Lincoln Park Golf Course
As a bit of a vagabond traveling salesman, I’ve had the opportunity to play many public golf courses in the south and midwest. None is without their flaws, but all seem to offer a relaxed charm as well. Lincoln Park, nestled behind the Oklahoma City Zoo and off of I-35 is no different. If you are looking for genuine quality then Lincoln is just the answer. Opened in 1921, it has been a “home course” for area golfers for years. Lincoln, or “the Linc” as we refer to it, offers 36 holes of golf at reasonable rates. I’m not even from Oklahoma, but I somewhat feel it’s my home track too.
East and West Side
One of the many appealing aspects of Lincoln is the choice between 2 eighteen hole courses. Having that option all but guarantees you won’t be slogging through a 5 hour round. The best part of that, both sides can be counted on to deliver fun with reliable quality. Bent grass greens are the order here. Not sure where course superintendent Jim Wood learned his trade, but these greens are simply outstanding.
- Par 71
- Championship tees 6,576 yards
- Course rating 72.2
- Slope 131
Both options are challenging with some unique holes, but the West side is the preferred choice of my playing partners and myself. It seems to have just the right mix of difficulty and challenge. Playing 6,576 yards “from the tips” is a bit much for my usual group. For the mid-level schnooks like us, we opt for the blue tees measuring out at 6,137 yards. Four different sets of tees are available. There are a few reachable par 5s for the medium to the longer player. None of the holes are what I’d call easy, but you never get truly punished for hitting one off line. It seems as there is always some type of recovery option. Just a few of the highlights of the West are below:
- #16, one of my personal favorites- Depending on the wind and the quality of your tee shot, there will be an option to reach this slight dogleg left, 493 yard par 5 in two. A straight tee shot could leave you between 175 to 220 yards to a well protected, severely uphill green. And that green is historically fast! Definitely, fun trying to gamble here, as there is ample risk/reward. *Local tip- if trying to reach this green in 2, going long is wrong!* As Gary McCord might say, “get out the body bags, you’re dead if you hit it there!”
- #12, a beautiful par 3- If you’ve played any golf in Oklahoma City, you know the wind can
and will be a factor. No exception here, as club selection will be greatly influenced by any gale that comes (it will). At 180 yards from the blue tees, you can see a little pond (with waterfall!) to the left of the large, back to front sloping green. Also, a deep bunker protects the front left of the green. But, it is one heckuva pretty golf hole.
- Par 70
- Blue tees 6,420 yards
- Course rating 70.0
- Slope 120
Possibly considered the little sister/brother to the West Side, the East proves an equal amount of fun. Three tee box options here, this is a great choice for beginning to intermediate skill levels. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security, though, there are many tough holes waiting to jump up and bite you. Though it might be viewed as the lesser of the two courses, it’s just as well maintained with the quality and care of the West. No neglect here folks. Some of my favorite holes are described below:
- #10, 155 yard par 3- After the butt kicking the difficult 9th will probably give you, #10 is always a pleasant sight. At 155 yards from the blue tees, it often plays shorter because of the elevated tee to the downhill green. A large bunker protects the front of the green, but it’s generally a non-issue. Unless you just skull/top/thin etc your tee shot. Beach time then, but the bunkers are generally in excellent shape.
- #15, 480 yard par 5- If you happen to find yourself 2 down and pressing in a friendly match, this par 5 could be your savior. Downhill the whole way, it has a gradual dogleg to the left from an elevated tee. Rarely does any player not have the option to reach this green in two, oftentimes with a mid to short iron. Not that it’s without peril, as there are clusters of trees all along the left and right side of the fairway. Roughly 3/4 of the large green is surrounded by a narrow creek with a rock wall. Great hole, lots of birdies (or better?) available.
Clubhouse and Amenities
Unveiled in May of ’15, the new clubhouse is nothing short of epic. An expansive pro shop supplies anything you could possibly need for your round. What’s more, the food is fantastic. The people that run the kitchen do an outstanding job. Burgers, sandwiches, snacks, and all sorts of beverage choices. Daily lunch specials are never a bad bet either. If you eat there anytime around lunch, you are sure to see some of our local military and business people grabbing a bite.
What’s not to like?
With a friendly staff and great rates, there’s really no reason to miss this fun test. Head Professional Aaron Kristopeit and Director of Golf Steve Carson do a terrific job. I suppose a 5 hour round is out there (the horror…the horror..), but we’ve never encountered that snail’s pace of play. It’s a great spot for good golf that won’t break the bank. The biggest drawback has nothing to do with the course. Okies have to be some very tough sons of guns because the summers there can be down right brutal. Windy and hot is the norm.
As usual, comments and opinions on this review are appreciated at Comical Golfer. Have you played Lincoln Park? If not, highly recommended.