The Washington D.C. Beltway can be a loud, blustery place – especially in an election year. That makes the serenity of a day spent at Pleasant Valley Golf Club worth savoring. This golf course void of a residential component presents a natural, scenic and quiet 18 holes just 25 minutes west of the district.
Located in Chantilly, Virginia, Pleasant Valley Golf Club is a semi-private course that opened in 1998 and was designed by Tom Clark of Ault, Clark & Associates. Rated a 4.5-star facility by Golf Digest, there are four sets of tees stretching to 6,915 yards, while the forward set plays a comfortable 5,106. Gently rolling hills, meadows and holes lined with hardwoods make the bustle of the city seem like a distant memory. In fact, Dulles Airport is just a short 15-minute drive away.
One of the highlights of the layout is the par-5 5th hole, which plays along the densely wooded, eastern border of the property. This uphill tee shot requires navigating past a bunker, and if your drive is a big one, you’ll have to decide if you want to challenge the three bunkers guarding the front edge of the green or lay back into a safer position. The par-3 7th hole, playing over a pond tee-to-green, will also test your mettle.
“Pleasant Valley is a great layout,” wrote Golf Advisor reviewer cjpayne6046 in their August, 2020 review. “With good variety, a nice setting devoid of houses, some interesting holes, some scoring opportunities and some real challenges. It’s very walkable as well.”
Green fees range from $65 during the week to $85 on the weekends and holidays. Seniors and juniors receive special rates and there are also off-season and twilight rates. Recent updates to Pleasant Valley Golf Club include a refresh of the clubhouse, including a spiffy new paint job. Bunkers have been updated with new sand, and several tee boxes have been renovated this fall. There is a full practice facility that includes a short game area.
A day at Pleasant Valley Golf Club is a day of golf in the District of Columbia-NoVa area done right.
It doesn’t take the eye of a predatory bird to spot the Orlando World Center Marriott resort, a 2,000-plus-room hotel and conference center near Walt Disney World. When this marvel opened in 1986 it was the largest hotel in the state of Florida. And accompanying it from the very start was an 18-hole golf course, Hawk’s Landing Golf Club. It was originally designed by Joe Lee, and later updated by Bob Cupp in 1999.
Hawk’s Landing Golf Club personifies the breezy and sunny Florida resort golf with a collection of palm trees, ponds and yes, plenty of birdlife enjoying the surrounds. If you’re a regular visitor to Orlando or central Florida-based golfer, chances are you’ve experienced this popular layout conveniently located near I-4 and International Drive.
But as of September, 2020, it’s been remastered once more. Marriott Golf brought Bobby Cupp Jr, son of the late Bob Cupp, in to redesign the final three holes, which now includes an island-green finishing hole. This new hole is a par 3 that plays 204 yards from the championship tees.
Additional highlights as part of the renovation include new bunkers and Diamond Zoysiagrass putting surfaces.
“Beautiful layout,” wrote Golf Advisor reviewer in their review of Hawk’s Landing on September 24th, shortly after the course reopened. “Lots of water to work around. A challenge for any player. The island green on the last hole is a plus for all to try.”
Hawk’s Landing Golf Club is a resort course operated by Marriott’s Global Golf Division and offers stay-and-play packages for guests of the hotel visiting this entertainment and theme park mecca. Orlando local golfers can gobble up online tee times, membership opportunities or even utilize the world-class golf schools offered throughout the year.
Less than a 20-minute drive (abiding by posted speed limits) from Daytona International Speedway, where the roars of NASCAR engines and racing fans permeate along the Atlantic coast, you can find one of the most secluded, quiet and scenic golf courses in Volusia County, River Bend Golf Club.
18-hole River Bend Golf Club in Ormand Beach, Florida is tucked away on 300 scenic and shady acres, and a rare layout in this part of the country that is totally void of residential development. It’s just your group, the Tomoka River and perhaps some woodland critters out there for your round of golf. Adding to the ambiance is the wooden bridges over wetlands and sandy-trail cart paths.
