Review by Joseph Austin (TGB Director) 06.04.2012 Hcp 6
The Oxfordshire Golf Club, Rycote Lane, Milton Common, Oxfordshire, OX9 2PU
The Oxfordshire Golf Hotel & Spa, is a championship venue and has played host to a number of European Tour events. Located only a couple of miles off the M40 just outside Oxford it is sited as the perfect London getaway. Many famous names such as Darren Clarke, Colin Montgomerie and Bernard Langer are all past winners at the Oxfordshire. I would imagine that anyone that has played the course off of one of its 6 tee positions will agree that it will not too long before the European Tour return to this magnificent Oxfordshire gem.
The Course was designed by world-renowned architect Rees Jones, which was his first in Britain. Set in 300 acres of rolling Oxfordshire countryside this resort has firmly established itself as one of the country’s leading golf and conference venues. The hotel offers 46 premium en-suite rooms and 4 suites each with its own balcony. Each room offers air-conditioning, complimentary wi-fi and all the services you might expect form a luxury 4 star venue.
The Top Golf Breaks team visited The Oxfordshire on Friday the 6th April 2012 (Easter Friday). Having never played the course before we expected, as you would from a European Tour venue, the grand drive in, majestic clubhouse and stadium course, similar to the London club or Chart Hills, we were not disappointed. The Oxfordshire has a certain appeal which some others lack. Its hard to put your finger on it, the place just oozes with character, charm and personality.
As well as the Championship course, the resort boasts a spa, on site restaurant as well as a fully loaded pro shop for anyone wishing to update their gear before venturing on to the first tee. Even with all these facilities there is still a feeling of intimacy about the place. I think the spike bar, pro shop, restaurant, hotel, and spa being housed under the same roof really helps to give a sense of having everything at your fingertips.
The course itself is a grand mix of memorable par 3′s, long and testing par 4′s with the occasional risk reward par 4 thrown in for good measure. In particular the 8th a 359 yard dog leg left to right which is very reminiscent of the reachable 15th at Celtic Manor or the 14th at Loch Lomond. The hole itself runs around a lake with a tree standing sentry set in the middle of an island with the green protruding into the lake and approximately 280 yards from the tee on a direct line and all over water. In the right conditions the green is in range for big hitters but only the purest of strikes will find it – a truly great hole and ranked in the top 500 golf holes in the world.
The Oxfordshire also has some of the most strategic par 5′s I can remember. Again there is one in particular the 17th (the signature hole) which is ranked as one of the best par 5′s in the country. At 588 yards, and similar to the 8th hole, playing entirely around a lake; the play demands a long and accurate tee shot, after which most players will opt to layup, club selection here is paramount if the green is to be found in 3! Alternatively big hitters may be tempted to go for the green but only after a well struck drive down the left hand side of the fairway which will bringing the water into play. If the fairway is found then you will be left with a 230+ yard shot to the green which maybe tempting. Be warned this hole is a potential card wrecker – another truly great hole and also ranked in the top 500 golf holes in the world.
The course refreshingly has no disappointing holes, the fairways are some of the best we have played and the general feel of the course is American Championship coupled with a links feel. With big elevation changes, water hazards, monstrous bunkering and huge greens this really is a joy to play if you are a fan of the big stage golf venues like Celtic manor or the London Club.
The combination of a sensational golf course, intimate feel, gorgeous food and warm and welcoming staff make The Oxforshire a joy to behold and to savour on every visit. There is no doubt in our mind that if you are looking for a championship course for a weekend get away at great value for money look no further an The Oxfordshire.
It is fair to say we at Top Golf Breaks are a huge fan of The Oxfordshire and will be back very soon.
TGB is proud to offer The Oxfordshire and know that anyone visiting this venue is assured of a warm welcome and memorable experience.