Resting on the site of several Civil War battles, the course at Nansemond River Golf Club drapes over the bluffs lining the titular river and follows a winding path for more than three miles through the riverfront marshland. In total, 14 holes encounter the water's route, forcing players to take special care when striking golf balls off the hybrid bermuda fairways and onto the bentgrass greens.
A relatively lengthy endeavor at 7,241 yards from the back tees, the course's overall difficulty and inherent pressure builds steadily over the 18-hole trial. The 476-yard, par 4 fifth hole leaves little room for error, calling for two long carries over marshy wasteland—one off the tee and one on the approach. And the intensity comes to a head on the famous 17th hole, a par 4 measuring just 365 yards from the back tees. Here the smart play is a careful 250-yard shot off the tee, leaving players with a 100-yard approach onto an island green that could cause the hips of any hula dancer or PGA professional to sway with awe.
The practice facilities provide ample space for warm-ups and concentrated game improvement, from the 1-acre driving range to the 12,000-square-foot putting green. The range's tees are also covered in hybrid bermuda grass, just like the course's fairways, giving players a chance to practice iron approaches and celebratory break dances in real-world conditions.
Course at a Glance:
- 18-hole, par 72 course
- Total length of 7,241 yards from the back tees
- Course rating of 75.3 from the back tees
- Course slope of 141 from the back tees
- Five sets of tees per hole