Oak Hurst Golf Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.4

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
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Oak Hurst Golf Course Review

Just south of Tyler, is Oak Hurst, a fun and challenging course that was designed by Carlton Gipson and opened for play in 1993.  Carlton has designed a number of courses throughout the United States and over the years Oak Hurst has been recognized as "Diamonds in the Rough" by Dallas Morning News and it was awarded "Best Public Golf Course" by the readers of B-Scene magazine.  Oak Hurst is an enjoyable course to play and a must play in you're in the area. 

Oak Hurst Golf Course meanders through stately tall east Texas pines and leverages the natural terrain to create some enjoyable holes.  During your round you'll encounter a little bit of everything that makes golf fun and challenging, for example:

  • elevation changes  - the par 3 187 yard #3 requires a precise drive from an elevated tee box across a pond to a big green with little room in front and mounds along the back 
  • dog legs and blind shots - you'll find some gentle to sharp dog legs like #11 with a 90 degree turn left and #12 which is an uphill blind shot with a slight dog right
  • risk reward opportunities - on #10 you'll need an accurate drive to position your ball for a risky shot over the water to nail the green or you can try to hit the narrow landing zone on the right leading to the green
  • forced carries - you'll encounter a number of forced carries over water but none better than the dog leg left 415 yard par 4 #16 with a downhill shot over the pond in front of the green

The fairways are tree lined except for three or four holes that have some homes well back from the fairway.  When we played the fairways were in near perfect condition (Darrell Chase, the head pro gives them a 10 when compared to any other fairways in East Texas) and a little dry with a few brown spots thanks to several days of 100 degree weather.  A few fairways are tight but most are ample and some are wide and forgiving where you can let-er-rip from the tee box.  If you miss the fairway, the first cut is very playable except for a few spots near the bunkers where it's a little thicker.  Land under the trees and you'll most likely be on playable dirt or a bed of pine needles.

There are only 16 bunkers, most of which are guarding the greens, and all were in very good condition when we played.  The sand is soft and the lips are not that tall. 

The Oak Hurst Golf Course greens vary in size and shape but a lot of them are oblong which can be a little challenging to hit.  They have minor slope and some undulation.  Since they are Dwarf Tif the greens are never very fast (usually a 6 to 7) which took some time to get used to.  They were true, rolled well, and easy to read. 

Oak Hurst is a very fun course and an excellent value.  Adjacent to Oak Hurst is it's sister course, Peach Tree Golf Course, which is an executive length, beginner friendly course favored by seniors, juniors, and those that are new to the game of golf. This shorter, more open links style golf course makes scoring much easier.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 6,813 72.3 126
Blue 5,887 67.5 114
White 5,357
Gold 6,371 70.1 120
Red 5,177 69.0 118

Course Information

Course Architect:
Carlton Gipson
Greens Type:
Dwarf Tif
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairly hard
Course Map
Beware of water on 10 holes and the 15 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.4 out of 10
Fun to Play:
Front Nine Rating:
Back Nine Rating:


Approximate Weekend
$28.00 to $37.00

Service is very good and country friendly. The pro shop has the basics and the practice facilities are adequate. The grill has sandwiches, burgers, fries, and more.



Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating

The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this:  links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course.  In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40.  We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.