LORTON, Va. — Golf courses in and around urban areas often come steeped in history. But few have the kind of legacy of Laurel Hill Golf Club, laid out atop the land that once housed the D.C. Department of Corrections facility at Lorton. Yes, it’s built on an old prison, but about the most scenic prison land this side of Alcatraz.
The course embraces its history right down to its logo, with its art deco font and distinct design.
“If you look at our logo, it’s actually the guard tower,” said Ryan Carmen, who came on board as general manager last summer.
As for the course itself, many holes play fairly wide open and there isn’t a ton of water. But the primary challenge is undisputedly its length.
Consider swallowing your pride and moving up a tee from your usual distance. Seriously, just do it. Where Raspberry Falls is a hair under 6,300 yards from the blue tees, Laurel Hill is pushing 6,400 from the whites.
It might have just been a bad day on my end, but considering I very uncharacteristically three-putted four greens on the front nine alone, I really could have used the break in distance.
You could make a case for a number of different holes to throw on the postcard, but Carmen has his favorite.
“To me, the signature hole is 16, the par 3 over the water,” he said. “The tee boxes are spread out; you get different views from each tee box.”
Both the fairways and greens are in great condition, as you’d expect from a high-end public course. So it’s no surprise Laurel Hill will be hosting the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Men’s Amateur Championship, which was held at Congressional Country Club last year. Perhaps more surprising is how well it holds up under 30,000 rounds per year.
This was a tough one — I shot a 118. That being said, I liked this course. Most of the fairways are wide open, so you can miss left and right, and I did miss left and right most of the day. My signature blow-up hole took place on #3 — a really nice hole, uphill all the way for a really nice 10. I did manage to par #11; I’ll take the small victory. The downhill, par 3 #4 was probably my favorite hole, even though I took a 6.
My short game, as well as my long game (and putting — I went for the trifecta) was lacking that day, but I would come out again to play this course. It’s fair for the casual golfer and a lot of fun.
Dates and Rates
Open year round
Prime season (Apr. 1 — Oct. 31)
- Weekdays: $69, $59 after noon, $49 after 3 p.m., $34 after 5 p.m.
- Weekends: $99, $89/$79/$44
Fall/winter (Nov. 1 — Mar. 31)
- Weekdays: $64, $34 after noon
- Weekends: $79, $44 after noon
Military Monday: $49 all day
Max individual members want 70, a little over half that
Full membership: $5,000 (add on for spouse/immediate family: $2,500)
Weekday membership: $3,000 (add on: $1,500)
Jailbreak membership (one hour before super twilight): $1,916
Corporate memberships: designed to fit
Banquet hall, conference room
Full restaurant menu, can host parties/weddings/executive meetings
Beverage cart seven days a week
Pace of Play
Generally around 4:30, up to 5:00. Despite our scores, our round was just 4:10.
No denim, collared shirt, soft spikes
From D.C., take Interstate 395 South to I-95 South, exit 163 and turn right on Lorton Road. Make right on Silverbrook Road, left on Laurel Crest Drive and destination is on the left.