Mill Run Golf Club’s 18-hole course rolls across 6,623 yards of challenging tee-to-green terrain. Water hazards pepper the picturesque par 72 on various holes, beckoning errant golf balls and carts hoping to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming submarines. The course preys on the ill prepared by front-loading its most difficult hole, which appears at the third tee box in the form of a tricky, 429-yard par 4. Along with its lush monolith, Mill Run welcomes link loopers with golfer-friendly facilities, which include a fully-stocked pro shop, expansive driving range, and Hacker’s Grill, a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes that turn into coal when served to diners who falsified their scorecard. Course at a Glance:
Running alongside the Chickamauga Battlefield and National Park, Battlefield Golf Club's scenic fairways meander through forests and ponds for a fun, relaxing day of driving. The third hole tests golfers with an early challenge, skirting a pond that consumes misaimed balls and provides a convenient spying spot for FBI-employed swamp things. Hole seven's sunken green amps up putting difficulty while the 14th hole delves into shady woodland. After rounds, a newly renovated clubhouse ensconces guests in postgame comfort, with lounges, a restaurant, and fully stocked pro shop. Guests are asked to wear golf attire when on the course, maintaining decorum and preventing awkward encounters between golfers dressed as golf carts.
Designed by 1992 Masters Champion Fred Couples and course architect Gene Bates, the course at Heron Ridge Golf Club slaloms through acres of natural wetlands punctuated by towering oak, beech, and elm trees. Golfers confront water hazards of some form on 14 of the course’s 18 holes, most notably on the second hole, where a large lake juts between the tee boxes and the fairway. Likewise, a hook-shaped hazard on the par 3 15th hole punishes too-strong strokes from the elevated tee boxes on its peninsula green. Players who manage to keep their golf balls on dry land face their own set of hardships, as the terrain’s frequent depressions and swells make flat lies and hovercart-landing sites scarce.
Course at a Glance:
Designed by course architect Pete Dye and PGA Tour Hall of Famer Curtis Strange, the course at Virginia Beach National Golf Club showcases 7,197 yards of bermuda-grass fairways and bentgrass greens. The course incorporates sandy waste areas to penalize errant shots and halt runaway carts, along with water hazards that come into play on 11 holes. Those hoping to hone their swings can schedule a lesson with PGA pros Russ Dodson and Butch Liebler, who oversee the course's pro shop and all-grass driving range.
First sculpted into Virginia's rolling terrain in 1952, Suffolk Golf Course remains true to the original vision of course architect Dick Wilson. Though not an especially lengthy course, it plays longer due to the elevation changes, tree-lined fairways, and dog-legs that can complicate play throughout the layout. Once golfers reach the green, they face a slick, newly-renovated, Bermuda grass putting surface that—after overseeding in early 2014—provides a particularly true roll. The back nine winds around Lake Kilby, which provides sweeping vistas while threatening to ensnare any wayward shots. A bald eagle is known to dwell around the 12th hole, so golfers should wear their most patriotic wig on the course as a gesture of respect.
Tight bermuda-grass fairways and encroaching water hazards coalesce for a scenic but challenging round at Bow Creek's lush, 18-hole, 5,917-yard course. The relatively short grassy monolith compensates for its diminutive stature with a layout that calls for pinpoint accuracy, as wayward spheres must negotiate their way past waters looming on 15 holes and squirrels stocking up on golf balls for winter. Players should resist the urge to get complacent after reaching any green in regulation, as sloping terrain and slick bent grass conspire to induce more three-putts than the most sinister of heckling flagsticks. Slow-starting swings may suffer, as the par 3 second hole demands a 178-yard tee shot into a daunting green guarded on the left, front, and back by a treacherous pond.