East Potomac Golf Course: Blue Course (Washington, DC on 11/21/15)

I’ve had a busy winter typing reviews but no matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to make a dent in the number of them that I have left! So, I’m going to try to cut down my workload by not doing a hole by hole summary on some of my remaining courses. I’ll try to pick the more “vanilla” layouts for this but I’d rather post a review of the overall course and pictures than risk never getting something posted.

I celebrated Thanksgiving in California with my family and was lucky enough to have the whole week off from work. I decided to make it a golf trip and met up with a friend in Southern California for a few days before the holiday. Stay tuned as those reviews are in the works! I picked an afternoon flight out of Baltimore and wanted to squeeze in a round of golf on my drive from Charlottesville. I had a couple Maryland courses in mind, but instead decided to play a golf course inside the boundaries of our nation’s capital! Yes, the District of Columbia has a golf course! It actually has a couple from what I found out. I don’t mention it much anymore on my blog as I’m close to my goal, but I set a goal of playing at least one round of golf in all 50 states. I’ve got just Alaska and Hawaii left which I’ve temporarily put on hold due to travel time to/from the East Coast. Anyway, earlier this year I saw another golf blogger post that he had played here and I thought that adding D.C. to my list would be a great idea. That’s the long story why I ended up golfing here!

East Potomac is part of the National Park System which oversees the three D.C. courses, Langston and Rock Creek being the other two. There are 36 holes at East Potomac and the Blue course is the regulation course. The other 18 holes are divided between an executive nine and a par 3 nine. If you are looking to play a full round at the facility then the Blue is your course! I haven’t check out the other two courses in D.C., but I’m not sure they are anything to write home about. If you’ve visited D.C. then there’s a good chance you’ll know where the East Potomac courses are located, even if you don’t golf! The courses are on an island in the Potomac just south of the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and the Tidal Basin. The reason that you’ll want to play here is because of the great views of the Washington Monument! Plus, the course is right off of I-395 in the heart of the action for all the touristy stuff! The island is a popular recreation area and so is the nearby Potomac. During my round I saw kayakers, bikers, and some folks having a picnic near Hains Point. You also get the activity in the air too with Reagan National nearby and choppers buzzing overhead. All of that was awesome to take in while golfing!

I had an early morning tee time and waited out a brief frost delay. I was in the fourth group off and we trailed the group in front around in 4 hours and 15 minutes. That seems reasonable considering the course’s suggested pace of play 4 hours 30 minutes and most of our group was walking. In fact, as you’ll see in the pictures there were a bunch of walkers out. Part of that is probably to due with the very reasonable rate of $32! The other part is probably people looking to get some exercise. Because it is such a good walking course, keep an eye out for stray golf balls!

Both the design and layout of the course is basic. That’s what I was expecting though as the course is older and scrunched onto a flat island. If you are looking for some traditional Mid-Atlantic golf with holes separated hardwoods and some elevation change then you are going to want to play elsewhere. East Potomac is a parkland design with straight, parallel holes. Each nine of the Blue course plays out and back along different sides of the Potomac. I played the Blue tees which play 6599/70.5/115 and as you can see, the course is pretty easy. It is wide open and except for rattling the ball around in some trees or losing one tall grass somewhere, you aren’t going to find much trouble. In fact, there aren’t any water hazards on the course, unless you count the Potomac! Throw in flatter greens and some bunkers that are set back from play and you can put together a great score. I’m sure some will think the course is too easy, but I found it relaxing and fun to play! There’s a nice mix of distances on the par 4’s and par 5’s so I hit plenty of different clubs on my approaches.

The conditions on the Blue course were good when I played. No way the course is going to compete with some of the premier courses in the area when it comes to the maintenance, but I was pleasantly surprised for the price that I paid. If trying to figure out what type of shape the course is going to be in, I’d suggest thinking a step above your average municipal course. Patches of rough were long and short, but that’s just because winter is approaching! Like most courses in the area this time of year, the grass was in a transitional stage and didn’t look all that “pretty”. The fairways were a bit long so I had to play for some release on the greens and there were the expected number of ball marks considering all the play the course gets. I was happy to find that the greens were smooth and on the quick side!

“Unique” is the one word I’d try to use if I had to convince someone to golf at East Potomac. If the course is located just about anywhere else, except maybe downtown in another major city, then it isn’t anything special. But, the setting is great and there’s the potential for a great score too! If you are just looking to hack it around somewhere while in the area then I’d recommend the Blue course!

#1 (360 yard par 4):

1-1

#2 (418 yard par 4):

2-1

#3 (596 yard par 5):

3-1 3-2

#4 (169 yard par 3):

4-1

#5 (291 yard par 4):

5-1 5-2

#6 (547 yard par 5):

6-1 6-2

#7 (308 yard par 4):

7-1

#8 (210 yard par 3):

8-1

#9 (356 yard par 4):

9-1

#10 (311 yard par 4):

10-1 10-2

#11 (191 yard par 3):

11-1

#12 (499 yard par 5):

12-1 12-2

#13 (371 yard par 4):

13-1 13-2

#14 (410 yard par 4):

14-1

#15 (174 yard par 3):

15-1

#16 (432 yard par 4):

16-1 16-2

#17 (563 yard par 5):

17-1

#18 (393 yard par 4):

18-1

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