Sadly, stretches of warm weather are ending here in Virginia. Saturday was a cold, rainy day in Charlottesville so it didn’t take much hand twisting for me to go enjoy some warm temperatures in the Tidewater region!
I took advantage of the extra hour and was up early for the three hour drive to the city of Chesapeake, which is near Norfolk for those who may not be familiar with the area. I found an early tee time at Chesapeake Golf Club, which would be my first course of the day.
My tee time was at 7:45 and I got there about 7:20. The proshop was nice enough to let me go early on a pretty quiet Sunday morning. I didn’t set any records with the pace of play because there was a foursome, ahead of a twosome who was in front of me. Considering the 10 cars in the parking lot when I teed off, 3.5 hours felt like a lengthy round!
I know what some of you locals are thinking! Why would I drive so far to play here?! Well, I’m of the opinion that just about every course is worth playing once. Since there are plenty of courses left in the area for me to check out, I don’t want to just play all the decent ones. So, Chesapeake was my cheap round for the day. If I stay in Virginia long enough I’d love to say that I’ve played every public course here, so there’s that too! Plus, the course was one of the few who offered earlier tee times, to reflect the time change.
Chesapeake is a community course and I mean that in the most literal sense possible! Every hole is lined closely by homes, and most holes have homes on both sides. If there is one thing that defines the course then “homes” are that thing. There isn’t any ambiance to the course’s setting and it feels like you are golfing in one big backyard.
The course is short by modern standards, playing 6,159 yards from the blue tees. It is a par 71 with a rating of 69.5 and a slope of 122. The nines contrast when it comes to the distance, as the front is only 2,795 yards while the back is 3,364 yards. I struggled with my swing so I found the course plenty challenging with its narrow fairways and water hazards. However, one of the reasons I can see locals playing here is for a good score. If you hit it straight then you can manage your way around the course for a good number!
The design has it quirks with hazards in odd places. For example, the 4th is a 359 yard par 4 where the fairway runs out at 170 yards and starts up again at 240 yards. I hit 6 iron then 5 iron as I cannot carry the ball 240 yards. The 6th, 7th, and 15th all have hazards in spots that don’t seem to be designed for a course. You might have to layup in odd spots here, unless you are a power hitter.
I’m not sure that I’d call the course the most playable, but I’d think the ratings are easier because of all the short holes and many flat greens. Even if you have some double bogeys you can rattle off the birdies if you are playing well!
Nothing stood out to me as a signature hole but I enjoyed the 13th and the 17th. The 13th is a short, strategic par 4 that plays into the pines. It doglegs right and while you can hit driver, laying up is the prudent play. The 17th is 412 yards and is probably the most scenic hole on the course. Pine trees line both sides of the fairway so you really need to hit a straight drive. The green complex has mounding behind it, which offers a tiny bit of privacy.
The conditions were fine for what I’d call a budget course. The tee were lumpy with a mix of grasses, but I’m never too worried about tee boxes. The fairways were better than I expected with many full spots and the ball sat up in them. The greens rolled well and at a medium speed. I always felt like I could make a putt!
While the routing and setting at Chesapeake aren’t anything special, that doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy the course! Heck it was 60 degrees when I teed off in shorts and it was a very comfortable morning to golf, albeit overcast. Once I found my swing on the 6th hole I had a good time. And, there is always something enjoyable to me about affordable green fees! I paid $28 to ride, which cannot be beat and the proshop threw in a free yardage book.
#1 (381 yard par 4):
#2 (385 yard par 4):
#3 (143 yard par 3):
#4 (359 yard par 4):
#5 (130 yard par 3):
#6 (541 yard par 5):
#7 (300 yard par 4):
#8 (130 yard par 3): Apparently I was so excited with a par on the 7th that I forgot to get a picture of the 8th!
#9 (426 yard par 4):
#10 (443 yard par 5):
#11 (171 yard par 3):
#12 (392 yard par 4):
#13 (318 yard par 4):
#14 (517 yard par 5):
#15 (499 yard par 5):
#16 (218 yard par 3):
#17 (412 yard par 4):
#18 (394 yard par 4):