I got a chance to play a new course with some buddies this weekend. We were all getting together that evening and wanted to do something during the day. We filled out a foursome for a fun and relaxed round of golf that had some good-natured ribbing. Because I travel so much to golf, I end up golfing by myself much of the time. I don’t mind golfing alone because I can really focus on my game and my blog. However, yesterday was a nice change from normal!
I believe that Lakeview is the last public course on my list to play in the Harrisonburg area! In fact, there are only a few more valley courses that I haven’t played which I will be hoping to knock off in 2015. Anyway, Lakeview is probably the nicest public course in Harrisonburg and has consistently been rated as the best golf facility in the region. The fact that it has 36 holes, and that it is easily accessible via I-81 which runs through town, helps to give it a possible edge over other local courses.
We played the Spring/Peak nines on a Saturday afternoon for $40 (riding) which I think is a little much for what you get. When I say a “little” that’s exactly what I mean as it was one of those courses for me that would have been a lot better play for $35. Because it is a bit on the expensive side for me to play every weekend, if I lived in town I’d favor Heritage Oaks for a home course. However, Lakeview gets the nod for someone visiting from out of town because it is probably in nicer shape year-round.
Speaking of the conditions, overall they were very nice. As you will see, the course was very green and lush. If we played it on a clear day, all the green grass would have been a nice contrast to a blue sky! Unfortunately, the sun disappeared and temperature dropped on the drive to the course. The greens were in phenomenal shape and a pleasure to putt considering that they were aerated about a month ago. I think the course aerated with the small holes so that would explain why the greens rolled smoothly and with a lot pace. The course was a bit soft from recent rains and that always seems to go hand in hand with slightly longer fairways, which was the case here. The rough was pretty short, but it was thick so the grass slowed the club upon impact.
As far as the design goes, it seems to have a little bit of everything to challenge the better players while not beating up the average one. We played the white tees which plays 70.2/123/6206. I’d call Lakeview, or at least the nines that we played, a parkland style course. There is more elevation change and it is more spread out than a classic parkland course, but that’s what I’m going with unless anyone has a better idea! Most of the holes are separated by grass and a row of trees so it is possible to track down a bad shot. All this leads to a course that I wouldn’t mind walking for some exercise. There are some elevated tees for views, sloping spots in the fairways for uneven lies, and a couple diabolical greens to test the short game.
My only complaint about the round was the slow pace of play. As a group, we waited on most of our shots which I didn’t expect at a 36 hole facility. That won’t keep away as I’ll be looking to play the other two nines next year! Lakeview might be a touch expensive, but I left impressed!
Spring #1 (342 yard par 4):
The 1st hole is an uphill, dogleg right par 4. A fade off the tee fits the shape of the hole and it shouldn’t run through the fairway as it will be landing into the upslope. The approach is about a club uphill and the green surface cannot be seen from the fairway.
Spring #2 (337 yard par 4):
The 2nd is a downhill par 4 with a couple options off the tee. Someone can try to hit a driver as close to the green as possible or lay it up to their favorite yardage. The green slopes from back to front so a wedge could spin back quite a bit.
Spring #3 (163 yard par 3):
The 3rd requires more strategy than it appears. The green slopes from right to left so if someone wants to get it close to the flag then they should try to land it right of the hole. Everything feeds to the left so a shot to the left side of the green might not stay on the surface. Chipping from the right side is going to be fast so I’d try to miss it below the hole.
Spring #4 (411 yard par 4):
The 4th is the toughest hole on the Spring nine because of its length and the slope in the fairway. The fairway slopes from right to left so the best tee shot is going to land down the right side. Even a drive landing in the right rough should get a favorable kick and end up in a nice spot. The flag was in the back left of the green, over a bunker, when we played and tough to get to. There is trouble over the green so keep that in mind.
Spring #5 (511 yard par 5):
The 5th is a good birdie chance, but someone is going to have to make a decision after the tee shot. The previous hole is to the left so the slope on the 5th is from left to right which means that the fairway bunker could catch a lot of shots. If someone wants to go for the green in two then they are going to have to hit a draw from a fade lie because the greens sits off to the left.
Spring #6 (115 yard par 3):
The 6th is one of the shortest par 3’s that I’ve played in quite some time. I think it is a fun hole because someone can knock it close and make a birdie or hit an average short iron and struggle for par because of some slope in the green. Anything missing to the right could get a kick away from the green.
