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Golf Course Review: Oakwing Golf Club

It has been well over a year since the last time I had been to Oakwing Golf Club. Even though I am in the Alexandria area often it wasn't even a thought when choosing where to play. After hearing about the changes and improvements it was time to get back and see what everyone was raving about.

Sometimes when you hear golfers rave about a golf course making improvements you still wonder what they are raving about. Are they just excited because it is better or are the excited because of the true quality? The latter is the case here at Oakwing Golf Club. Not only has the golf course improved since my last time there but it has improved to the point of being really good again.

Before I get to the conditions I have to say the staff at Oakwing is awesome. They have always been good and I have always felt very welcomed at Oakwing. The difference now is I see and feel the excitement from employees there now. Every staff member I came across, be it the cart staff outside, the pro shop and grill staff inside, or the beverage cart staff on the course has what I would consider a sense of pride while welcoming you. Like when a good friend welcomes you into that new house they just bought and are proud to have you visit so they can show it to you. Again the staff has always treated me well. I just felt like there was an energy that told me, "We know we have a good product you are about to play and you will want to come back and see us often".

That energy was also apparent by the number of golfers sitting in and around the clubhouse after their round. If I have played Oakwing 30 times in my life I have only ever seen golfers hanging out around the clubhouse maybe twice and one time was after an event. It was a great way to determine how much the golf course has improved before even setting foot on the practice facilities.

The practice facilities were the first place I noticed the improvements. Not only was the practice putting green in great condition but there is also now a large chipping green. To be honest the chipping green may have always been there but not in good condition where I noticed it but now it is very noticeable with three regulation-size pin flags and a fairway cut area with rough on the sides. The driving range was always in pretty good condition but the grass now looks healthier and not chewed up as much as it did in the past.

Once getting out on the golf course I was very impressed. There was a distinction between the fairway cut and the rough, I didn't see any dead spots on the fairways or around the edges of the greens. I dramatic difference from my last visit. One of the main reasons I had not played Oakwing in so long is there were dirt areas you might have to chip from only a few feet off the edges of greens or hit a shot from in the center of the fairway. The greens were chewed up and missing grass in many areas and the bunkers were not very well maintained. That is not the case anymore.

Overall 4 out of 5

Tee Boxes: 3.5 out of 5

The teeing areas were in a way the only semi-bad areas on the golf course. They had plenty of grass on them and they were all cut to a good height. There was just some inconsistency from hole to hole. There were a few holes I hit 3-wood on and one time I was teeing the ball up just above the ground and on another I had to tee it a little higher because the grass was slightly longer. All the teeing areas were pretty level and I never felt the ball was too much above or below my feet, even on the par-3 holes. One of the biggest drawbacks was the tee marker alignment. About 3 holes the markers would suggest that you aim 30 yards into the trees and one particular hole, number 6, had the markers aiming almost 90° to the left and not remotely towards the fairway. This was mainly on the back tees as I didn't notice any issue for the guys I was playing with that played two tees up from me.

Fairways: 4 out of 5

The fairways were almost perfect. They were cut low and they were firm so it allowed the ball to roll out quite a bit. I personally like it when fairways are cut low and tight. You can pinch the ball and create a lot of spin which is good for firm greens. Oakwing's fairways were about 1/8 of an inch from being "Tour" tight. One of two reasons I do not give the fairways a 5. Some areas of some fairways didn't have that distinct line separating the fairway from the rough. It could be that the rough hasn't grown as much in those areas or it could be due to a mower. I know it sounds like minor things, but a 5 would mean perfect and they were just slightly short of perfect. All in all the fairways are great and I would happily take them on any golf course anytime.

Greens: 4.5 out of 5

The greens were phenomenal. You could still see the lines from when they last did their verdicut, however, if you didn't see it you'd never know they recently did that. There were two, greens that had some minor dead spots around the edges but they in no way affected putting. They really weren't even close to the intended line of play for those holes so they really didn't come into play at all. Outside of those two holes the greens were nearly perfect. They were fast and rolled very smooth. When you hit a putt you might think would stop a few feet short it would just continue to roll out and finish by the hole. For as firm and fast as the golf course was playing the greens were very receptive. Balls would stop pretty quickly and some wedge shots would even spin back. The greens looked very healthy and so did the turf underneath when fixing pitch marks.

The rough was good with just enough to make you think how to play a shot but not too much where you might not be able to find a golf ball in it. The bunkers were pretty good as well but some of the sand was softer in some than in others but pretty consistent throughout the golf course. The entire golf course was pretty consistent and that is what golfers want.

I will definitely be back to Oakwing as they have come a long way with the course conditions and I enjoy the design. I did mention in the video below about eating, and even though they do have good food, I didn't get a chance to eat when we were done due to the slight delay we had from some weather. If you are in the Alexandria area I highly recommend a stop at Oakwing.

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