CANADIAN GOLF MAGAZINE RATING:
MUST PLAY IF OPPORTUNITY ARISES

We wouldn’t be golfing if we didn’t stray from the redundancy of the flock, and most golfers would want to play the East Course at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester. That’s why we decided to check out Oak Hill Country Club’s West Course.

In case you didn’t know, Oak Hill actually has two courses. And though the East Course has been all the talk in recent years with the PGA Championship receiving a new date, The West Course is its sister course, and in our opinions, the prettier one.

Sure, East gets all the attention, but West will knock your socks off if you just give her a chance. The West is also virtually untouched from its original layout so perfectly laid out by The Donald — Ross, that is.

THE STATS

  • Type: Private
  • Season: May – October
  • Architect: Donald Ross
  • Location: Rochester, New York
  • Year opened: 1926
  • Holes: 18 | Par 71 | Length: 6781 yards | Slope: 127 | Rating: 73.1

THE COURSE

When you arrive to Oak Hill the stately mansion of a clubhouse makes a big impression. Walk inside and it’s like a museum of golf. Having hosted too many championships to count, if you’re into nostalgia, there’s a half wing of the clubhouse dedicated to it. We were more into our upcoming club sandwiches, though, so we moved through that area of the clubhouse rather hastily and we know every member was happy for that.

As you make your way to the driving range you have to marvel at the expansiveness of the facility. The short game area with all its flagpoles is imposing and the land is hillier than you might imagine. It’s safe to say everything about our arrival to Oak Hill was upscale, except us of course. We were rather downscale, or maybe just off scale. Our scale is one which doesn’t belong on the grounds of Oak Hill, but somehow our scale broke for the day. Everyone was totally friendly and the people were great, but we stick out like a sore thumb and we were ready to get out into the solitude of the golf course.

Oak Hill West is hole-after-hole of awesomeness. The property is rather hilly and The Ross man used various shelves and elevation changes to place greens and tees upon. Oak’s are everywhere no less. Having been among them for the majority of our round we can tell you the trees are playable…and huge.

West feels like a very cohesive layout with each hole unfolding naturally. A lot of the course feels very big; its scale is large. Wide playing corridors and brawny par-4s cross some of the best land at Oak Hill while the par-3s are very strong and varied.

When it comes to the greens they’re Tony The Tiger greeeat! Well guarded, varied and just plain fun. In our estimation the West Course has 14 amazing, unique holes that mostly come one after the other and take advantage of the steep ridges on property. What about the other holes you ask? Meh, they’re just nothing short of really good.

The West Course is never boring.

19TH HOLE THOUGHTS

Oak Hill is stately. It’s a testament to classic American golf clubs and we are not worthy. We were lucky enough to play both courses (East Course post will come later), and we preferred the West Course. It features more quirkiness, a more interesting property and some of the best individual holes at the entire club. It’s relentless in its quality and a course we’d enjoy playing everyday.

Of course, that will never happen.

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