It’s rare you’ll hear me say that I should have postponed a visit to a new course, but that’s how I feel after my afternoon round yesterday. However, that’s no reflection of Queenfield Golf Club, which I was impressed with on multiple levels. I let my desire to play a new place overshadow the fact that most courses in Virginia are very soggy with rainfall seemingly everyday this month! I was anxious to play my 100th different course in Virginia so I thought that I’d chance the showers and give Queenfield a try!
Queenfield is located about 30 minutes from Richmond, up route 360. It took me an hour and a half to get there from Charlottesville. The course is a couple miles from the main road, out in some farmland. You actually drive through someone’s farm to get there as the road turns sharply one way and then another to get you around the barn! You pass by a small airstrip too before getting to the gravel parking lot. Queenfield is a no-frills type course when it comes to the amenities. The proshop is a trailer and there isn’t much around, so make sure to get most of your supplies before the round. One nice thing is that there aren’t any homes around!
Before I even got to the course, there was something about Queenfield that warmed my heart! The reviews that I could find online were positive and it was apparent that the owner takes a lot of pride in the course. I called the proshop a couple times and was greeted with a friendly voice on other end of the line, happy to answer my questions. The friendliness carried over to when I checked in! I teed off at 2:30pm, but was charged the price for the 3pm twilight rate and was given a free yardage book. I’m guessing my interactions were with the owner, and he was happy to have me out.
Most of the holes at Queenfield are tree lined and the design is fairly basic from tee to green. The front nine is pedestrian, except for the 4th hole which is a wacky dogleg right par 5. It has a tree in the fairway which can make layups difficult and then a forced carry to the green. The back nine is where the course shines though! It has a wetlands feel with a tiny bit of elevation change. The stretch of holes 14 through 17 were my favorite on the course because they offered some scenery and a glimpse of the nearby farmland. The 17th has the best tee shot on the course! It plays from an elevated tee and over a hazard to a fairway guarded by a group a pine trees on the left. If you don’t challenge the right side of the fairway then you might have to hook your layup!
For the most part, the holes are straight and flat at Queenfield. That means the course would be a good one to walk! That’s what I did and it wasn’t a stressful walk. I don’t recall seeing a fairway bunker and there are very few greenside bunkers. I’m just fine with so few bunkers too as they are expensive to maintain and difficult for an amateur to play from. If I ever was to try my hand at golf course design, my first attempt would probably look a lot like Queenfield (just with fewer forced carries). I mean that as a compliment, not an insult! Queenfield has a lot things that I personally like to see in a course.
I played the Blue tees which are 6445/71.4/127. The Black tees add some distance, but I avoided those today as I knew that I wouldn’t be getting any roll! The main challenges are going to be keeping the ball between the tree lined fairways and avoiding some creeks that flow through the property. The fairways are generous and even though quite a few hazards have to be carried, I found the course to be player friendly as the hazards are set back from the greens. I always enjoy that and it is a design that I’d recommend for the average amateur! The course won’t beat you up and there are only a couple holes that could spoil a good round. It is a place where you can make some birdies!
I never felt that it was too easy though. A big part of that had to do with the interesting greens. The greens have small bowls, ridges, tiers, and ripples! That surprised me considering that no big name designer put together the plans. The greens were the best part of the design, fair and interesting to putt. In case you are curious, some sleuthing revealed that Dean Sumner designed Queenfield and Quinton Oaks (in Northern Virginia). I read one of his online profiles and I think it is awesome to read about someone pursuing their dreams!
With all the rain that we’ve had I caught Queenfield on probably one of its worst maintenance days of the year. This is shaping up to be one of the wettest May’s on record and the poor course had standing water everywhere! The fairways and tees were basically puddles and in some cases I had to take fifteen steps just to find a playable lie. I’m not sure how the course normally drains, but you might want to give it a try after a dry spell. Wetness aside, the maintenance surprised me for the $20 green fee! Some tees had been redone and looked pretty while the greens were beautiful! There were very few balls marks and they rolled pure, just a touch slow with all the moisture. The fairways weren’t the best with plenty of thin patches in them. I wouldn’t let the maintenance scare you away, especially for the less than premium price.
Unless you are a golf course nut like me, there isn’t a reason to drive over an hour to play Queenfield. However, if you live in Richmond and are looking for a value course to add to your rotation, then I’d recommend it. The course offers a friendly, laid back atmosphere and it won’t beat you up too bad.
#1 (403 yard par 4):
#2 (477 yard par 5):
#3 (174 yard par 3):
#4 (492 yard par 5):
#5 (384 yard par 4):
#6 (405 yard par 4):
#7 (395 yard par 4):
#8 (172 yard par 3):
#9 (369 yard par 4):
#10 (351 yard par 4):
#11 (537 yard par 5):
#12 (147 yard par 3):
#13 (357 yard par 4):
#14 (170 yard par 3):
#15 (368 yard par 4):
#16 (367 yard par 4):
#17 (498 yard par 5):
#18 (379 yard par 4):