Only about an hour from downtown New Orleans, in Pass Christian, MS, The Oaks Golf Club is a terrific low country golf experience. Weaving through an upscale residential development the star of the course is all of the, wait for it…, Oak Trees. I thought there might be just one that stood out, but I noticed at least 5 that could be ‘The’ Oak that is used for the logo.
Anytime a Midwesterner gets to play golf in January, you feel spoiled, but when you find putting surfaces that role this true and fast in January, it takes it to a whole new level. No need to play winter rules at The Oaks because from tee to green the golf course was in terrific shape thanks to Superintendent JT Cockrell.
The front nine starts out with some nice Par-4’s to get you going and focused, but the fun kicks in on my favorite four hole stretch on the golf course from the 4th – 7th. Four is a short Par-4 but the uphill tee shot lengthens it a bit. Avoid the bunker on the left side of the fairway and you have a short iron in but the green is downhill to a green tucked back and to the left that forces you to approach from a difficult angle forcing a premium on distance control. A huge swale in the middle of the green makes a two putt difficult if outside 30 feet. Then the Par-3, 5th forces a good carry over a ravine and through a beautiful chute of trees. Not as difficult as it appears, you still have to clear your head to hit the shot that is needed. Next you are on to the Par-5, 6th. A dogleg left that with wind in the face dares you to try to cut the corners to shave off some distance. Make sure you scout out the dry creek in front of the green and pick your club wisely as hitting the middle of the green leaves no picnic of a two putt with a pin on the back ledge of the green. To end this stretch you have the picturesque Par-3, 7th. A slightly elevated tee with a forced carry over water to a narrow but wide green, puts you in a hit it solid or walk to the drop zone scenario. Although I was not the closest to the pin in our group, it was my most satisfying birdie of the trip from 15 feet.
The back nine does not disappoint with a great variety of holes including the challenging Par-5, 10th hole to get things rolling and another daunting carry over water on the Par-3, 12th. A mid-iron shot, into the wind and bunkers short collecting anything that barely clears the water, as my two attempts did. The golf course presents every shot in the book, keeps your focus on keeping the ball in play but gives you a great chance to make putts with terrifically smooth and quick greens.
The Oaks is a terrific option for Gulf Coast Golf in Mississippi and one that I will return too regularly during my travels in the region. Thanks to Russ Bloom and his crew for a great experience from Pro Shop to golf course and even the generosity to deliver some beer to us on the 15th hole when we realized we had ‘underestimated’ our consumptionJ
For more information on The Oaks Golf Club visit – www.theoaksgolfclub.com.