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.
When fitting clubs, the skilled staff at Golf Etc follows a seven-step process led by customer interview to analyze shots and swings and determine optimal shaft weight and launch angle. In creating a custom fit and build, the shop aims to cut shot dispersion in half and boost overall distance.
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 * Scorecard
Famed course architect Tom Doak may be the mastermind behind Riverfront Golf Club's 18-hole layout, but Mother Nature should be credited with an assist. Tom took full advantage of the existing topography when shaping each meticulously crafted fairway and green, sculpting a layout that utilizes natural features, including tidal marshes, knee-high native grasses, and ancient pines, oaks, and sycamores. The Nansemond and James Rivers come into play on 14 holes, forcing golfers to face the omnipresent threat of a lost ball and an extra stroke or a ship full of club-stealing pirates. Though the landscape showcases a daunting supply of treacherous hazards, the course offers relatively wide fairways, offering large landing zones for tee shots and aerial caddies flying in mid-round to help read putts on large, undulating greens.