Itís my last day on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail and itís an early start before heading off to the airport. Oxmoor Valley was the first course to be designed on the RTJGT and as I step onto the first tee you can see that its matured well, with the fairway nestled in the trees.
The one common theme that has run through all the courses on the RTJGT is the land that has been used and the elevated tees, they certainly give each course the wow factor and as I look down the fairway from my lofty position the with the sun casting early morning shadows on the dew soaked fairways it's a beautiful sight for any golfer.
The sound of my drive cracks and echoís through the trees and the ball comes to rest on the plateaued fairway below, giving me a nice 7-iron across a small valley to a green that sits below me but is raised so anything short will be rolling back down the hill.
The second brings up another elevated tee to a rolling fairway that moves slowly downhill on this 528-yard par 5 Ė depending on which one of the five teeing option you have chosen Ė but if you catch the right slopes and with less dew on the ground you could leave yourself no more than a mid iron into another green that is raised above the undulating downhill fairway.
Water sits right in the landing area on the second of these back-to-back par 5s so I would keep your driver in your bag, Iíve hit 3-wood from the back tee and am only a couple of yards from the water and Iíve hit the largest section land as the water is shaped like a lower case n around the fairway. Only the longest hitters will reach the green in two here as the raised green sits in an amphitheatre of grey/brown rocks and really does give it a fantastic visual aesthetic.
The back tee from the 4th hole sits on those same rocks which supplies yet another elevated tee. The par 3 5th hole is followed by a fantastic risk and reward hole at the 6th where you can not only choose what tee to play from, but also how much fairway you are going to cut off as you fire your ball across the deep ravine.
There are so many options for signature hole here but the par 3 8th hole has to be in with a big shout. Again played from an elevated tee with over a 200ft drop to the green below that is surrounded by water apart from back left. Watching my ball fly through the air to the green below is a real buzz.
You have guessed it the back nine starts with another elevated tee and as I make my way round I am hard pressed to find a weak hole on the whole course, its just one well designed hole after another and the design is that good that the elevated tees mean you can see all before you.
As I get to the 18th hole I have to smile as it's a fitting finale to a wonderful course manicured to perfection and presented beautifully, but there is a sting in the tail on this par 5, finishing hole. It really is a 3-shot hole and could give you a chance to walk off with birdie, but for bigger hitters who go for the green in two there is trouble short and left as the fairway slopes left and descends steeply into the trees below leaving you very few options.
A great hole to finish any course, a fantastic hole to finish what has been an incredible weeks golf.
Top 18th hole. Above: Fantastic opening hole. Looking back down the 4th and the 15th hole
Sunset over the par 5, 3rd hole on the Ridge Course