Thursday, October 22, 2015
Golfing Oak Quarry Review
There are golf courses in SoCal that have great holes, there are courses that have great views and there are courses that have great architecture. There are few courses that combine all three elements but Oak Quarry is one of the few and an amazing experience.
I am reluctant to write this review as the course is such an amazing track that I want to prevent the hordes of LAians from descending upon Riverside California so I can have the course all to myself but its also too good of a course not to share with y'all.
The last time I felt this good about a course was Rustic Canyon (still one of my favorites in SoCal by a large margin). Like Rustic, Oak Quarry has a great sense of golf architecture. The placement of bunkers and the few trees there are on the course are strategic and engage your game.
What Oak Quarry has that Rustic does not is the views. Laid out amongst the ruins of a quarry mine, each hole runs along sheer granite/basalt cliffs or has changes in elevation that brings the entire property into view.
The course is also smartly laid out. Number 1 and 18 are easy par 4s but each present their own challenge of bunker placement or use of water (there is a surprising amount of water on the course).
I also liked the fact it is not an out and back course in the traditional sense. Number 9 and 10 are in the middle of the property with a little shack for food and you only get back to the clubhouse by playing 18.
The toughest stretch is definitely 10-12 on the course with tough par 3's and par 4's thrown in your face. This all leads up to the signature hole, 14. Rated the best par 3 in Southern California, this hole is everything it is billed to be and more:
The shot is 195 yards over the quarry. Hit it short and you are toast. The green is relatively small and I went for it, just missing it pin high in the rough. If you play it safe and bail to the right, you do not have a good second shot.
Here is a great article just about the 14th hole: http://www.pe.com/articles/golf-776123-oak-quarry.html
There are very few weak holes at Oak Quarry and the only negative thing I can say about the play is that the greens were becoming a lunar landscape when I played. They are about to punch them though which should get them back into shape. Other than the ballmarks, the greens run VERY fast but also true.
Sometimes its best to let pictures do the talking for me so I will leave you with some of my favorite shots from the course:
For more info on Oak Quarry, check it out here: http://www.oakquarry.com/