Oak Quarry

Oak Quarry GC, Riverside. Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley with Dr. Gil Morgan, 2000.

oak quarry 6
Looking down at #6 (and the quarry) from the tee of #5

There are a few ‘signature’ type holes here that get all the photos and most of the press, but what pleasantly surprised me was how good the rest of the course is. I really enjoyed non-marquee holes like the eighth, 11th, 12th, and 13th. It should be noted, though, that not only are the signature holes as amazing as photos make them out to be, they’re also uncommonly good holes, given how often signature holes are unplayable duds. The divided fairway at the 4th would be the only real exception and a bit of a headscratcher—I would rather see the whole thing cut to fairway height and my guess is they don’t do it just because it’s too hard to mow. But even that quibble doesn’t diminish the joy of both shots on that entirely unique hole.

oak quarry4
The 4th is a short par 4 where you hit your tee shot to either the higher fairway on the right side or lower fairway on the left. Big hitters, especially if the wind is with them, can try to carry the quarry and drive the green.

It’s also to the course’s credit that I played here in what varied between a 2- and 4-club wind and still found the course very playable. I’ll admit I was nervous at the prospect before teeing off—an exposed course on a severe site with a lot of wind seems like a recipe for disaster, and I’m sure it can be brutal. But the hills and quarries serve to funnel the wind in ways where it seemed most holes played either downwind or into the wind—which can be somewhat tiring, but I think is still more playable than a severe crosswind. Definitely the kind of course to go out of your way for on a golf trip.

California 2nd Quintile [2016]

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