Oakcreek Country Club - Midwestern-style country club golf

Oakcreek Country Club If you listen hard enough, you can almost hear the hoof beats when you drive up to the clubhouse at Oakcreek Country Club. Then you look around perhaps expecting to see Gary Cooper or Clint Eastwood riding over the incredible red rock formations that surround this gorgeous 6,824 yard, par 72 layout. But instead of seeing these award winning cowboy actors, you’ll get to meet the Jones’ as in Robert Trent Jones Senior and Junior, or to be more precise, their rare Arizona collaboration.

Besides what you hear, and see, you’ll be amazed by what you feel. Sedona’s far more temperate climate (compared to Phoenix, 90-minutes south) and the comfortable pace of a golf facility that’s a true “country club.” Oakcreek Country Club is not your typical desert-style resort course where the accent’s on the “resort.” Oakcreek is country club golf, and more accurately, Midwestern-style country club golf. 

The original nine was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. back in the 1960s, before the infusion of “desert” golf courses. So what you’ll see might surprise you; a traditional layout with the course weaving between hundreds of Mondale pines and cottonwoods with lakes that look like they naturally belong here. The course was recently restored to Jones’ original design with greenside bunkers added and reshaped. The greens were re-configured to restore the undulations that made it such a unique test of golf.

Located within 15 minutes of the famed Oak Creek Canyon and less than 10 minutes from uptown Sedona, Oakcreek is still far enough away from the growth of the area to be visited by all sorts of native wildlife.

Don’t be surprised to see quail and rabbits, the occasional deer or bobcat. Oh yes, if you do sight a coyote, let him play through, they move along pretty quickly.

Oakcreek Country Club The course itself follows the tradition of Jones’ designs, 145-acres of tree-lined doglegs featuring strategically-placed fairway bunkers in the landing areas with slightly elevated greens surrounded by large, swirling bunkers. Head Professional Gabe Beronja says the course isn’t as “overbearing” as some of the newer desert/mountain style courses and should be enjoyable for all skill levels.

Jones’ design mantra was to create holes that “were hard pars, but easy bogeys.” You’ll find that out right off the first tee at Oakcreek Country Club. A 565-yard par-5, #1 forces you to hit your first drive through a fairly narrow chute with water on the right-hand side. Don’t feel bad about not getting off to the greatest of starts, the first hole is the #3 handicapped hole on the card.

The fourth hole begins a breathtaking string of holes along the base of the red rocks. Oakcreek’s signature hole is a 185-yard par-3 demanding an accurate tee shot from an elevated tee to a slightly elevated green nestled between two large bunkers. But you won’t even see the bunkers or the elevation of the green until you re-focus after the absolutely stunning view of the enormous red rock formation behind the green. Take a minute to soak in stark contrast of nature before you hit to what’s supposed to be the 2nd easiest hole on the course.

Beronja’s favorite hole, also the course’s most difficult, is the long par-4 ninth, 450-yards from the tips, where the fairway slopes steeply toward the pond on the right-hand side of the hole from 150-yards in to the green. Your best tee shot of the day could set you up for a chance to make par.

After making the turn, the next three holes are the toughest combination at Oakcreek. Oh by the way, #12, #14 and #18 are considered by many to be as good a par-4s as you’ll find anywhere in Arizona. All three require you to be long AND accurate off the tee. The 14th plays slightly downhill with spectacular views toward Lee Mountain and Courthouse Butte.

Oakcreek Country Club

The gorgeous 15th, with its creek and red rock water feature, will make you stop to savor it, before taking your crack at birdie on the short par-5 that’s just 50 yards longer than the tough par-4 finishing hole.

A 71.7 slope/131 rating attests to Oakcreek’s challenge from the tips. The 69.5 rating/124 slope from the 6,353-yard blue tees proves its playability. White tees playing just under 6,000 yards and red tees at under 5,600 should make a trip around Oakcreek fun for players of all skill levels.

While Sedona is best-known as a summer escape from the blistering heat of Phoenix, Tucson or even Las Vegas, the great secret is how wonderful the climate is year-round. Oakcreek Country Club is green each month, with fall and winter temperatures usually in the 60s and low-70s, with only a rare day when the mercury doesn’t climb over 50 degrees. Stunning natural beauty, a great test of golf, climate beyond compare and laid-back Southwestern hospitality have made Sedona a perfect getaway for years. Oakcreek Country Club is a Sedona original. Come play the game in all of its Red Rock splendor!

For more information about Oakcreek Country Club, call (928) 284-1660, toll free (888) 703-9489, or visit their Web site at www.oakcreekcountryclub.com.

 

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