River Bend’s course design is challenging but has five sets of tees ranging from 6,821 yards to less than 5,000 from the front set. Save your best swings for the narrow and long par-5 8th hole; it stretches to up to 614 yards from the tips! This beast, considered among the most difficult holes in the county, kicks off a particularly memorable stretch of holes here, which also features the 9th hole, which plays beside a manatee sanctuary. (Keep your eyes peeled and camera at the ready in case you spot one.) And on the par-4 10th hole, you’ll enjoy another rare occurrence in Florida golf: a 50-foot drop in elevation from tee to green.
“Challenging course cut through dense brush and forest,” wrote ShragMagrite in their July, 2020 review on Golf Advisor. “The course also had some mild elevation changes which made the round more interesting.”
Golfers at River Bend can make use of the onsite driving range and the Manatee Bar & Grill, which has daily lunch specials starting at under $6.
The Ormand & Daytona Beach areas are widely known for their lively beaches, bike week festivities and sporting events, none bigger than the Daytona 500. No matter what may bring you to this Florida destination, keep the little slice of golf solitude at River Bend in mind and your golf clubs in the trunk.
Golf course development doesn’t get much better than when previously used industrial land gets a second life as a lush, recreational oasis the public can enjoy. Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Lakewood, New Jersey is just that kind of transformative experience.
This 27-hole property was once a sand and gravel quarry that provided material for the nearby Garden State Parkway. The course’s original 18 holes opened in 1999 and a third nine was added later. Designed by architect Brian Ault, golfers will enjoy far more elevation changes than other Northern Ocean County courses.
Eagle Ridge Golf Club has made the Golf Advisor Golfers’ Choice Best of New Jersey list each year from 2014-2020, placing as high as 4th! Golfers consistently rave about the conditions, enjoyable and scenic course design with a coastal feel evoking the Carolinas.
“This is one of the best public courses I have played and it may be the best public course in New Jersey!” wrote Golf Advisor reviewer ‘AGunsling3r‘ in their review from June, 2020. “Amazing layout. Immaculate condition, extremely friendly staff, and three very different sets of 9 holes to choose from.”
Eagle Ridge Golf Club is minutes from the Jersey Shore and about an hour’s drive from New York City and Philadelphia. The Eagles Nest Pub onsite features a pub-style menu with burgers, wings and sandwiches in a casual atmosphere. Additional facilities include a full practice facility and driving range along with a clubhouse suitable for corporate and private golf events.
West Virginia offers a lot of scenic beauty to anyone visiting or passing through. And the natural surroundings have offered golf course architects some terrific opportunities to create stunning layouts that test golfers of every handicap. While the best golf courses in West Virginia may not have the same name recognition as other states, the area makes up for it with several player-favorite tracks that highlight the natural beauty and mountainous terrain that West Virginia has in abundance.
Situated in the eastern part of the Allegheny Mountains,The Highlands Golf Club at Fisher Mountain is often regarded as one of the best golf courses in West Virginia, and one that’s definitely worth a visit. The front nine puts your aim to the test, with a few tee shots requiring you to thread the needle a bit in order to find the fairway. And the two par-5 holes on the front give you a chance to let your driver run. Once you make the turn, the back nine is even better, with an island green on the 10th and one more par-5 hole at number 12. Long grasses, a handful of blind shots, and the mountain-and-valley elevation changes make this a memorable course played from any of the tees.
The Old White was the very first 18-hole course at the
Greenbrier when it opened in 1914. And part of the history of the course
includes the fact that several of the holes were modeled after some of Europe’s
famous courses. Much of the test for golfers here is in strategy – shot
placement, club selection, and setting yourself up for success will not
necessarily be easy, but will definitely be fun. From the elevated first tee to
the par-3 18th, the Old White Course offers golfers something truly
special, and a bit of a golf oasis in the mountainous West Virginia landscape.
If there is an Arnold Palmer course available in a state
you’re visiting, it should absolutely be included on your list. And West
Virginia is no exception, with the Stonewall Resort’s Arnold Palmer Signature
Course. Located in Roanoke, the course has been wowing golfers since 2002.
Seven sets of tees make it accessible to golfers of every skill level, from
juniors just starting out to scratch golfers and all in between. The 604-yard
par-5 fourth hole may sound intimidating, but plenty of other holes may
surprise you. The signature sixth, a short par-3 played downhill, requires
clearing the lake to make it to the well-contoured green. And there are plenty
of exciting shots waiting for you on each hole.
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