Oak Hollow in McKinney has long been the go-to for residents of the rapidly expanding community north of Dallas. The course uses the slogan “Unique by Nature” and in this case, it couldn’t be more appropriate. Oak Hollow continues to evolve as a growing population in the area adds money to the annual budget.
In just the last four years, Oak Hollow has added more than 150 trees to the course that have tightened the layout and will continue to do so as they mature with the layout. The 7,300 sq. ft. clubhouse opened back in 2010 and provides all the amenities a daily fee golfer would expect from their local course. Rustic with rich wood tables and two comfy leather sofas, this clubhouse almost feels more like a ski lodge than a place you’d see the average golfer preparing for a round. A full-service snack bar and three crystal clear flat screen TV’s make this a great place to enjoy a cold beverage at the turn or post-round. And a self-serve hot dog roller grill means you can get a quick snack on the fly if you’re mid-round. Just drop the dog on a bun, load it up with condiments, quickly pay at the counter and you’re ready to hit the back nine.
The course itself is an efficient layout, twisting and turning throughout the property. If it is your first time at Oak Hollow, you will definitely need to pay attention to the signage to avoid heading to the wrong tee box, but the course is well marked, so as long as you don’t fall asleep, you’ll be fine.
The first hole is great way to start. Playing just 363, any tee ball that favors the right center will be in position “A” and give players a good chance at birdie. Be wary of missing left however, as a pond can collect any pulled or hooked tee shots. This one ranks as the no. 17 handicap on the course, so it’s a straightforward way to ease into the round.
One of my personal favorite holes on the front nine is No. 4. The 412-yard par-four features the first dramatic elevation change on the course. A dogleg right, the approach gives players a great birds eye view of a tree-framed putting surface that measures 28-yards front to back. A gorgeous approach.
The sixth is the first of two par-5’s on the property, and both will test even the best ball strikers. Playing at 555-yards, a rock-solid tee shot will still leave players with at least 230-yards to the green. For all but the longest hitters, this will play as a three-shot par-5.
The signature hole at Oak Hollow is the 421-yard par-4 eighth hole. A limestone flanked tributary of the East Fork of the Trinity River lines the left from tee to green and a pond directly in front of the tee means a difficult carry to reach the fairway. Mature trees line the right, making this the most intimidating tee shot on the property. Finding the fairway is paramount if players expect to walk away from this beautiful hole with anything par or better. A tee shot of 295 leaves just a wedge, but the fairway is narrow, so this is most certainly easier said than done.
The back nine at Oak Hollow provides more challenges, including the most difficult par-3 on the course. No. 15 ranks as the No. 4 handicap and when you see the tee shot, you will understand why. The elevated and two-tiered green make this one hard to hold, especially when hitting a long-iron. Long of the putting surface is a very challenging up-and-down as beyond the green runs downhill toward No. 16 tee.
The finishing hole at Oak Hollow is the second par-5 of the layout and is a fun way to end the round. It’s bombs away off the tee as the hole doglegs to the left and plays significantly downhill. Players that can turn a draw with the slope can get some additional roll and chase their tee shots near green light range. A 300-yard tee shot leaves players in the 240 range for their second, but beware the green is only 21 paces deep so it can be tough to hold a long iron or three-metal. Laying up is always an option, as putting a wedge in your hand could be your best bet to make birdie.
As budgets continue to increase, more updates are expected, including replacement of on-course signage as well as driving range accessories. Overall, Oak Hollow is a fun layout that won’t beat you up. Price point is perfect for the beginner or the player looking to improve all aspects of their game. Greens are fair and in solid shape, fairways are tree lined and put an emphasis on accuracy. “Unique by Nature” isn’t just a clever moniker, it’s a perfect way to describe this McKinney gem.