I called a couple courses this morning for their maintenance schedules and decided to give Lexington Golf & Country Club a try after finding out they aerated about a month ago. The course is listed occasionally on Golf18network.com and I’ve booked through them once before without a problem. I don’t think I saved much money by booking through them, but the nice thing was that I was locked into a tee time. I got an afternoon time for $39 which isn’t any sort of great deal, but I was able to get a couple things done in the morning and play a new course in the afternoon. There has been an area of low pressure stuck off the coast of Virginia and Maryland since Tuesday or Wednesday so it was foggy with drizzle when I left Charlottesville. The clouds get stuck up against the mountains nearby and the drizzle actually turned into a decent rain as I crossed Afton Mountain on I-64. Because the fog on the mountain is a common occurrence the Department of Transportation installed a fog light system years ago on the mountain. I have only seen it active one other time, but it is pretty cool as there are LED lights that line the side of each lane to guide traffic during low visibility. I made it over the over the mountain without any trouble and it stopped raining about 15 miles north of the course. It was cloudy for most of the round, but the sun did peak out for a little bit.
The course was built in the late 60’s so it is not a modern day 7000+ yard monster that makes its way through a housing community. The course is shorter, even from the back tees, and requires some finesse and an ability to work the ball to put together a low score. I played the Championship tees which play 6431/71.4/135 (par 71). The course works its way through some pine trees on the property with homes only on the perimeter holes and is what I would call a parkland layout. Maybe a third of the holes have a club elevation change so it would not be a bad course to walk. Many of the holes have some slope to the fairway or dogleg which makes shaping the ball important to find the short grass. I would not classify the fairways as narrow, but many were made narrow because of the slope from one side to the other. There were some tests off the tee in order to setup a birdie chance. The 3rd has a tree off the tee and needs a right to left tee shot to avoid it while the other par 5, the 6th, has a blind tee shot. In order to go for the green in two the tee shot needs to challenge the out of bounds down the left while a tee shot down the right will still find the fairway but most likely will result in a layup. The 9th requires a tee shot to a certain yardage before the hole moves straight left while the 11th needs a tee shot turned from right to left. The 12th is a 430 yard par 4 that is only 365 yards in a straight line from the tee to the green. I had to cut it around a tree at the corner of the dogleg to find the fairway. However, as challenging as the tee shots were, there was not lost ball trouble immediately off the fairways so it was fair off the tee. The approaches played to well bunkered greens which were a nice visual touch. The defense of the course is the tricky greens. Not only were they tricky to putt, but they tested the approach shots. The greens featured had a good mix of shapes and sizes. A few greens sloped from front to back which is a bit unusual and threw off my reads. The front nine is the shorter nine and plays only around 3,000 yards while the back has the tougher holes. The course has five par 3’s and I enjoyed their variety. Two of the par 3’s on the front played from elevated tees, two over water, and the other played to a green that sloped big time from right to left. The 18th is a 517 yard par 5 that is an odd finishing hole. The tee shot plays downhill while the 2nd or 3rd shot plays back up the hill to an elevated green. The fairway runs out about 120 yards from the green so if someone is out of position then there is no option to lay it up closer to the green.
The greens were in good shape and rolled well but the rest of the course was in pretty average condition. I won’t be too harsh on the fairways because I bet the course has not been able to get a mower on them in days with the constant rain and drizzle. I got many inconsistent lies in the long fairways. Some balls jumped from the fairway and other came out dead depending on the amount of grass behind the ball. Some spots in the rough were thick while others were thin. Most of the tees were in good shape. While the course will be a one time play for me I liked the layout because it challenged me in many ways that modern courses do not.