I headed south on I-95 to Fredericksburg where I was looking to use my VSGA card for a discount on an afternoon round. I called over to Lee’s Hill to see if it would be any trouble to get out and was told things weren’t too busy. Part of my plan was to golf Sunday versus Saturday this weekend because the weather was much better Sunday and it was Mother’s Day. I figured that play would be lighter than normal because everyone would be doing something with mom and that turned out to be the case. I paid my $29 and headed to the 1st tee.
Virginia is one of those places where so much of the country’s history took place. I only casually enjoy history, but since I’ve moved here I have wished on numerous occasions that I was a history buff as there would be a lot to enjoy. I mention this because Lee’s Hill Golf Club is named after General Robert E Lee, the commander of the Confederate Army in the Civil War. Lee had a headquarters nearby and the Confederate Army had trenches on the course property so it left me in a bit of awe trying to imagine what happened here nearly 150 years ago. The course has some nice markers at different spots throughout the course to signify the past events.
It took me a few holes to figure out that this is not your typical Virginia course. Most of the Virginia courses that I’ve played are all tree lined and have some elevation change to them. Lee’s Hill is pretty flat and works it way through a swampy area so it reminded me of something that would be found in Orlando. I’d also call the course a decent walking course except for a few trek’s from a couple greens to the next tee boxes. In many ways the course reminded me of The Trails of Frisco in Texas that I played last year.
I played the Cannon tees which play 72.1/136/6834 and found the course pretty relaxing to play except for maybe four holes on the back nine. For the most part, the fairways were more than generous and there was still some extra room to track down a missed shot before having to drop one. Too many times when golfing in the state I have to anxiously watch every shot but that wasn’t the case here until the 15th hole. The front nine plays easier than the back nine but I think that each nine has some very solid holes. I’ll give the nod to the back nine for a more dramatic and interesting group of holes. The front nine plays a bit shorter and has some mid-length par 4’s which can be birdied. There even is a potentially drivable par 4 depending on the wind which is always fun. Overall, the yardage of the holes was mixed nicely. There are a few doglegs on the front with some slope in the fairways to get someone thinking about the best shot to attempt. The back nine has a couple holes that I would have liked to have seen before which would have allowed me to swing more aggressively. There are some tough lines to pick off of the tee on the back and misses are amplified with water in play on six or seven holes. The last four holes play through the woods with some blind shots so something offline is going to hurt. I wish that the closing holes more closely resembled the rest of the course, as the 15th through the 18th are what I would consider target golf. I got by with some suspect ball striking through 14 holes, but couldn’t get it to the clubhouse with a decent score hitting it the same way. At least the course gives someone a chance to find some game before requiring precision shots to finish.
There are a few holes of note on the front nine. The course has back to back par 5’s and the 3rd, at 510 yards, is the second one. It was playing downwind when I played so I hit a 3 wood off of the tee and hugged the left side of the hole which worked out perfect. I was able to cut a few yards off of the dogleg and had just a mid iron into the green. There is trouble to the right off of the tee so if someone is going to be aggressive there isn’t much room to miss. From there, I had to hit a draw around a tree that guards the green but the ball was below my feet. The 5th, a 150 yard par 3, is the signature hole as it plays over a pond. The 9th, at 316 yards, is the shortest par 4 on the course. The tee shot was a little uncomfortable as there are trees left of the tee which had to be avoided. If conditions were right, a driver could run up by the green.
Right away the back nine made me pay attention. The 10th is a long par 5 with a tricky tee shot over the edge of a lake that runs all the way down the left side of the hole to the green. The 12th is a 440 yard par 4 that is dogleg right around hazard. The dogleg is so severe that my GPS only had 374 yards to the center of the green in a straight line. To make it tougher, the tee shot needs to go from left to right around some trees off of the tee to catch the center of the fairway. The 15th is where I started to get nervous. The 15th is only a 345 yard par 4 but the tee shot plays to a rise and then the 2nd shot is going to be blind if the tee shot isn’t put in the correct spot of the fairway. I laid it back too far and had a blind iron over the edge of a hill to a green with some water short and left. The 16th is a 410 yard par 4 that had just a sliver of fairway to play to and it was made even tighter by trees down the left side. The 18th is a strong closing hole and at 605 yards, it is the longest hole on the course. The tee shot is semi-blind and there is water left so it wasn’t my favorite setup. If someone can find the fairway there it shouldn’t be too much to handle though.
I only paid $29 to play using my VSGA card, so for that price the conditions were acceptable. The normal weekend twilight rate is $49 and for $49, I would have been very disappointed. The tees were very patch with quite a few bare spots and then some spongy stances. The course was dry and played firmer but because of this it result in many thin lies in the fairways and the rough. This made it tough to make clean contact. I got quite a bit of roll on my tee shots and ended up hitting just one driver. The flatter, smaller greens rolled well and therefore I felt like I had a chance to make just about every putt. The greens were on the slow side when it came to their speed, but they were the nicest maintained part of the course. I think the course is worth the price that I paid and I got around in 3.5 hours on a weekend afternoon so I’d consider the round a success.
A couple of those markers:
#3 green looking back:
#13 green looking back:
#15 green looking back: