O – The Oxfordshire
GB&I Golf Course Reviews – Z to A
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Or strictly speaking The Oxfordshire, Rycote Lane, Milton Common, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 2PU
It’s strange how golf courses keep popping in your golfing life. I’d never heard of the Oxfordshire until it hosted a ladies golf event there and I went along as a spectator as fairly new person into golf. Little did I know at that stage that I’d be working to help promote the resort in my tour operating days or running successful ladies events there either. It’s certainly one that pops up every now and again and always in a positive way. Now I can just enjoy the course for what it is, a place I can return to time and again.
Is not an old course in fact it was only built in 1993. A unique blend of English countryside meeting it’s then Japanese owners requests designed by an American, Rees Jones. Rees Jones of Torres Pines and Pinehurst fame.
It has been built to stage championship golf, and has done so since it conception. With its natural spectator vantage points and views over the, what can only be described as an inland links views.
It is true many a great course has claimed to be an inland links but I think the Oxfordshire is one that can say that with conviction, despite it being based in the middle of the Chilterns. This Rees Jones design beguiles from the first glance with its softly lined fairways. Its wispy grass flirting in the wind beckoning you in.
Once you start to play the Oxfordshire
You’re in a different world, only being bought back to the reality by an exceptional half way house at the far end of the course. It isn’t the 9 out, 9 in design of some, you are literally at the furthest point from the 5th tee. The half way house comes into play on a few holes.
I always liked playing the par 4, 8th hole with the water on the right and the green tantalising you in the distance with its solitary tree teasing you to think big Almost like an island green, the brave can take on the water with their second shot, the sensible follow the fairway round the mouth of the green.
Weirdly I also liked the 10th hole
Its not partially any more spectacular than any ofter hole on the course, I just liked its simplicity. I was in one of the fairway greens with still a long way to go to the green. To everyones amazement, I used a rescue club and clean hit it out and onto the green. I still don’t remember who was more surprised by that shot, me or my playing partner!
There is one hole that most people do talk about when playing The Oxfordshire, the 17th. A long par 5 with an open tee box to hit into oblivion. Placement is key here as it determines the next shot. Over the lake at almost the widest point or go around and play the whole of the par 5. I’ve played both ways, but only had the guts to take on the green one time as my drive was quite far left! The green is tucked all the way the other side of the lake. Shallow in it approach back to front with bunkers in play. It is definitely one of those risk and reward shots!!
The onsite contemporary Hotel sits with the best views over the course, so a few days staying here is always a little luxury with good food and a spa on tap too.