This week, I have a few local courses lined up that I’ve played and reviewed before, but they are some of my favorites. So, I will be posting updated reviews to talk about the latest experience and conditions, along with some new photos. On Thursday I’ll be playing my favorite OC course, Tijeras Creek, and on Saturday I‘m headed out to the desert to test myself against the legendary PGA West TPC Stadium course in a Greenskeeper.org outing.
On Saturday, I visited one of my top picks in the Inland Empire: Oak Quarry. This is a course that gets a lot of praise and attention, and frankly, it deserves the accolades. It’s such a fun layout and the setting is truly unique.
The layout is reminiscent of some other Southern California “canyon” style courses with a very fair design. By that I mean that good shots are generally rewarded and bad shots are rightfully punished throughout Oak Quarry. There are some short and tight risk/reward holes and some longer ones that are more wide open. Overall, it’s a fantastic mix that will put all your skills to the test without completely beating you up.
I played really well here on my last couple rounds because the course really suits my eye, so I had high hopes this time, even though we played the blue tees rather than the whites. The added distance didn’t really affect me other than on a couple of the longer holes, so I still felt that the layout was set up well for a good score. I started with a nice birdie and added another on the par-5 8th, but most everything in between was ugly. My chipping and putting were terrible, including the atrocious four-putt double bogey on my favorite hole #4. Though I didn’t feel like I was playing so horrible, I ended up with more bad moments than good ones. That only makes me want to come back sooner for another rematch!
I played with a friend and we had a 10:20 tee time. Perhaps the best part of the day was getting to play alongside him as he experienced the drama of Oak Quarry for the first time. I know he really enjoyed the course, but was particularly excited by the two most signature holes—the 4th and the 14th. Those ones utilize the old rock quarry setting to its full potential and are just great on every level.
Unfortunately, the weather was rather gloomy throughout our round. Every time the sun seemed to be peaking through the clouds, things would close back up and a chilly wind would start blowing. As you’ll see in the pictures, the course’s scenery really didn’t shine as well as it normally does on a sunny day, but it is still pretty dramatic.
Condition-wise, Oak Quarry was in very good shape overall. The tee boxes were nice. The fairways and rough
were mostly really good throughout. The bunkers were a bit thin and several had standing water puddles, presumably left over from the rains last week. The greens were rolling well at medium speeds. I could still see some minor remnants of
aeration on a few greens, but nothing that significantly affected putts. The greens
should only get nicer in the coming weeks, so now is a great time to
It was yet another fantastic overall experience at Oak Quarry and I can’t wait to come back again. If you’ve never played here, what are you waiting for? This is truly one of Southern California’s most distinctive golf courses.
Some pictures from Oak Quarry Golf Club (5/9/15):