I finished up at Packsaddle much earlier than I ever would have expected and it tempted me to try to squeeze in another round. Since it was a holiday I had no idea if any courses would be open late but figured it would at least be worth a call. I looked at Lakeview Golf Club and Heritage Oaks on the phone before decided to call Heritage Oaks. The gal I spoke with in the proshop said that the course would be open but that carts would need to be in by 8pm. I decided that I would head over there and walk the course to give me an extra hour to finish.
I got right out just after 6pm and knew that if I could walk fast I could get in all eighteen. I didn’t expect much from my game considering that I had played poorly at Packsaddle and since I was in a hurry to finish. However, after a few holes it looked like a course where I could make a few birdies so that got me thinking a little more about my score. Heritage Oaks is a municipal course with a mix of different holes. Maybe a third of the holes had a links feel to them and played that way with some roll out in the fairways while other holes were tree lined. The course starts out with some open holes before narrowing in the middle of the round and then getting a bit easier for the closing holes. The first two holes are mid length par 4’s before the picturesque par 3 3rd. I don’t know that the 3rd is anything special, but the sun hit it in a memorizing way when I played it. The course starts to get a little tougher with a tight tee shot on the 5th and the 218 yard par 3 5th. The order was reversed for the 8th which is a long iron par 3 with water in play and the 9th which was uphill with trees on each side. The back was more about placement but the holes were short enough that it was not much trouble, at least through the 13th. The 14th, a 386 yard par 4, was my least favorite hole. The fairway is very narrow which would make a layup the prudent play. However, if the tee shot does not get far enough down the fairway the trees on the right block out the approach. So it basically forces a driver off the tee on a tight driving hole which I don’t like. If someone can make it through 13, 14, and 15 without any big numbers a good score can be had as the course closes with a couple reachable par 5’s. The course plays to a par 70 and has five par 3’s and three par 5’s so it is a bit unusual. Many par 70 courses that I have played have 4 par 3’s and two par 5’s but I like the extra par 5.
The condition of the course was good for the $18 that I paid to walk for a twilight time on a weekend. The greens were a bit slow but if the putt was started online it had a good chance to go in as long as it didn’t hit a ball mark. Some of the tees were a bit beat up, but the fairways were nice and gave me a chance to spin the ball with a short iron. I played the black tees at 6324/69.3/121 and wish that Charlottesville had this kind of a course, something easier and cheap. Plus, the course was a nice walk. The course gets my vote as one that is enjoyable to play. As an added bonus I got to see fireflies walking up the 18th in the dark which turned out to be one of those “feel good” moments on the course.
#1 green looking back:
#5 green looking back: