Oakland Beach is a pleasing, walkable daily fee course at Conneaut Lake, a pleasant resort and vacation gateway in Crawford County in Northwestern Pennsylvania. It isn’t a monster. In fact, it’s quite agreeable, especially to the high-handicapper. It does not put undue strain on skill, patience, or mental health – just the thing for the vacationer or day-tripper who is not looking for hand-to-hand combat with a course. And that’s what is strange. For a course that has written all over it from tee to green, it has some real beasts hiding in the short grass. “We don’t have a green bigger than 5,000 square feet,” owner-manager Garfield Prebor said, matter-of-factly, as though the size of a green has any bearing on its disposition. Or maybe he meant that if these greens were any bigger, they’d be that much tougher. The only things that pitch and roll and twist and turn more are the rides at the nearby Conneaut Lake amusement park. Take the par-3 17th, a 173-yarder. The way it slopes, you may not be able to hold it with your tee shot. Veterans say the best way to play it is to miss the green lower right, then play for a chip-and-putt par. “The greens are part of the enjoyment of this course,” Prebor said. “It’s a picturesque setting, and playable for all skill levels. For the higher handicap golfer, it’s open. It’s not to penal when you spray the ball. For the low-handicapper, it offers length and small greens. And there will be more strategic aspects when the trees we’re planting grow large enough to dictate approach shots.” Oakland Beach ranges from 5192 yards to 6783. It plays to a par 72, except for the skilled golfer, when it becomes a 71 from the blue tees, with No. 5 converting from a par-5 to a par-4. In this day of the upscale course, Oakland Beach remains good news.
Monday, May 30, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time
Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. Mountain Time
Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time
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