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Mark_Rowlinson

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North Oxford Golf Club
« on: January 23, 2018, 11:15:49 AM »
I was in Oxford on Saturday and my brother-in-law brought up the subject of North Oxford. It seems there is some danger of the course being closed down for housing. I know nothing of North Oxford. My brother-in-law, who doesn't play golf, is anxious that it shouldn't close as it's the only bit of open ground north of the city. He is very much of the opinion that such historic open spaces should be preserved as such, cricket grounds, rugby grounds, etc, and, of course, golf courses. Anybody know anything? Adam? Sean? 

Adam Lawrence

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Re: North Oxford Golf Club
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2018, 11:38:36 AM »
I haven't heard anything locally, but it wouldn't surprise me. Pretty ordinary golf course, but yeah, certainly the largest green area on that side of town. Huge pressure for more housing in the Oxford area, but the infrastructure is creaking badly as it is; really we need a major investment in trams or something similar before any really large housing developments go through, but I can't see that happening.


That said, if you look at an aerial map of the Oxford area you'd be hard pressed to say that it was, as a whole, short of green areas. Large parts of the city centre are green, parts of colleges such as the Magdalen deer park, the Christ Church meadow, etc. Lots of grass in Oxford, just not all publicly accessible.



The Oxford course in more imminent danger imo is Southfield. Club holds its land only on lease (not sure when that expires) and the land pressures around the hospitals are immense. They are building a major new multi-story car park at the Churchill, which is right next to Southfield, but I don't think it will be enough; I can see the golf course being swallowed up by the hospital before too long.
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: North Oxford Golf Club
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2018, 11:43:25 AM »
Makes sense for housing. There are too many golf courses struggling and the demand is less these days, if it can serve to help the housing situation and help the other local golf courses survive then perfect.


Golf occupies a lot of land. The UK situation is different to many places. Most golf clubs would see it as hitting the jackpot.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Paul Dolton

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Re: North Oxford Golf Club
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2018, 01:40:49 PM »

Its an average course on a very small site. They do not own all the land and the local paper reported it was going to be built on.


I did hear the members were hoping for a windfall similar to what is happening at Maidenhead GC ( ? ) but they only own a small area.
There was one report of them building a new course across the road !


Oxford GC ( southfield ) always seems under pressure which is a shame as it has some very good holes.


A friend of mine told me years ago North Oxford GC had the chance to build a course at Blenheim Palace.

Duncan Cheslett

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Re: North Oxford Golf Club
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2018, 01:46:55 PM »
I see this situation being replicated in every town in the country.


Golf courses built originally on the outskirts are now subsumed by suburbia, and are very often the only sizeable pieces of undeveloped land in town.


With the development of the green belt unpopular, golf courses will come increasingly in the sights of councils and builders.


It will make sense for many struggling clubs to sell up and either to build a new course outside the town or simply to disband and share their members around other struggling clubs.


A typical course of 120 acres could easily accommodate 500 homes AND retain plenty of green space for public use.

Mark_Rowlinson

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Re: North Oxford Golf Club
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2018, 02:16:27 PM »
Thanks very much for your replies. I'll forward them to my brother-in-law. As always, mush sense spoken.

Richard Fisher

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Re: North Oxford Golf Club
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2018, 05:55:00 AM »
In GCA terms, Southfield would be a significant loss, North Oxford somewhat less so although still very sad for a loyal membership core. Oxford University Golf Club moved from Southfield to Huntercombe (about as far from Oxford as The Sacred Nine is from Cambridge) several years ago now, and the 'Combe is clearly a marked step up in overall quality: at the same time Southfield has always had (as Paul says above) some really good holes, with a couple (the 5th and 6th?) where with the eye of faith you can almost imagine yourself at Hoylake...

For American friends, both Oxford and Cambridge are currently two of Britain's most prosperous cities, ranking 2nd and 3rd on many lists of house prices (behind only London), with huge amounts of local property development (and major infrastructural challenges). Hence the pressure on the North Oxford land.

Thomas Dai

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Re: North Oxford Golf Club
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2018, 07:03:38 AM »
Be interesting to see how various cities develop over the coming decades. Not just golf wise or use of current golf course land but population, roads, flood plains etc.
A stat I saw the other day said there are more vehicles in the U.K. now than there were people 120 yrs ago! Bit scary.
Atb

Sean_A

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Re: North Oxford Golf Club
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2018, 07:09:01 AM »
In GCA terms, Southfield would be a significant loss...

I hope Adam is wrong about Oxford...it is fairly high on my list of favourites because I adore the shaping around the greens...very similar to Harborne...both courses are sadly under-valued. 

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,43021.msg926943.html#msg926943

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend & Alnmouth

Adam Lawrence

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Re: North Oxford Golf Club
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2018, 08:34:45 AM »
In GCA terms, Southfield would be a significant loss...

I hope Adam is wrong about Oxford...it is fairly high on my list of favourites because I adore the shaping around the greens...very similar to Harborne...both courses are sadly under-valued. 

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,43021.msg926943.html#msg926943

Ciao


You and BD both... in his obituary of Colt, Darwin wrote that he thought Southfield might be one of his greatest achievements, in terms of building something excellent on a very ho-hum site.
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Paul Dolton

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Re: North Oxford Golf Club
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2018, 08:45:27 AM »

I grew up playing at Southfield and really enjoyed my time there. I have seen a picture of a short par three between the 5th green and 6th tee. I believe the seventh tee played to the 8th green !


If anybody is in the area they should make an effort to play there.

Tommy Williamsen

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Re: North Oxford Golf Club
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2018, 11:26:58 AM »
I have played North Oxford a few times when I lectured at Exeter Colleg at Oxford. It isn't a world beater but it is pleasant enough, inexpensive, (in the spirit of things I'll use the Oxford comma) and seemingly one of the few places for locals. It would be a shame to see it go.
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

"Deep within your soul-space is a magnificent cathedral where you are sweet beyond telling." Rumi

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