Greensboro National Golf Club (Summerfield, NC on 05/26/14)

I had a couple options after my round at Dormie Club. I could have headed straight back to Charlottesville and got a restful start to the week or I could have played another round of golf. I knew I couldn’t top my round at Dormie Club, but there was plenty of daylight left for another round and the ride home. There was a tempting afternoon tee time on Golfnow for Little River in the Pinehurst area, but that would have me getting back into town much later than I wanted. I decided that I would drive up to Greensboro to have some lunch and find another course to play up there. There are a few courses in the area that I would like to play someday and I basically flipped a coin between Bryan Park and Greensboro National. I called the course and was told that not many people were out golfing that afternoon after a busy morning. That was all I needed to hear. I didn’t have a bunch of energy left with the amount of golfing and driving that I had done but I couldn’t resist another round in one of my favorite states for golf. The proshop wasn’t lying as I got out right away and didn’t have to wait on a shot until the 17th hole so I cruised around in 3 hours.

The course is in a community that is maybe 20 minutes north of Greensboro and out in the country. The course is about 30 miles south of the Virginia border and, not surprisingly, has similar scenery and elevation change to many of the courses that I play in state. However, it wasn’t one tree lined hole after another because the course made it way through the homes in the community. Also, there is a large lake that the holes play around so there were plenty of open holes with spots to miss. The homes do take something away from the experience, at least on the front where almost every hole has a home or two visible or in play. Because of this I found the front nine to be a bit bland even though there were some good golf holes. The back nine has the more interesting holes and gave me a few more options off of the tee and it raised my overall opinion of the course. The back plays more in the woods but still allows for some wayward shots in certain places. One thing to watch out for with all of the homes is the out of bounds which can come into play.

I played the Blue tees which play 72.2/136/6806 and even with the high slope I think that someone could put up a good score. I lost a couple golf balls, but only on shots that I deserved to lose one. I don’t know that it is a course where I personally would play well because most of the tee shots favor a right to left ball flight. I hit a baby fade as a right hander when I am playing my best so that would have me challenging the trees down the left side too many times. It seems that a draw player would be better off on the fade holes compared to a fade player on the draw holes if that makes sense. What also made it easier is that the course has large, flat greens without many greenside bunkers. So if someone has an average day with the irons then there is still a chance to make some pars with a two putt from long distance or an straightforward up and down. I didn’t notice any massive ridges or many sections to the greens. The only real difficulty that I think someone is going to have on the greens is trying to two putt from long distance. It could be a course where someone might have a half dozen putts from 40 or 50 feet in a round so patience is going to be important.

I was expecting the course to be in a little better overall shape. The fairways, tees, and rough were in nice shape without any noticeable bare or burnt out patches. The greens were a very pretty green color and looked like they would roll great, but it almost seemed like they had small aeration holes that were almost all healed up. The proshop said the course was aerated April 1st and in my experience two months is plenty of time for a course to recover. The tough part was that the greens were fast and trickled out but they didn’t roll the truest. Plus, my short game experience was frustrated by the maintenance crew watering just about every green before I played. Because of that I couldn’t figure out how much a putt or chip would roll out and didn’t have any speed control. For the $40 price these aren’t a big deal and wouldn’t keep me away if I lived in the area.

To conclude, I don’t have anything bad to say about the course. It was well worth the price that I paid and I’ve even seen it cheaper on Golfnow. There is no doubt that an average front nine is saved by the better back nine. However, it seems there were missed opportunities to turn the course from a good one into a more memorable one. I think the holes that play around the lake could have been routed so that it could come into play on a bad shot and I would have liked to have seen more undulation in the greens because of their size. Like every thing here though, that’s just my opinion.

#1 (379 yard par 4):

I think that this is a great opening hole. It isn’t overly long and actually plays a bit shorter as it plays downhill. The tee shot should be something less than driver to keep it short of the water hazard and left of the trees down the right side. There is room to miss left and the second shot is most likely going to be a short iron from a slight downslope to a green guarded by water in the front. There is plenty of room to play to the back to the green here.

1-1 1-2

#2 (409 yard par 4):

It looked like there was some trouble to the left, but it opens up a bit. There is out of bounds down both sides of the hole if someone gets really wild. A draw shot would be more comfortable off the tee to avoid the trees left. There aren’t any greenside bunkers so it isn’t the most difficult after a drive in play.

2-1

#3 (547 yard par 5):

The trick here is trying to pick the correct line off the tee. I don’t think the water is going to be able to carried except for the longest of players and maybe even only downwind in that case. For me it was a drive out to the left, a long iron layup, and a mid iron into a large and pretty flat green. If I would have challenged the water off the tee I could have left myself a shorter approach into the green and maybe a decent chance at birdie.

