Oshawa is an interesting golf course. It’s just far enough from Toronto to be in another city yet close enough to be considered the GTA. The old adage we’re all familiar with is ‘location is everything;’ Oshawa has location, but it’s not only about location, especially when it comes to golf courses.
Thankfully Oshawa also features one of the more interesting properties in Southern Ontario taking full advantage of the Oshawa Valley and the banks of the Oshawa Creek. Priding itself on its history and being a Stanley Thompson design, there’s no doubt the course has a very classic feel. The layout is very intimate with tees and greens near to one another, and though you may feel a little snug in spots, who says a golfer isn’t supposed to feel a little snug sometimes? It’s all a part of that old school charm that many modern courses tend to lack.
Maxing out at 6,600 yards, the small, sloping, well-bunkered greens are what make up much of the courses defense. Many of them are raised and others are placed on natural plateaus or cut into hillsides. A few, like 11 and 13, feature false fronts and are particularly memorable. Most of the greens at Oshawa have some really interesting slopes that at times require special attention be paid to the surrounding land forms to read correctly.
There are some very strong holes here including two very good back-to-back short par-4s at 9 and 10. The former taking advantage of a fairway running down into a valley and the latter a diagonal ridge running through the fairway. The 10th also features exquisite bunkering creating a visual effect that may have golfers feeling less confident than they should be at this point in their round.
One of Oshawa’s defining features is its variety. The land allows for this and the layout takes advantage of even the smallest natural features. Take for example the aforementioned valley at the 9th hole. The same valley transforms itself into a depression that cuts across to the neighbouring par-5 4th fairway. Here, it’s located just in front of the green creating what is one of the most interesting green sites on the course with a plateau that would impress even the most casual golfers in boldness.
The par-3s are another strong point. There are four in total, all playing in different directions, and they range from the short and dangerous plateau-to-plateau 132 yard 3rd hole to the mammoth 232 yard 5th. Oshawa finishes on a strong par-3 that sits just below the clubhouse and crosses over the Oshawa Creek.
A previous profile on the golf course suggested some tree work would be in order. This remains true in a few select places like the 4th tee, but most of the holes didn’t seem nearly as problematic on return play. For example, it was said that 16 was encroached by trees. They do come into play from the tee, but on repeat play the hole is more strategic than those focusing solely on the trees would suggest. It became clear the play is to the left and either short of the trees or past. Once you make that decision, it’s hard not to be enamored with the holes great green site elevated from the fairway and cut into the hillside at the end of the dogleg right.
Overall Oshawa was a big surprise with some absolutely great holes that we didn’t even mention like the par-4 2nd, which traverses a diagonal ridge, and the curving par-5 15th. It’s located in the centre of a city, it’s a great walk through a beautifully natural setting and conditions all around were on par with the best we have seen this season, a tough one at that. They are currently in the process of making what we consider to be major improvements to the clubhouse in order to bring it in line with some of the areas top tier facilities and also allow them to provide the levels of service expected of an elite club. Once done, members and their guests will enjoy a beautiful patio overlooking the 18th hole in the valley below where we know a few matches will be on the line (ours was).
We could all be happy campers if we were able to call a golf course like Oshawa home.
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