In 2013, On Course Strategies acquired what was known as Oak Ridge Golf Course. When On Course Strategies took over, the course and facilities were in very poor condition and On Course Strategies is to be commended for doing a fantastic job of improving the playability and conditions (i.e., they added all new greens, removed over 40 bunkers) of the course as well as the facilities.
Michael Hurdzan designed the par 71 6523 yard course to leverage the towering trees and the meandering Duck Creek to create a round of golf that is fun for beginners as well as advanced golfers. The course has a lot of character, requires some shot making to avoid the hazards, and calls for an equal application of power and finesse. You’ll find some tight fairways, water on 14 holes, several forced carries, and some dog legs.
Some of the holes that we liked include:
· #3 a 475 yard par 5 is fun – a pond on the right and creek along half of the left side can catch your ball if you spray it and you need to manage the creek when it crosses the fairway at 190 out and then cuts back to narrow the fairway and make for a tough approach to a raised green guarded by trees, the creek, and bunker
· #14 is a 394 yard par 4 that requires accuracy all the way – off the tee you need to avoid the creek crossing the middle of the fairway and position your drive for a second shot to the dog leg left green with a big left side bunker
· #18 is a hole you’ll want to play again – the creek cuts in front of the tee box to form a pond that lines the entire left side than cuts across the front of the green with a bunker on the left back side – you’ve got a good risk reward shot off the tee if you want to try and shorten the hole by carrying more of the pond
Most of the fairways at Duck Creek are lined by homes on one or both sides and lots of trees. The trees are spaced apart which makes it much easier to find your ball and get back to the fairway. When we played the fairways were in pretty good shape and significantly improved over what they were before On Course Strategies took over. The rough was thick, primarily due to all of the recent rain, and demanding. The fairways are flat to very gently rolling and range from wide open let-er-rip to fairly tight and you better leave the big dog in the bag.
The greens are a variety of shapes and sizes with gentle to no slope or contour. Some are raised and others are great for bump and run. Because the greens are relatively new and the weather over the previous six months had been horrible, there were some rough and damaged spots. The greens held the ball well, ran true, and were a tad slow which may have been due to the rain.
The Duck Creek Golf Club bunkers were in very good condition with soft and deep fluffy sand. The lips are manageable and not real steep. Some of the bunkers are surrounded with a thick cut of grass that may stop your ball from rolling in the bunker but the bad news is that you’ll most likely have a very demanding shot because of the thick grass.
The pro shop has all the basics, the practice facilities are adequate, and the grill serves burgers, sandwiches, and dogs plus free coffee and bagels in the morning!