Sited close to Chesapeake Bay and Lynnhaven River in Virginia Beach, the 268-acre Bayville dairy farm was converted into a top golf track in the mid 1990s by Tom Marzolf from the Tom Fazio design team. An exclusive membership of three hundred golfers now strides fairways that were once pasture fields tended by local farmers.
Around 400,000 cubic yards of earth was moved during the construction of Bayville Golf Club to form a number of lakes and Wadsworth shapers used fill excavated from these areas to add a little relief at appropriate points of a largely level property. More than two thousand sprinklers connected to 40 miles of pipe now ensure that tees, fairways and A4-bentgrass greens are kept properly irrigated.
The front nine holes are wide, allowing golfers to open their shoulders on the tee but a number of fairways are fringed by vast waste areas (such as on holes 2, 4 and 6) so a degree of caution should also be displayed. The 151-yard par three 5th is the easiest handicap hole on the outward half and it’s also one of the most attractive with three bunkers surrounding a green that’s protected by water on the right.
It’s harder to score well on the inward half, largely due to the fact that water and marshland play a part at many of the holes. The 208-yard, par three, 16th is probably the signature hole on the course and its narrow, well-bunkered green is surrounded by Pleasure House Creek on three sides.
Bayville is a lovely facility. They have numerous areas for short game work and an excellent range including covered hitting areas with substantial electronic tracking devices.
The course is a diamond in the rough. You are taken back at the first hole which requires a forced carry over the inlet water of between 150 yards to 225 yards depending on your tee box. Numerous holes on the front nine have deep rough bordering the sides which demands you to be more accurate than what you think.
This is a classic course which feels good. Predominantly your par 4's have bunkers protecting the greens but with accurate shots being rewarded even if short. The par 3's and 5's utilize bunkers which require carry to get to the putting surfaces. Three times you are forced to carry water. The first tee, the approach on 12 par 4 and the drive 15 which is a par 5.
The conditioning is superb and the greens are in great shape. There is some size to most of the greens and the slopes are mild.
Having just moved to Virginia and getting around and playing many of the courses. Bayville is better than the rating it has here. It should be in the top 15 of the state.