Set in 220 acres of rolling woodland within a sizeable residential property, the course at TPC Potomac underwent a recent renovation that cost in excess of twenty million dollars. It’s now a longer, tougher test for amateur and professional players alike.
Greg Norman once said that the 9th hole here should be demolished, and it was, about 10 years ago when as many know a pretty significant transformation was performed. Overall, TPC Potomac is exactly what you'd expect of a tour course. Pretty wide fairways, thick penalizing rough, and deep-faced white sand bunkers, all protectors of large elevated greens.
The transformation worked, as there are a definitely a few memorable holes that make this a great course. There are many difficult holes and you will seldom find yourself with a flat lie, especially if you leave the fairway. My favorite holes on the front are the par 5 2nd, the number 1 handicap 6th, and Mr Norman's favorite hole, the par 3 9th.
Personally, I felt as if the back has a lot of initial bite. 10 and 11 are both very hard but fun holes with a perfect tee shot, your second shot over a ton of wasteland. I thought the 12th was a great par 3, with a pretty significant uphill shot required and a good bit of room to miss off to the right. The next few holes are nice purely because of the absolute amazing conditions you can expect from a TPC course, and are actually on arguable the coolest section of land of the whole course, where it really opens up and Rock Run, the tributary of the Potomac, run throughout the course (also some really nice properties along this course so close to DC). The last really memorable hole is the 17th a par 3 over the water. Tiger allegedly stayed at the house behind this hole when his tournament used to be here.
All in all, a great course you should checkout if you have the opportunity to play.
I have played TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm several times. The front nine in particularly is a very difficult golf course save for two holes while the back nine starts out with an equally high degree of difficulty before it lets up.
A member at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm would be able to take their handicap to any other course and play very well there.
It is built around woodlands, ponds, trees, and wetlands and has a fair amount of housing around it.
It lacks a consistent look and feel and offers no real personality other than extreme difficulty on many holes.
The greens are not overly done but getting to them is another story.
I would recommend that whatever tees one normally plays at their home course, they should move up a set of tees when playing her the first or second time, even if they are scratch.
Many of the holes, such as four, five, and seventeen (a par three over water) have ponds that come into play. Several other holes such as two, six, ten, eleven, and thirteen have to navigate some streams and wetlands. There are some narrow landing areas for once second shot on par fives or the tee shots on the par fours.
There are some very good holes here such as two (par five to a raised green on a shelf), three (a downhill par three made famous by Arnold Palmer scoring an ace on consecutive days), four (requiring a carry over a pond), six (wetlands all down the right), ten (more wetlands to navigate), eleven (wetlands once again on this dogleg left), and seventeen (a downhill par three over a pond that is a terrifying shot when the wind is in your face).
It is not a course I would rush to play given the difficulty of it, but if you know you are likely to score 4-5 shots higher than one's normal score, and focus on each shot individually than you will enjoy it. If you judge a course based on your score, you will likely be disappointed here.
There are no really good views from the golf course due to the large number of houses, but some of the holes on the back nine, even though difficult, offer some solitude even while the course is knocking you out. Even the very good players struggle here.