Spring #7 (408 yard par 4):
Nothing is hidden on the 7th. The tee shot plays downhill and should avoid a bunker and a creek that angles across the fairway. That means a longer tee shot should favor the right side. The approach plays back uphill and probably adds the club back that the tee shot lost.
Spring #8 (318 yard par 4):
The 8th is a short par 4 that doglegs to the right. Because of a creek and some trees that are short of the green I think that the tee should be a layup. A layup needs to be hit far enough to get around two trees on the right and short enough to avoid a bunker. I think the best distance to play from on the approach would be between 100 and 125 yards. It is a chance for a birdie after finding the fairway.
Spring #9 (478 yard par 5):
The 9th is a chance for someone to hit to the green in two on this short par 5 if they can thread the needle on the tee shot. There is trouble to the left and same creek that split the 7th fairway, splits this one too. The fairway basically runs out straight away into the rough so a right to left tee shot is the best shape. It probably is going to be with some less than driver to avoid that creek. If someone can start the tee shot out towards that cart in the picture with a small draw it should end up in a good spot. From there the hole plays uphill to a green that falls off on the right side into a bunker.
Peak #1 (378 yard par 4):
The 1st hole plays down a chute of pine trees. The right half of the fairway will leave a better angle for the approach. I’d rather miss short and/or right of the green because anything to the left could kick hard away from the hole.
Peak #2 (317 yard par 4):
The only trouble on the 2nd is to the left! I rattled my tee shot around in those trees and didn’t have a clear view of the green. The green sits off to the left and the hole opens up towards the green so I don’t think driver is a bad play. However, if someone takes the aggressive play off the tee then there is a fairway bunker to the right which could come into play.
Peak #3 (351 yard par 4):
Do whatever is necessary to find the fairway on the 3rd and avoid the trees on both sides of it! The hole plays downhill and the fairway slopes towards the green so distance isn’t going to be a concern for most golfers. Judging the distance from a downhill lie into a green that is wider than it is deep is going to be the biggest problem.
Peak #4 (155 yard par 3):
The 4th is one of the best holes that I played while at Lakeview! I love trying to club a downhill par 3 as long as there isn’t a bunch of lost ball trouble short of the green. I guessed one too many clubs and ended up over the green near those carts in the picture. If you think it is going long, make sure to yell “fore” because the 5th tee is close behind the 4th green. I was left with a chip where I needed to control the height as I had to try to land it into a spine and let it roll downhill towards the hole.
Peak #5 (461 yard par 5):
The 5th is another one of my favorites! It is a short par 5, but it plays a lot longer because it climbs a hill. Unless someone can shape it like Bubba Watson or hit a towering long iron like Tiger then I’d make sure to try to hit the tee shot on the left side of the fairway if hoping to go for the green in two. The hole moves hard to the right inside of 100 yards and over some trees. I didn’t have any chance to slice a hybrid near the green from 190 yards. The green slopes hard from right to left with the hill (if standing on the tee) so I’d do everything possible to keep it below the hole. If someone can get it pin high and left of the green in two that is a pretty good spot because they would be pitching uphill.
Peak #6 (372 yard par 4):
The 6th isn’t anything too difficult. The only thing to know is that the right to left slope will affect shots once they land. I’d favor the right side off the tee and avoid the pines left of the cart path.
Peak #7 (387 yard par 4):
The 7th is the toughest hole on the Peak nine. It runs the opposite direction as the 6th so the slope is from left to right. It plays uphill to a green with plenty of humps and bumps which made putting a challenge.
Peak #8 (150 yard par 3):
The 8th is a short, downhill par 3 that offers a good chance for a birdie. The difficulty is going to be trying to two putt on this large green if the tee shot is far away. The way the green is shaped, the pin could be tucked in a couple corners where distance control is important.
Peak #9 (552 yard par 5):
The 9th is the longest hole that we played all day. The tee shot should be played to the right side of the fairway in hopes for a bounce to the left. Any tee shot down the left side could leave a layup that has to turn around some trees left of the fairway. If someone hooks the ball then there is out of bounds to worry about to the left. The green has an elevated, back left tier which made it tricky for my 80 yard third shot. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to play a low shot to run it up or fly it up near the flag.