Oak Knoll

General Course DescriptionOak Knoll golf

Oak Knoll is a  public course just to the west of Salem. Depending on the water year, the course may have 9 holes or 18 holes (you may get to play on the original 1926 routing). Oak Knoll is very inexpensive and should be viewed as a course to practice on, or if you are graduating from par-3 or executive courses to more standard-length courses. Oak Knoll generally has wide fairways and small greens. In the older section of the course, the trees (including oaks and redwoods) are big and beautiful. In the summer, the fairways are hard and difficult to take a divot, but on a dry day, your ball will roll a long way (on a wet day, the course does not drain well). Greens are very small, elevated or humped, and scarred and bumpy. The course is fairly flat and easy to walk.

Course History

Opened in 1926, with the first 9 on agricultural land with a granary. The second 9 was added in 1979, which included dropping the old 5th hole and adding water features (the 5th hole is added back when “The 1926” configuration of the course is in play). The course has had multiple owners over the years, including a bank holding company. In 2018, Oak Knoll was purchased by its present owners, Scott and Karla Hicks, who own the nearby Plumli Farms.

Why It Is There

Elbert Jones wanted to have a golf course near Salem. Since then, the course has changed ownership and configurations many times.

I Wish I Would Have Known Before I PlayedOak Knoll golf

Oak Knoll is a practice course with scarred greens. Don’t come here to score; come here to hone your game and have fun. There are several hidden quirks on this course, but there are two of primary interest. On Hole 11 (hole numbers are from 18-hole configuration), there is an oak tree and a (almost) hidden ditch that come into play on the left of the driving area, and a long line of tall trees on the right. It seems best to play to the right of the oak tree and try to clear the ditch. On Hole 17, the green is in a depression with a creek in the back. When its dry, it is best to play short and let it roll onto the green. Note that other than the 150-trees, there is little yardage information; if you have a range finder, bring it.

Did You Know

In 1977, Rebecca Ann Chase, then 8, had a hole-in-one on the then 5th hole (which can be the practice chipping area if the course is playing 18 holes). Golf Digest reported then that the age of the girl that made this hole-in-one was the youngest-ever in the country.

Good For Them

Annually hosts tournaments for Kicking Cancer for Kids (generally on the disc golf course). Home course for Amity and Salem Academy.

Why Play This CourseOak Knoll golf

To practice or to move up from par-3 or executive courses (or just to have a fun time for the right price). The friendliness of the owners is a big plus.


  • Type: 18-hole public course (but may only be playing 9)
  • Price: $
  • Phone/webpage: (503)378-0344/www.oakknollgolfclub.com
  • Address:  6335 Highway 22, Independence, Oregon 97351
  • Owner: KMK LLC
  • Designer: Bill Ashby with Elbert Jones (first 9 holes); Tim Barnes (remodel and additional 9 holes in 1979)
  • Pros: Dick Mason (PGA) will come to teach
  • Practice Facilities: Driving range (grass and mat, some covered areas); practice green; an occasional chipping and sand practice area
  • Pro Shop: Minimal clothing and equipment
  • Food: Coffee stand with breakfast sandwiches, hot dogs, soda, beer, and drinks, with a patio overlooking the 1st tee
  • Bathrooms: Improved in clubhouse; porta potties on course
  • Yardage Markers: 150 trees; an occasional  200, 150, and 100 in-ground stones may appear; pins color-coded for location
  • Clothing: Be dressed
  • Walkable: Very
  • Spikes: Soft
  • Shoe Cleaning: Air hose
  • Rentals: All
  • Open all year

The below is for the 18-hole configuration of the course:

Yards Par Rating Slope
Blue 6279 72 69.3 122
White 5876 72 67.3/72.9 120/122
Red 5119 72 68.6 113
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Oak Knoll
Average rating:  
 1 reviews
 by Jason

Nice people, but the course, especially the greens, need a lot of attention.