THE REBEL GOLFER RATING:
MUST PLAY IF OPPORTUNITY ARISES
I wouldn’t be The Rebel Golfer if I didn’t stray from the redundancy of most golfers and most golfers would want to play the East Course at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester. That’s why I 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 days with the PGA Championship receiving a new date, The West Course is its sister course, and in my #rebel opinion, 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.
- 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
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. I was more into my upcoming club sandwich, though, so I moved through that area of the clubhouse rather hastily and I’m sure 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 my arrival to Oak Hill was upscale, except me of course. I was rather downscale, or maybe just off scale. My scale is one which doesn’t belong on the grounds of Oak Hill, but somehow my scale broke. Everyone was totally friendly and the people were great, but I stick out like a sore thumb and I was 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 my round I can tell you the trees are playable…and huge.
West feels like a very cohesive layout with each hole unfolding pretty 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 The Rebel Golfer’s estimation the West Course has 14 amazing, unique holes that mostly come one after the other and take advantage of the steep ridges of the 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 I’m not worthy. I was lucky enough to play both courses (East Course post will come later), and I preferred the West Course. It features more quirkiness, a more interesting property overall and some of the best individual holes at the entire club. It’s relentless in its quality and a course I’d enjoy playing everyday.
Of course, that will never happen.
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