Course Review: The International’s Oaks Course – May 16, 2022
Earlier this week, GolfNewsRI got the chance to play The International – Oaks Course in Bolton, Massachusetts as part of a media event.
See Slideshow Below
The International has been in the news lately starting in February of 2021 when they were acquired out of Bankruptcy by Escalante Golf – the same company that owns Pumpkin Ridge in Oregon.
More recently, it was announced in March of this year that The International would host a LIV Golf event in September. LIV Golf is Greg Norman’s controversial tour that is backed by the Saudis.
Tickets are currently on sale for the event, though it is unclear who will be in the field.
The Oaks Course has undergone a complete renovation, led by Tripp Davis and his team.
In fact, the entire club is undergoing a renovation.
The course is mostly done, but over the next several years, Escalante is tearing down every building and redoing the entire campus to include cottages, suites, a clubhouse and pro shop and much more.
General Manager Steve Brennan told us that they currently have about 210 members.
They had no members after emerging from bankruptcy.
Playing the Oaks
I should note that we only got through 12 holes before we were called off the course due to rain.
Prior to hitting the course, we went to the practice area, which according to other media members there, is considered one of the top practice facilities in the country.
“We wanted to build a practice facility where you can practice all shots, not just the ones you need to play here. We want your game to be able to travel,” said Davis.
As you would expect, the course was in great shape.
I never played the previous version of The Oaks, and so I don’t really have anything to compare it too, but this version was in great shape.
The tee boxes were all flat and in perfect condition and there were a lot of raised tee boxes, which I always think is cool.
All of the bunkering has been redone. Old bunkers were taken out and new bunkers were put in place.
There are 51 bunkers on the course, up from the previous 48. However, the total square footage of the Oaks Course has been reduced, and so it kind of evens out.
“We tried to make bunkers that move your eye, instead of one big bunker,” Davis said.
Thankfully, I was not in any of the bunkers, but the sand looked nice.
The greens were in good condition. Like most courses at this time of year, they were not as fast as they will be in a few weeks.
Overall, the course was in great shape, the holes were challenging and long, but also fair.
What I liked was that the entire course is in front of you, there were really no, or at least very few blind shots.
One thing that was odd, was that there were not yardage markers on the course, at least not that I saw. If they were there, it wasn’t obvious.
Thankfully, the member we played with had a GPS watch and told us the yardages on each shot.
If we didn’t have that, we would have been lost, as far as what to hit etc…
Overall, it was a great day at The International. Looking forward to seeing the continued renovations that are taking place over the next few years.
I’m also looking forward to seeing how it gets set up for the LIV Golf event in September.
Thanks to the International for having us.
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