Date Played: July 30, 2023
Yardage: 5133 - 6009
Tier: Neighborhood Joint
Oakley CC is comfortable in its own skin. A course set on 85 acres of land is going to be short (6009 yards from the tips), and it's going to have some tight spots. However, some courses can feel claustrophobic - Oakley does not.
Oakley has an old-school charm to it; even as it winds through Watertown property edged by houses it is quiet and peaceful.
The course's main defense is devilish Donald Ross greens that slope in every direction and require a deft touch and a solid putting stroke. Local knowledge goes a long way in how to approach and then putt on them.
For a 6000-yard course, I was surprised at how many drivers and 3-woods I was able to hit without feeling like I was trying to squeeze it into narrow areas. The land is hilly, so advantages can be gained by hitting longer clubs off some tees.
The front nine has 4 blind tee shots (1,4,5,9), and one could argue the 8th tee shot is semi-blind. The par-3 third is also somewhat blind, as the green sits in the middle of a hill sloping hard left to right.
Holes 6-8 play around The Payson House (built in 1881), which is now condos. It's a cool-looking (haunted?) building, and it sits right behind the par-3 7th green.
The back nine is a touch more straightforward off the tee. Internal OB on the right of 13 likely drives slicers a little crazy.
The standout holes to me were the 5th hole, an uphill tee shot leaves an approach to a green that almost looks like an upside-down seashell with its ridged edges.
The 7th hole has a severe green, that could use some work, but the tee shot is unique with the house framing the green.
The 9th is another unique one. On a dry day, a player could putt the ball 75 yards and watch it tumble onto the green for a birdie putt.
The 15th is a pressure-packed shot over water with the pool crowd just a few feet away watching and judging.
Oakley CC is an excellent version of the type of golf it offers. A short course on good land in a tight space with wild, challenging greens.
I thoroughly enjoyed my round.