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Bristol, Virginia
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Patrick Koenig
Patrick Koenig
ArchitectBadgeTom Fazio
Bristol, Virginia

Laid out over rolling terrain in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, the Virginian Golf Club is a wonderfully member-friendly course where the fairways are wide and forgiving, often appearing to play downhill from many of the tees. The course hosted the US Senior Amateur Championships in 2003.

Holes are routed around a residential development that has, unfortunately, grown substantially in size since Tom Fazio designed the layout in the mid 1990s and it’s a pity that so many enormous properties loom so large over a number of the fairways.

GalleryPatrick Koenig
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Patrick Koenig

A point in case is “The Maiden,” the 235-yard, par three 13th hole which is set in a natural amphitheatre. To preserve the landscape, the club installed a 30-yard tunnel to allow golfers to get from the green to the 14th tee but it could do nothing to prevent a huge mansion being constructed immediately to the right hand side of the green, dominating the setting.

On the front nine, “Highlands,” the par four 4th is rated the most difficult hole. With out of bounds to the left, it plays downhill to a left to right-sloping green that’s protected to the front by a combination of sand and rough.

The par three 8th is a lovely hole on the outward half where the green sits to the right of a small pond formed from a natural spring. It’s followed by a sequence of four very good par fours.

The 16th is another fine two-shotter that doglegs to the right with trees encroaching down the left of the fairway. The green drops away to the right, punishing any faded approaches that fall short of the target.


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Course Architect

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Tom Fazio

Born in the northwestern suburbs of Philadelphia, Tom Fazio entered the business of golf course architecture as a teenager in 1962, assisting his uncle George in course construction.

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