The Takeaway: In classic Tom Fazio fashion, The GC of Oklahoma saves its best for last with a beautiful four hole finish along the lake. Fazio rarely screws anything up and that is again evidenced here and helps make it one of the top tier courses in the Sooner State. Grade B+
Designer: Tom Fazio in 1984
Phone Number: (918) 486-6575
Course Website: Official Website - Visit The Golf Club of Oklahoma's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 20400 East 141st, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma 74014 – UNITED STATES
What to Expect: When you play enough courses designed by a particular architect, you see themes and tendencies that they tend to have. You don’t have to play many Tom Fazio courses before a consistent theme shows up, which is that he saves the most dramatic holes for the end and they often boast large water features. The Golf Club of Oklahoma is no different with the final four holes being jaw-droppers routed along the lake where you’ll want your camera handy. In fact, the finish at GC of Oklahoma is quite reminiscent of Fazio’s fellow Oklahoma layout at Karsten Creek in Stillwater as well as at courses like Flint Hills National in Kansas and Old North State in North Carolina. When I talk about Fazio courses with fellow golfers the line that I tend to use more than anything is, “Tom rarely screws anything up.” His courses seem to create an excellent balance of playability, challenge, and aesthetics while often saving the best holes for last. While Fazio’s greens are always good, the one at The Golf Club of Oklahoma are of particular high quality with a raised level of creativity and memorability highlighted by the par three 15th which I could play over and over again to different pin positions. The course enjoys nice movement throughout the routing and many holes are lined by mature trees, but the fairways are wide enough that if you hit it into the trees you will feel it is deserved. There is a good variety of hole lengths and shapes throughout the course which is nice on a day to day basis and in a variety of weather conditions. Ultimately, I really enjoyed The Golf Club of Oklahoma and am confident in its status as one of the top tier courses in the Sooner State.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 15th Hole – 177 Yard Par 3 – One of the most fun Tom Fazio par threes I've ever played, the 15th boasts a green that you could spend half a day on and never get bored. The putting surface stretches out over 200 feet with three distinct tiers, but unlike most tiered greens, this one cascades down the further back into the green you get. Depending on which of the three sections the flag is on, the hole plays dramatically differently. The nearest tier is the easiest to access and the one to be the most aggressive with, but each tier back gets more difficult to attack. If you are confident with hitting low, running shots, then this hole can be a dream as you carve a low cutting shot that lands and chases back to that day's pin placement. If you try to fly a ball all the way to the back tier you better be on your game because that is where the least amount of surface exists to find safety on. One of the great anticipations on a round at The Golf Club of Oklahoma has to be where the flag is on 15.
Best Par 3: 17th Hole – 180 Yards – Playing 30 feet downhill, the 17th plays at least a full club less than the yardage to a green heavily bunkered on the left, singularly bunkered on the right, and Lake Kadashan in the rear. The pushed up green offers no forgiveness to players missing the putting surface, though coming up short and right offers the best chance to save par given the slope in the green. It is a scenic hole and one you can get aggressive on with any pin around the center of the green.
Best Par 4: 16th Hole – 421 Yards – Playing the opposite direction as the closing hole, the 16th plays north with Lake Kadashan running along the right side and a large bunker protecting the driving zone on the left. While the lake provides the beauty to this hole, the approach shot becomes the beast with players hitting to a greensite sitting 20 feet above the fairway with four bunkers creating a necklace from the front around the right side of the putting surface. The green is diabolic with a false front quickly deflecting weak shots while the heart of the putting surface has a distinct tier with the raised back third being extremely difficult to attack with confidence. It is a fantastic offering and an excellent test late in the round.
Best Par 5: 18th Hole – 545 Yards – Death, taxes, and a dramatic finishing hole at a Fazio course; three things you can always count on. The final hole at The Golf Club of Oklahoma tees off at the north end of Lake Kadashan and plays to a fairway flanked by the lake on the right and trees on the left. The hole plays southerly until coming to the conclusion which features two different green sites; a heavily protected raised one on the left and a peninsula offering on the right. If going for it in two and attacking the green on the right, you have to be aware of the water that jets in front of the green and requires a big carry the whole way or a shot that stays up the left side and uses the terrain to tumble down to the right. Birdies and bogies abound here!
Birdie Time: 12th Hole – 351 Yard Par 4 – Playing straight away and downhill towards Lake Kadashan, the 12th should have you licking your chops. Both sides of the fairway are tree lined with the terrain sloping a bit from left to right at first and then sloping back to the left, so if you can keep your ball up the left side and out of the bunker 65 yards short of the green on the right side then you should be in prime shape to be aggressive with your second shot. A lone pot bunker sits at the front left corner of the green while a grass bunker protects the right, but the main concern should be sticking your approach close to the flag. Approaches from the left will allow you to hit back into the slope of the green and minimize the roll.
Bogey Beware: 9th Hole – 459 Yard Par 4 – The challenge of the 9th begins with the tee shot from the tips where a tree looms from the left and narrows down the hitting chute that is available to navigate through. Encouraging players to stay right, that is also where you will find the most bunkers on this hole, and the fairway tilted to the right as well. A commanding draw off the tee is the best way to combat this hole, but if you don't have that in your bag then you'll have to do your best to find a piece of the right side of the fairway. As the short grass traverses towards the green, the hole decisively narrows as trees pinch it on each side before diving down a shallow valley before ascending back up to the greensite. The narrow opening combined with the unforgiving greensite requires nothing less than precision on the execution of the second shot; something that can be challenging with a mid to long iron. The back nine has more memorable holes for sure, but none tougher than the closer on the front.