Review: TPC San Antonio Oaks
The Oaks TPC is known for its difficult layout and high scores; even from PGA pros. I didn’t know what to expect, so I just figured I would try to play smart and do my best. Thankfully my driver showed up to play that day. I hit 11 of 14 fairways, of the other 3, 2 were in the first cut and the other was a wide right on the one hole that had lots of space to the right (hole 10)
The Front 9 gets off to a solid start with a longer par 4 that has a really tricky green. The tee shot isn’t too hard, but the elevated green almost surrounded by bunkers was tough. The next couple holes are all solid with tricky bunkers and elevated greens. The 5th hole is a great short par 4 kind of a risk/reward sort of hole that you can probably drive depending on the tee and wind, but has some deep little bunkers that can trip you up. The 8th hole is a solid par 5 that you might be able to reach in 2 with some solid shots, but another elevated green surrounded by bunkers makes it tough. The 9th hole is home to the infamous Kevin Na 16 last year, although it is not really a hard hole. It has a redan green but I walked away with an easy 2 putt par.
When all was said and done I shot a 79 from the tips, which from everyone I talked to said it was a phenomenal score for an amateur, especially their first time. I was really happy. The ultra-smooth and slick greens fit my eye well, I putted very well the whole round. So if you hit fairways and putt well you can score on this course, but don’t expect it to be easy, many walk away very frustrated.
If you haven’t played a PGA tour course under tour conditions, check out the TPC San Antonio to check that off your bucket list, it is worth it.
The back 9 continues the “canyon” feel. Each hole has decent elevation changes, whether it is the hole itself, or the terrain around the hole. Good tee shots are important for scoring on this courses. Again holes 15-18 are so good. 15 is a strong par 5 that climbs up a hill. The par 3 16th is mid to long iron over a valley. The 17th is an awesome short par 4 setting you up for a beast of a finishing par 4. I scored decent on this course too, but because of a tight flight schedule I didn’t play ever hole, only got in 16 total holes, skipping a couple in the middle so I could finish.
The Canyon course would make a great round just before or after the Champions Tour event. Even if your round happens to be nowhere near a tournament, you can expect great conditions and a fun challenging layout.
For more information: www.tpcsanantonio.com
+Tour quality conditions
+PGA tournament stop
–Private, yet accessible to JW Marriott resort guest