Mill Quarter Plantation Golf Course (Powhatan, VA on 08/16/14)

Typically a golf vacation will take care of my desire to play for two or three weeks so I didn’t “need” to golf this weekend. However, I was running out of time to use my VSGA card at a course that offers one of the better discounts in the book. I had a 2pm tee time in Williamsburg so I was looking for an early morning round along the way. I could have gone really cheap and played a cow pasture in Richmond, but I saw a time on golf18network.com for $39 here. I would have rather kept the price closer to $30 as I didn’t know what to expect when it came to the maintenance here, but my options were limited for the time that I wanted.

The course is west of Richmond out in some farmland. I passed through the town of Powhatan and was impressed. It looked clean, quaint, and almost like a little town in the Midwest. The course is out of the way and I haven’t heard much about it so it has never been high on my list. I had an early morning tee time and followed a couple singles off the first tee. I’m not normally a fan of morning rounds as I’m sleepy and it takes a while for me to get loose, but I certainly can see why some folks are out at the crack of dawn. I teed off about 7am and was done a little after 9:30am so I still had the whole day to do whatever. For me, that is typically more golf!

As mentioned, I didn’t really know what to expect when it came to the conditioning. A few holes in I noticed that some patches of rough were circled with white paint to mark those area as ground under repair. To me, this indicates that management cares about the conditions enough to take time to do that so I wasn’t expecting a cow pasture for the rest of the round. Most of the rough was in good shape and cut evenly throughout the course. I had a couple balls settle down in it which required some club head speed to get it out. The course looked green and the fairways and greens were in nice shape. The greens, even after the dew evaporated, were slow so I had to remember to hit my putts firmly. Even though slower, the greens were better than I anticipated. The only spot lacking when it came to the maintenance was the tee boxes. The tees were hit or miss with some being very thin, others longer, and some uneven boxes. I think the course might be in the process of re-doing the bunkers. About half the bunkers were muddy while the other half looked to be in nice shape with some new sand. Overall, the maintenance wouldn’t keep me away if I lived nearby.

I found the layout pleasant to play and it wasn’t just one hole after another cut into the trees. In fact, I’d say the course is one of the more forgiving courses in Central Virginia that I’ve played as there is quite a bit of room to miss. I never felt like there was one hole that that could result in a horrible score with an average shot. The fairways are wide and a few holes have a parkland feel so a wayward shot didn’t have me reaching for another golf ball every time. Flatter bunkers and water hazards set back from greens are some other features that would make the course playable for the average golfer. There are a handful of semi-blind shots but I think they add some interest to the approaches. Since there wasn’t trouble lurking all around I can tolerate some guessing on where to hit those. I played the Blue tees at 73.4/134/6943 and found that the yardages on the par 4’s were mixed up ranging from 355 to 469 yards. If I’m getting picky, I would have liked a shorter par 3 as I hit all 4 and 5 irons.

It turned out to be a positive experience and I was happy with my morning pick. If I lived in or near Midlothian then Mill Quarter Plantation is a course that I’d occasionally consider, especially if I could find a good deal.

#1 (377 yard par 4):

This opening hole is more interesting than it looks. It moves a little left and it is short enough so that a variety of clubs can be hit off the tee. The second shot is most likely going to be a mid or short iron to a green guarded by water. The water is 10 or 15 yards short of the green so someone can hit an average iron and avoid it.

1-1 1-2

#2 (358 yard par 4):

This is a short par 4 and the tees were up when I played. The best play is a layup down the left side and then it is a short iron into the green. There is some water short and right that could come into play on a poor shot so keep that in mind.

2-1 2-2

#3 (520 yard par 5):

This is the first par 5 on the course a good chance for a birdie. It plays longer than the yardage as the hole gently rises to the green. There is a tree short and left of the green which can affect layups so there has to be some thought put into the second shot.

3-1

#4 (211 yard par 3):

This par 3 is all about distance control with a long iron because the bunker creates a semi-blind shot. There is room to miss left which leaves a simple chip.

4-1

#5 (364 yard par 4):

If you’ve read much of my blog then you will know that I don’t like to move it from right to left. That is the ideal shot here so it was an uncomfortable looking tee shot for me. It is probably something less than driver for anyone who doesn’t draw it and then a mid or short iron.

5-1 5-2

#6 (355 yard par 4):

This hole plays from a chute of trees to a fairway that slopes from left to right. The green is deep so a shot short or long of the pin can leave a long putt.

6-1

#7 (423 yard par 4):

This is the hardest hole on the course, at least on the scorecard. It is one of the tougher ones because of its length, but I personally don’t think it is the hardest. The fairway is massive but the approach plays to a smaller green so an accurate mid or long iron is needed.

7-1 7-2

#8 (193 yard par 3):

The picture isn’t very good because of the sun but this is a long par 3 that plays a bit uphill. There is a large bunker on the right that the green wraps around so a high shot that moves from left to right shot is the one here.

8-1

#9 (560 yard par 5):

This is going to be a three shot par 5 for most players. The layup is somewhat blind, but there shouldn’t be much trouble as the fairway is wide the entire hole. There is a creek short of the green that someone will have to deal with if going for it in two.

9-1 9-2

#10 (469 yard par 4):

In my opinion, the 10th is the hardest hole on the course just due to its length. It is nearly 470 yards, but I think it is fair for being such a long hole. The hole moves slightly left and the fairway is large. The drive could run out a few extra yards as it could hit a downhill slope depending on how far someone hits it. The second shot is played a bit uphill and there is a lot of room up near the green.

10-1

#11 (372 yard par 4):

This is a position hole. It moves right and the tee shot needs to avoid the bunker on the right. Anything with a longer club has a chance to run through the fairway and into the rough.

11-1

#12 (453 yard par 4):

This is ranked as the 6th toughest hole, but I think it is more like the 2nd toughest. The tee shot isn’t too hard, but it is ever so slightly uphill which will make the approach longer than normal. I had to try to hit a high draw over some bunkers short of the green and that isn’t something I’m good at. There isn’t much room to run a long iron up onto the green which makes it tough.

12-1 12-2

#13 (178 yard par 3):

This is a pretty par 3 that is framed by the water on the left and trees in the back. The water is set back from the green so a shot to the left edge of the green most likely won’t kick into the water which is nice. The green is a bit deeper than it looks.

13-1

#14 (367 yard par 4):

This dogleg right is one of the better driving holes on the course. It isn’t a long par 4 but there are options off the tee . Someone can play a long iron out to the 150 marker or hit a 3 wood or driver and try to cut off some of the corner. That leaves a shorter second shot, but it also involves more risk. Taking the line to the right plays to a blind landing area and could bring some trees to the right into play.

14-1

#15 (550 yard par 5):

This par 5 is straight off the tee then starts to move left. The tee shot is tight and if a layup goes through the fairway then there is a creek to the right of the cart path. A good drive can set up a birdie, but a bad one could be costly.

15-1

#16 (183 yard par 3):

This is another mid length par 3. The green slopes from left to right so a shot to the right of the flag is going to leave the best chance for a two putt.

16-1

#17 (583 yard par 5):

This is my favorite par 5 on the course. The red barn is the maintenance area and actually comes into play as the hole moves around it to the right. It is best to favor the left side so a second shot doesn’t have to try to be sliced around the barn. The barn is out of bounds so keep that in mind.

17-1 17-2

#18 (427 yard par 4):

I think the closing hole offers a decent chance for a birdie even though it is a good length par 4. The fairway is wide and it was a little downwind when I played so I had just a mid iron after a good drive.

18-1

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