This was another on my replay list. This used to be a regular course in my group’s rotation because it was relatively convenient and reasonably priced amidst the golf boom. Because of this, I have a bit of a soft spot for the course. However, it’s been quite a few years since I’ve been here and unfortunately it’s lost a lot of whatever charm it had since then.
I saw plenty of open morning tee times online, so I just walked on in the morning. With gloomy weather and the threat of some rain, it wasn’t very busy at all out there. I checked in and they said I could join a twosome on the first tee, going off at first light. The price was $30 to walk. Those guys didn’t seem all that interested in playing with me. They told me they preferred to play fast, and I laughed in their faces (as politely as possible) and said I was a quick player, too.
They let me hit up with them and then I played through. I left them in the dust after that and finished in about 2 hours and 45 minutes!
Oceanside offers a pretty good layout with a decent mix of hole lengths and designs. For the most part, the course is flat. However, there are some tricky doglegs and some water hazards to contend with throughout the course. Still, it’s pretty open and forgiving unless you try and get too aggressive on certain shots.
To me, the best part of the course will always be the 12th and 13th holes, which offer the only changes in elevation on the course. The 12th is a short (306 yards from the blue tees) par-4 that is straight uphill. I always forget how steep it is, but my quads were quickly reminded as a walking player carrying my bag. The smart thing to do as a walker is to leave your bag at the bottom of the hill by the 13th green, but it had been so long I didn’t know what club I wanted to play on the next hole and I hefted my whole bag to the top.
The 13th hole is always a blast because it’s so tough to judge the distance. From the blues, it tops out at 132 yards and plays straight downhill. In fact, when the pin is in the front, you can’t even see where you are hitting. Even when the pin is in the back, like it was Thursday, you can’t really see it from the blue tees. The drop from tee to green is usually a two-club difference, but then you have to factor in the pin placement and any wind that might be present. Then, it’s just fun to hit the semi-blind shot and see what happens when the ball ultimately lands.
I’ll start with the positives in terms of conditions. The greens were in good shape. They were firm and rather quick. I was in one bunker and it had good sand. Otherwise, this course left a lot to be desired. The tee boxes, fairways and rough were all pretty bad. Everything was very thin and spotty throughout. They are finishing up their turf reduction project, so there are big non-essential areas where they took out whatever grass and weeds were there. Some sections are just hard-packed sandy waste areas and other areas have bark. Hopefully this will help them focus more on getting the fairways back to something reasonably decent someday.
At its best, Oceanside is a pretty good municipal course with a fairly enjoyable layout. Unfortunately, it is far from its best these days and just feels run down all the way around. We’ll see if the turf reduction helps improve the more important areas of the course.
Some pictures from Oceanside Golf Course (4/7/16):