Bryan Park Golf Course: Players Course (Greensboro, NC on 04/02/17)

One of my golf friends won tickets to the Masters so he was on the East Coast this week! What an experience the Masters was, incredible! I picked him up at the airport after work last Friday and we played in Virginia on Saturday before heading south on Sunday. The first stop on our way to Augusta was at Bryan Park Golf and Conference Center, just north of Greensboro. Bryan Park has been on my wish list since moving to Virginia, and I’ve driven right by the exit off U.S. Route 29 more times than I can count! I’m glad I was finally able to play here after reading so many good things.

The facility has 36 holes, the easier Players Course (designed by George Cobb and Rees Jones) and the more involved Champions Course (designed solely by Rees Jones). We played both and started out with a mid morning tee time on the Players Course. It was still a tad chilly when we teed off, but overall it was a nice spring morning. After not playing much in the winter it was a welcome sight to see most trees blooming and hear the birds chirping!

Another golf friend of mine had played the Players Course last year and said that he thought I’d like it. He knows that I enjoy a playable course, and I’m happy to report that is what you’ll find here! At least from the white tees where I played, which are 71.0/129/6516. Other good things about the course is that it can be walked without a bunch of extra effort, it has some risk/reward shots, and a bit of scenery.

The first five holes are fairly average, with the downhill par 3 3rd (173 yards) being the most interesting of those. It was about half a club less for me into a green that is guarded by water short and left and bunkers long and right. I missed a shorty for par there, but you’ll need to play defense especially if you are still getting loose! The course starts to get more interesting on the 6th hole, as it is the first of many dogleg par 4’s. I thought all the doglegs forced me to know my game, pick a distance, and then execute the shot! A miss wasn’t catastrophic, it just either didn’t carry the dogleg or went through it.

The 6th also turns towards Lake Townsend, which is off to the north and west sides of the courses. Our first glimpse of the lake was on the 7th hole, which is probably the signature hole on the Players Course. It is a 372 yard par 4 that plays downhill and moves to the right, with Lake Townsend off to the left. You have to be careful not to hit the tee shot too far as the fairway runs out into a finger of the lake. You’ll then have to carry that bit of the lake on your approach, likely from a downhill lie!

On the back nine, I liked the 12th hole the best. It is a risk/reward par 5 where you can hit whatever club you like off the tee. The hole slides right and has water guarding the dogleg. I played conservative with a hybrid, but if you carve a driver or hit big one, you can avoid the water and reach the green in two. Overall, I thought the back nine was stronger than the front as there was more elevation change and more separation between holes.

The conditions were good. This time of year the courses in the Mid-Atlantic are coming out of winter and the bermuda grass still hadn’t greened up yet. It still looked a little ugly with the mostly dormant fairways, but give it a few weeks and conditions should be great. I had to dig down to get shots solid from the fairways with the tighter lies. The greens were aerated a couple weeks ago and recovering nicely. The aeration only affected a handful of putts. Chipping on the greens was a challenge because they rolled out more than I’m accustomed to. If the greens were slick, it could be three putt city.

If you are looking for a playable option in the Greensboro area, that is likely to be in good shape, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a better course than the Players Course. My only small gripes are more bunkers than what is needed and that all the par 3’s are similar yardages. The Players Course gets my vote!

#1 (421 yard par 4):

#2 (461 yard par 5):

#3 (173 yard par 3):

#4 (508 yard par 5):

#5 (168 yard par 3):

#6 (355 yard par 4):

#7 (372 yard par 4):

#8 (362 yard par 4):

#9 (410 yard par 4):

#10 (363 yard par 4):

#11 (174 yard par 3):

#12 (498 yard par 5):

#13 (405 yard par 4):

#14 (488 yard par 5):

#15 (389 yard par 4):

#16 (366 yard par 4):

#17 (181 yard par 3):

#18 (422 yard par 4):

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