Lake Monticello Golf Course (Palmyra, VA on 08/04/13)

I didn’t have the “need” to golf today as I played Old Trail yesterday but it was supposed to be 80* with sunny skies so I couldn’t resist a $15 find to scratch another course off of my list. I had some trouble getting through the gate and arrived pretty much at my 2pm tee time. There must have been a few groups going off around that time as I felt a bit rushed getting to the first tee and exchanging pleasantries with the group that I was paired up with. No fault of the course really as I just didn’t get there early enough. I had been to the course before to hit some golf balls so I had an idea of what to expect as far as the layout and conditioning.

Except for a couple holes the course is tree lined and requires hitting it from one spot to another up and down hills and around corners. It was a mixed bag if the vegetation off the rough was cleared out, but on some holes the ball could be found to allow for a pitch back to the fairway. Trouble also came in the form of hazards and out of bounds as the course is a community course. Some of the hazards were in goofy spots and could add strokes to the score after a shot down the fairway so beware. Even though homes were present all throughout the course they were separated from the course by the woods so it never felt like I was golfing in someone’s backyard.

The course has some memorable holes split between the front and back nine. The standout holes on the front I think are the 3rd, 4th, and 9th. The 3rd is a 159 yard par 3 that drops about half a club to an amphitheater green. The 4th is a 398 yard par 4 that is one of the tougher holes on the course. The hole has water all down the left which also cuts in front of the green. The bailout area is right but there is a fairway bunker over there to catch golf balls. The length isn’t overwhelming and because of that I think it is fair to play. The 9th is the hardest hole on the course and plays 436 yards with water in play on the drive and the approach. On the back I think the 12th, 15th, and 16th are the best holes. The 12th is a short par 4 that moves left and from the tee there is very little room down the left. A good tee shot allows for a birdie opportunity though so it is another fair hole. The 15th is a long par that plays uphill to a sliver of fairway with trees on each side while the 16th is a 194 yard par that plays over a hazard. The hazard is far enough short of the green so that only a very poorly struck shot will end up in the hazard.

I didn’t expect an A+ conditioned course but at the same time I didn’t expect it to be in such bad shape. Starting out the round the grass was a little long on the tees, fairways, and greens but I suspected that was to try to combat the summer heat. As the round went along there were bare patches in the fairways, no grass on some tees, and a couple greens were rolled dirt. Considering that a large bucket of balls is $10 and that I only paid $15 to play today I have no complaints about the maintenance. If I paid the regular rate of ~$40 then I’d be upset.

If the course was in a little better shape I wouldn’t mind going back occasionally when I wanted a challenge. I played the blue tees at 74.1/138/6930 and thought it was a very fair challenge. The course puts an emphasis on driving accuracy but what I loved is that it requires more than just hitting it straight. The course is just as much about the angles and trajectory off the tee as it is about hitting it straight which is something that I don’t notice in too many places.

#2:

2-1

#3:

3-1

#3 green looking back:

3-2

#4:

4-1

#4 approach:

4-2

#5:

5-1

#6:

6-1

#8 green looking back:

8-3

#9:

9-1

#9 green looking back:

9-2

#11:

11-1

#12:

12-1

#13:

13-1

#14 green looking back:

14-1

#15:

15-1

#15 tee box:

15-2

#18 approach:

18-1

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