With origins of golf first played on the original Cowley Marsh site as far back as 1873, it’s safe to say that Oxford Golf Club is part of the fabric of the city. One of the oldest golf clubs in England and most certainly the oldest in Oxfordshire.
With sprinklings of design by the highly acclaimed architect and champion golfer James Braid the course was laid out with holes dotted around the University cricket ground, and up the hill, just touching upon what is now the far end of the course. Golf was played here for a number of years, but was deemed unsatisfactory and the University tried a few other locations around Oxfordshire during this time.
But, in 1922 the University acquired Southfield Farm and commissioned the services of the legendary Henry Shapland Colt (Harry Colt) to re-design the course, which is very much as it is today. Colt’s courses include the likes of:
- Royal Lytham St Anne’s
- Royal Portrush
- Royal Liverpool (Hoylake)
- Sunningdale Old
- Wentworth West
It’s safe to say we follow in distinguished footsteps.
Colt chose to incorporate some of the original holes laid out by James Braid, which gives this course one of the finest pedigrees possible in golf course design.
The course has changed very little over time with changes being limited to extending of holes by moving tees further back and making better use of the land available.
One major change to the course occurred in the winter of 2011 when work was undertaken to redesign our 18th hole. The green and approach which was previously well-guarded by Colt’s trademark small bunkers. These were removed and three ponds front, right and back were installed with fountains and a decorative bridge. This short par 5 is now a very interesting “risk and reward” closing hole.
Our 18-hole par-70 course, built mainly on sand, drains extremely well, offering members and visitors excellent all year round playing conditions. Comprehensive practice facilities are also available; a silky-smooth putting green, an extensive short-game area with practice bunker, long game practice area with driving mats and netted swing bays.
Located just two miles from the centre of the city on a small parcel of land covering just 86 acres many people find it hard to believe that there is a golf course here, but once you are on the course you will experience all of the tranquillity of being deep in the countryside.
With a great variety of trees, including; oaks, poplars, willows, and hawthorns, and an abundance of wildlife, like muntjac deer, rabbits, pheasants and red kites, this really is a golf course in a unique location, one that visitors and tourists want to tick off their bucket list.
For a hole by hole description of our beautiful and well-maintained course, please see our Course Tour page.