3-1

#4 (177 yard par 3):

This par 3 plays a little uphill to a big green. I pulled my iron and ended up with a long birdie putt to a front flag.

4-2

#5 (426 yard par 4):

This is the longest par 4 on the front nine and the most difficult hole on the course. The tree down the left side of the fairway dominates the hole and forces someone to play to the right of it which narrows the fairway. The fairway does slope a bit from left to right but having to go around the tree from that stance to the green would be tough.

5-1

#6 (483 yard par 5):

If I looked at the scorecard without seeing the hole I’d say this wouldn’t be a problem. However, the hole isn’t as easy as it looks on paper because it is a big dogleg left and plays uphill. I don’t like to hook the ball and that’s what a right hander needs to do for a chance to get home in two shots. The fairway slopes from left to right due to the hill which adds difficulty to the tee shot. There is some room to miss right but make sure not to hit it through the fairway.

6-1 6-2

#7 (379 yard par 4):

I liked this hole as it allowed for some options off the tee. The hole moves a little left and I took the aggressive approach with a driver and had a sand wedge into one of the smaller greens on the course. I actually hit it too close to the green, so the bigger hitters might want to think about something less than driver because the hole caters to a solid approach shot which must be played over some water. The high spin players should be careful as the green slopes from back to front and a wedge with some backspin could end up in the hazard.

7-1 7-3

#8 (173 yard par 3):

This par 3 plays a little uphill to a large green. It shouldn’t be too difficult to par  if someone can control their distance.

8-1

#9 (407 yard par 4):

This is another dogleg left. The aggressive play is to hug that bunker on the left or try to carry it. I fanned it right which doesn’t hurt here because the 18th hole runs parallel up the right side. The approach is uphill to another massive green and I didn’t even realize that I had a long birdie putt until I pulled up in the cart.

9-1

#10 (386 yard par 4):

The back starts out with a fun hole. There are a few different ways to play it. I tried to lay it up to the top of the rise and think that is probably the play for someone the first time out. If I played here on a regular basis sometimes I think I’d like to take a driver down the right side. The hole moves a little right once it gets to the top of the rise and goes downhill to the green. An aggressive tee shot might leave just a flip wedge into the green for a great birdie chance.

10-1 10-3

#11 (205 yard par 3):

This par 3 has a similar feel to the two par 3’s on the front nine, only it is a bit longer. It plays uphill to a large green. A solid long iron out to the right should leave a decent chance at a par.

11-1

#12 (381 yard par 4):

This par 4 is another hole that sets up better for a draw. The hole isn’t very long so a 3 wood is probably the play unless it is back into the wind. The approach is played over a hazard which shouldn’t come into play unless someone is in a bad spot off the tee.

12-1 12-4

#13 (434 yard par 4):

This is the toughest hole on the back nine and it played that way when I played as it was back into the wind. For such a tough hole there is a lot of room off the tee so the challenge is going to be trying to hit a solid long iron into the green.

13-1

#14 (388 yard par 4):

A tee shot out over the cart path with a draw should end up in great shape. Most likely it isn’t going to be a driver as the hole turns left the farther that someone hits it down the fairway. Chances are a tee shot down the left side will result in a blind approach that needs to be hooked around the trees. I had my hands full with this one.

14-1

#15 (550 yard par 5):

It think that this is the funnest hole on the course. I normally carry it 230 to 240 yards and I hit a 374 yard drive down the center here because it was downwind and severely downhill. That left me with a mid iron into the green on this par 5 but I still had to get creative and try to move it left to right around some trees that overhang the fairway. I don’t think trying to get home in two is the play unless someone hits a bomb off the tee because there is a pond short and left of the green. The layup should be played past the corner where the hole doglegs right to the green.

15-1 15-5

#16 (189 yard par 3):

This the best par 3 on the course in my opinion. The tees were up when I played but even with a long iron it should be a fair hole. The green is large and there is room long and right to miss.

16-3

#17 (339 yard par 4):

There is a creek short of the green so it probably isn’t going to be drivable unless someone can fly it just short of the green. Someone can hit whatever club they want off the tee to leave their favorite yardage. This allows the tee shot to be played just short of the creek or laid back farther from the green.

17-1

#18 (554 yard par 5):

The final hole is a long, uphill par 5 with trouble down the right. The key is to favor the left side all the way up to the green for a playable ball. The layup is semi-blind but nothing too bad. The elevated green is massive so a nice lag putt to finish the day might be needed.

18-1

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