I was looking for a value course for my morning round and a place that would take a tee time for a single. The Oaks is about a half hour away from Biloxi and cost $59 which was reasonable. I had an 8am tee time and got out behind a twosome who let me play through on the 2nd hole. Like most of the courses in the area it plays through the woods and could be quite penal if someone is spraying the ball. However, I found it to be more forgiving than The Bridges and I was thankful for some places to play a wayward shot. I played the Gold tees at 72.5/131/7006 which was a bit long for my liking but the Blue tees are only 6354. That is quite a big change in yardage and from the White tees to the Blue tees it is about the same jump. As the round went along I noticed that not only do the Gold tees add yardage, but they require that someone shape the ball or challenge the tree line on the holes that dogleg. That is exactly the case on the 1st hole which has trees down the left side and could come into play off the tee. The 2nd is a long par 4 with a carry over trouble before the 4th, a 361 yard par 4, plays around a corner. It is a good position hole as a tee shot too close to the left side brings a tree into play when trying to get to the green. I think the 7th, a 195 yard par 3 over water, is the signature hole. It plays to a narrow green complex which has trouble on each side. It was especially difficult to club with the wind that swirls in the trees. As the name of the course indicates there are oak trees that come into play throughout the course. The 8th hole features an oak tree down the right side of the fairway which considerably narrows the hole. The 9th is a strong par 4 that looks tougher than it is and the 10th is a short risk/reward par 5. The tee shot is fairly generous but the trouble comes into play if going for the green in two. The green is tucked behind some trees down the right and a fade is the play to get up near the green. A poorly hit shot will find the long grass or the trees short of the green. The 12th is a 166 yard par 3 that has a similar feel to the 7th and the 14th is a short par 4 with a hazard left of the fairway and some mounding right. It is a well done short hole and is all about getting it in play off the tee. The 17th has a group of oak trees maybe 100 yards off the tee which gave the hole a narrow feel and the 18th is a 446 yard par 4 which is a tough closing hole. I always kind of wondered where some of the shots needed to be played here. For example, some of the greens have 4 or 5 foot rises which separate them into different sections and can hide the bottom of the flag if the cup is cut in the low section.
The course is a decent value and because of that I would recommend it. Plus, there are some fun shots to try to pull off. Some of the conditions were lacking though. While the greens and fairways were in great shape other parts of the course could use some and were getting some, work. There was a decent sized bare patch every 4th or 5th hole and some spots that were over watered. In addition, maybe a quarter of the bunkers were marked as ground under repair as the course was redoing them. It looked like they were working on the drainage in the bunkers and then putting in new sand so it should be nice once it is done. The 2nd tee box and the 18th tee box were recently re-sodded and had a coat of sand. In all honesty I can overlook a lot of maintenance issues at any course if the greens are nice so this other stuff didn’t bother me. The course is close to I-10 and easily accessible. I would recommend including it a golf trip to the area but if someone is just passing through and looking to play then there are more memorable options.
#10 from the fairway: