often wander onto the fairways and greens." I just had to laugh at that. Are we gonna be getting rabid dogs.
 
OP
Bravo

Bravo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
5,822
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caddyshackgolf said:
"Wildlife often wander onto the fairways and greens." I just had to laugh at that. Are we gonna be getting rabid dogs.

Yesterday, we heard quite a few turkeys and owls...and we saw two deer.
 

Bama Duffer

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2005
447
0
I've only played Oak Mountain once about two years ago. It was before the renovations, I feel sure, since the clubhouse was open when I visited. Did they change any of the layout, or are they simply upgrading the course?
 

DaveE

The golfer fka ST Champ
Aug 31, 2004
3,986
3
You sure can't beat the price. This is the kind of place we could play to rationalize one of the more expensive courses if we wanted to.
 

Rockford35

Shark skin shoes
Staff member
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Aug 30, 2004
21,798
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"Toughest hole: #8, 378 yards, par 4."

What makes this so hard? That's a driver and a 5 iron.

Just curious....

R35
 

Quentin

How U Doin'?
Aug 27, 2004
199
0
378 yards? Rock, that's a driver and a wedge.

Must be a nasty dogleg of some kind.

~QQ
 
OP
Bravo

Bravo

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Aug 27, 2004
5,822
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Rock:

The course has numerous doglegs...#8 is a pretty hard dogleg. And you are right however that the course is not terribly difficult. When we played it was absolutely soaked after 2 inches of rain and I had no approach longer than a 6 iron the entire round.

DaveE: I am glad you mentioned this because this is one of the reasons I evaluated this course. I thought it would be a good "money balancer" vs some of the more expensive courses we will play.

The RTJ Ross Bridge course will be open in just about 4-5 weeks. This will be the premier RTJ course and it will cost $90 to play. The PGA Champions Tour is moving their tournament over there next year and their Tournament Director evaluated it two weeks ago when he was in town for this year's tournament - which is always held in mid-May. He was crazy about the course and said it had "four of the best Par 3's" he had seen on any course on the Champions Tour...so this is very likely going to be a Top 100 Public Course once it opens for play. I think everyone will want to play it and if we can balance out this expensive round with a cheap one - it could help expensewise.

BamaDuffer: The changes were primarily cosmetic, although the greens were completely redesigned and recontoured. They did a lot of work on the drainage and reseeded the tees and fairways. I hope that once the pro shop reopens, they will keep the prices low - because this is an incredible deal at $15/$27 during the week. I am tempted to go down there once they reopen the Pro shop and play/walk. Hell it costs me $14 to play at my place if I rent a cart...

Overall, the course has a very very nice layout and (being in a park) runs through a deep forest where wildlife are abundant, so it is an enjoyable track...
 

Rockford35

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Aug 30, 2004
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Quentin said:
378 yards? Rock, that's a driver and a wedge.

Must be a nasty dogleg of some kind.

~QQ


Oh, 378....right....great math by me there..."Let's see, drive about 270ish that leaves me about 165...." :p

Driver, 56* wedge, except after 2" of rain and that dogleg...

My old home course had 4 par 4's on the front nine that were 340-370 yards, all with 90* doglegs. 3 iron to the corner, and 5 or 6 iron coming in. And the chutes were too tight to hammer one over the trees with the big dog....


R35
 
OP
Bravo

Bravo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
5,822
15
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  • #13
rockford35 said:
Oh, 378....right....great math by me there..."Let's see, drive about 270ish that leaves me about 165...." :p

Driver, 56* wedge, except after 2" of rain and that dogleg...

My old home course had 4 par 4's on the front nine that were 340-370 yards, all with 90* doglegs. 3 iron to the corner, and 5 or 6 iron coming in. And the chutes were too tight to hammer one over the trees with the big dog....


R35

That's a good point...when this course opened, some of the trees on the corner of the doglegs could be carried - but not now. They have grown up so much that you have to hit it down the chute...and if it is a dogleg hard left and you hit a fade from the tee - you have a fairly long approach coming in....I tried to cut a couple of them and my shots got caught in the treetops. (I shot 6 over on the front).

On the back, I didn't try to get cute with the driver and just hit them straightaway. Got better results with a +3...

The other reason this is a good course for our group is it has wide fairways. Yes - there are woods on many holes but you would have to really hit the big slice or hook to get in them...
 

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