Oak Creek Golf Course Wedding Venue Review
Oak Creek is a public golf course located close to the 405 and 5 splits in Irvine not too far from the Irvine Spectrum. If you've been around Southern California for a while you can recall when the land was farm fields. The one thing to keep in mind about this place is that it was built in 1996, so compared to the multitude of golf courses built from the late 1950's to 1970s this place is fresh, clean and lovely. Straight up there is so much to like about this facility. Though it's not huge is is lovely. it's modern spanish architecture makes a strong impression and it's central location makes it ideal for a reception. It's not too far off the freeway. The greens around the golf course closest to the clubhouse are wonderful. As you get further away it's not as nice which really isn't a bad thing because I've been to venues where the best shots are so far away that they aren't realistic to use. I did a tour of all the grounds and found some spots that we didn't use that I would love to use in the future but for the most part the back of the facility can be skipped without feeling like you're missing out. The ballroom is close to the front of the facility and though it's not large, it's big enough for a 150 person wedding. I do like the couryard outside. I found the staff for the most part to be friendly. The ceremony site though not huge is large enough for a lovely ceremony. It was quite nice and the images of the ceremony turned out great. For a wedding venue, this place is great, for a reception venue, this place is also great.
What type of bridal couple would like this place?
The most obvious competition to this venue is the famous Tustin Ranch Golf Course which is fairly close by. I found Oak Creek to be a bit more upscale than Tustin Ranch when it comes to ambiance. Oak Creek reminds me of a Disney property because it's so well maintained at the front. The Heritage room is nicely appointed, it can hold up to to 200 people. it's 2600 square feet thus I feel that 200 would be a bit tight. 150 to 160 is probably the max it can comfortably hold. Ten years ago this would have been a turn off, because weddings were frequently as large if not larger than what this place can hold. Now I am starting to see the 150 guest and under weddings as more of a norm rather than the exception. For these weddings you don't want a room so large that it dwarfs your reception, nor do you want room dividers. This room could get by with as few as 100 people with a bit larger dance floor without it feeling empty.
Clearly the big selling point of this venue first and foremost is it's location. Land is fairly expensive in Irvine and thus nice golf courses are rare. If you can visualize where the 5 and 405 split (The El Toro Y) is then you more or less can find this place in under 5 minutes. This venue is clean and modern looking and not run down in the ballroom like I've seen so many other places. If you're tired of visiting tired old golf courses this place is a welcome change.
The outside grounds are "nice" for a ceremony. They have two sites for a wedding, my bride selected the smaller of the two. It had something to do with the placement of the sun in the late afternoon during her ceremony The larger ceremony site looks pretty nice however, I wouldn't mind seeing a ceremony at this location.
One thing that was kinda nice was that the grounds are open in parts to the bride and groom to cruise around and take pictures on. Im used to country clubs where they never let you get anywhere close to golf course. So, this was a very big plus in my book. There were enough nice, different looking locations to make for some excellent photo opportunities.
Possible Distractions/ Work Around
The bridal changing room is very small, its larger than a broom closet and smaller than it should be. Other than that there are the usual concern, hard to find close parking on busy days and heat issue on very hot summer days.
As I mentioned before the nicest part of the golf course is up front. The bridge in the back is the only thing worthy getting in a cart and driving to the other part of the golf course for. There is train track down below, but it has three layers of fencing around it, you're not getting anywhere near it.
I did find some things to really like about Oak Creek Golf Club. The staff seemed to burn calories making sure that everything was superb. In this regard it's clear that they go over and above the typical golf course. It's clear that there is a sense of pride by the employees. The staff was attractive and well groomed. It also seemed that they worked hard to make everything run smoothly. We weren't waiting on the staff at any point for any reason. The event flowed smoothly.
Though I've been to this venue recently I am putting it into the "In The Zone" section. I need to see this place in action once again if I am to consider it for "Certified Fresh." Oak Creek made a favorable impression on me, but I was expecting a bit more. I think I am biased by the fact that it's in a very nice part of town and the place is so very clean. The staff seems very nice and really does want to put it's best foot forward. I think what happens from time to time is that something goes wrong on the backend and it throws things off with the staff. For example, one person calls in sick, or something that was ordered didn't show up. This causes stress and that in turn throws the staff off. I don't really get a chance to go in back and see what is going on with the staff, but I can sense when something if off.
My first impression was on what I believe to be an off day. Trust me, I've had off days as well. On the one hand I can't hold it against them, but on the other I haven't really seen this place on a good day. I do have enough positive regard for Oak Creek to give them the benefit of the doubt. Hopefully I'll get a chance to see them on a better day and move them into the Certified Fresh category.