Enid, Oklahoma, United States
Architect: Perry Maxwell (1946)
6,694 Yards, Par-71
My Quick Review: Two of my favourite par-3s anywhere and one of Maxwell's best sets of greens.
Oakwood CC, located in the small town of Enid, OK, 90 minutes north of Oklahoma City, was one of the final works of Perry Maxwell. The course is a microcosm of what Perry did so well -- a very clever routing on a tiny property, maximum use of undulating terrain where available, creative use of blind shots, very good choice of par-3 green sites, and perhaps most notably, a great set of varied greens, ranging dramatically in size, shape and contour, from inverted punchbowl to tiered to tilted to wildly contoured.
Oakwood CC will likely never receive national acclaim. It may never be ranked among the top courses in the state. There may be a few too many trees, poorly placed cart paths and it is not conditioned to the same standards as many top-100 courses. But, I was overwhelmed with Oakwood's quality. If only every course you've never heard of could be this good. A true hidden gem.
Holes and Features to Note
The second hole gives a good taste of what is to come. Perry uses some clever forced perspective architecture to make the hole appear much shorter than it appears. Upon reaching the fairway the golfer sees the gently rolling terrain he will be treated to on much of the back-nine. The 2nd green is raised and tilting from back-to-front -- if there is a theme to the greens at Oakwood, this is it.
The third hole is one of my favourite par-3s anywhere. Playing a little over 200 yards this par-3s fits as perfectly on the terrain as any hole I've ever seen. This hole was certainly found, not built.
The Maxwell templates are in full force at Oakwood. Blind tee shots over the crest of a hill are found at three consecutive holes at the 4th, 5th and 6th...
The 6th green again tilts from back-to-front, but to add to the variety this one sits at-grade...
While the 7th green is of the inverted saucer variety...
The mid-length par-3 8th is another of Maxwell's templates, citing the par-3 green just over a natural drop off. Another excellent, intimidating and difficult golf hole.
The second shot at the 9th returns the golfer to the more interesting terrain that will be played over for the back-9. The green is tiered (three of em) and false-front(ed)...
The 400 yard par-4 10th is another very strong hole and the start of a very strong set of holes. The tee shot narrows the longer the shot until it reaches a natural 'funnel' in the fairway, rewarding well-struck shots and severely penalizing offline shots.
The par-3s on the back nine are not of the same quality as those on the front, but the par-3 12th with its severely sloping green is clearly the better of the two...
The two par-5s on the back-nine are quite short by today's standards, but on both, par is guarded at the green. The greens at 13 and 15 have as much contour as any small green I have ever seen.
The 13th green:
And the 15th green:
The 18th tee gives an idea of the misplaced trees and cart paths that plague Oakwood...