Named after legendary Virginia Civil War General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, the course at Lake Manassa, Gainesville is located right next door to the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, site of three President’s Cup competitions. Architect Tom Jackson designed the Stonewall course and it opened for play in 2001.
Stonewall Golf Club is set within an aesthetically pleasing plot of land with fairways routed over a wonderful rolling landscape. The front nine holes wander through open land alongside Lake Manassas while the contrasting back nine climb through more wooded terrain.
The first glimpse of the lake is found at "Cub Run," the 213-yard 4th hole, a not-so-short par three with a substantial water and wetland carry to a green that offers a bailout short and right. The par five 6th is the longest on the card and it's also the number 1 handicap hole. An intimidating hole with out of bounds to the right and a narrow opening to a two-tiered green where water threatens the approach.Hole 10 begins a stretch of strong holes that skirt an inlet of the lake. The best of these is "Traveller," the 555-yard par five 13th which invites big hitters to hit a draw from the tee if they want any chance of reaching the green in two. The par four 15th, named "Broad Run," is one of the few doglegged holes on the card. It plays across water, slightly uphill and left to a well-bunkered fairway that then heads downhill to the green.
I was pleasantly surprised at Stonewall Golf Club. Interesting layout and it was in excellent shape. The course starts with some excellent birdie oppties. The first hole is a short welcoming uphill dogleg right. Favor the left to avoid the fairway bunkers, but there is OB left and a large greenside bunker right. The 2nd bends left, ideal line is right of the fairway bunkers. The approach is uphill and there is front right bunker so consider taking an extra club. The first par five is a dogleg left. Stay right of the bunkers off the tee and for the second shot, short of the right fairway bunker will give you a green light. Aim left of the flag as everything moves right. The first par three is the longest and is the number three handicap hole. First thing to do is clear the ravine. Sadly, I failed to do this twice. The fifth is a picturesque par four with a lake left. It is uphill and short drives will leave a blind approach. The 6th is the longest par five and the number one handicap hole. Ideal line off the tee is left of the fairway bunkers. There is water right and the green is nestled in behind it. Favor the left and on the approach consider taking an extra club as my approach was rejected and rolled into the water hazard. The 7th is the shortest par three, but danger still lurks with a water carry. The front finishes with two relatively straight away par fours with the obligatory fairway bunkers to keep you honest. Nine is uphill with bunkers right and a two-tiered green.
The back starts with a long uphill par four. Favor the left off the tee, but there is OB left. Greenside bunkers left and the green lists right to left. Eleven is a fun hole and a good birdie oppty. It is short but tight, consider laying up. Bunkers in front and the green runs away from you. The 12th is a mid-length uphill par three, with a forced carry and a false front. Thus, take an extra club. The 13th is a long par five. Off the tee aim at the right fairway bunkers. I think the best play is to lay up short of the center bunker on the right. The 14th is a short uphill par four. There is OB right and bunkers left, but a decent drive will leave you with an attack iron. The 15th is a super hole. Dogleg left with water carry and water down the left side. The green is long and narrow with four bunkers left. The 16th is uphill and leans left. Best line is left of the fairway bunker. The approach will be downhill. The 17th is a mid-length par three with water carry. For all intensive purposes, it is an island green as it is surrounded by bunkers. The 18th is a short par five that is a good finishing hole. Water all the way down the right and a water carry on the approach. This is one of the larger more undulating greens and it seems to be perched in the lake.
Fun course, I would pay to play it again.