A fantastic ride through the beautiful Virgina countryside. Mike Strantz was a genius of a designer and the golf industry lost someone very special when he passed. The course maintains a huge intimidation factor throughout the round in the form of giant blow out bunkers, steep hills, abundant mounding, heavy contoured greens, and vicious pot bunkers...... but with all that said..... the course is very playable.
A high handicap player may have a long hard day, but a mid handicapper (and lower) will find it very enjoyable. The fairways are wide and greens are large. But in my opinion the most playable factor in the design is the overall variety in the design. Not every hole is a beast for every player. I am a 9 handicap and managed to play at that level despite the appearance of the obstacles in front of me. I had a couple tough holes with high numbers but this was balanced by capitalizing on a few birdie opportunities (the par 5s and short part 4s in particular).
Stand out holes (and there are PLENTY) to me were the par 5 2nd with its boomerang fairway, the unbelievable 7th (par 3) which is just a treat from the upper tee box, the short dog leg right par 4 8th is a show stopper with its second shot wedge approach to a green wedged in the dunes, and the sweeping reachable par five 17th with its creek fronted green.
The only bad hole (which would be a stand out on any other course) is the last. This par 4 just does not fit the rest of the links. It is a good hole with a carry over water to a peninsula fairway, then another carry over water to the shallow green. Just doesn't fit the rest of the layout in my opinion.Anyway, I highly recommend that golfers venture to Royal New Kent for a round when in Virginia. It's a great course designed by a great architect. Enjoy and keep the ball in play! :)
Date: July 29, 2015