Oakmere – Constant Improvement

GP. From the outside Oakmere Park seems to have it all. A splendid countryside location with a heathland landscape and sandy base, 27 holes and 36 tees of golf, driving range, excellent practice facilities and FootGolf too, all complimented by modern styled and extensive 19th hole charms. But no, being this good clearly isn’t enough, the staff, committee and members alike have aspirations to raise the bar much higher and the club are investing a cool £1million to do just that.

So, what does the future hold at Oakmere Golf Club?

Let Daryl explain…

DSJJ. There are 5 phases for the future plans of Oakmere.
Phase 1 is to install the latest ‘state of the art’ Toro irrigation system to cover all 36 holes of golf, practise facilities and some fairways.
Phase 2 is to re-landscape all of the Admirals course holes to become a Mackenzie & style/design golf course with new bunkering and green surrounds.
Phase 3 is to change the layout, length and configuration of the Commanders Course to make it a shorter easier test of golf.
Phase 4 is to build 4 new holes on the Admirals Course and extend 4 others.
Phase 5 is to build a 9 Hole par 3 academy course.

Phase one was completed last year. Phase 2 has seen 12 of the 18 holes greens, surrounds and fairway bunkers completed over the last 3 winters. 2 Holes of Phase 4 have also already been built and will come in to play next year, and  the other 2 are planned to be done next winter.

The idea put forward to the club by Golf course Architects Mackenzie and Ebert was to present a rugged inland links look to the Admirals layout. In doing so, natural fescue grasses will be encouraged to flourish and although this will all take time, the finished results will be something else. Mackenzie & Ebert are best known for their work in re-designing Turnberry, Royal Troon and Port Rush among many other famous locations across the world.

The final changes to The Admirals Course are due for completion in 2018. This will keep Championship length and standard but will level out the two nines a little more than they currently sit and also take away a pair of uphill par threes. No effect to current playing conditions and all 18 holes have remained open as these changes take place.

As for The Commanders Course, Mackenzie and Ebert made the point in their survey that it should be made significantly easier to play, becoming the intermediate course, a friendlier examination for the greater good of Oakmere Park. Plus the extra space created by the changes will be used for the starter course, a brand new par 3 layout, sitting in close proximity to the clubhouse. This new layout has been completed and has been very well received by the members with 2 new excellent finishing holes to the round.

This would result in Oakmere Park being able to provide a complete pathway into the game, from range and putting green to the Par 3, to the development of a full game on The Commanders and then on to The Admirals. A total commitment from the club to encourage the local population to get into golf, and in doing so, securing the club a bright long-term future.

Not forgetting also that the improvement in quality and looks once complete will give Oakmere Park the tempting possibility of competing on a level playing field with the traditionally higher ranked Notts heathland trio just across the way.

GP Not just content in upgrading both courses but in the space created by altering the Commanders layout they have been able to add a further 9 FootGolf holes which has now made Oakmere the only 18 Hole FootGolf facility in the county and one of the only dedicated FootGolf courses (not part of a golf course) in the Midlands. This new sport hasn’t wained in popularity and has not only brought new clients and revenue stream to the complex but they are also hosting the Notts Open on Sunday 13th August. The FootGolf facility has brought a new wave of youngsters to Oakmere who not only enjoy FootGolf but have become involved in taking golf lessons on the range and playing golf. These youngsters would probably never have visited a golf course previously but now these barriers have been taken away they’ve embraced golf as well.

So, how does the course play? On the following pages Fame Tait gives County Golfer her report by playing nine holes of the Admiral and Commanders Courses on the same day.