Kinloch Golf Club – Played 2014
- Rankings: Golf Digest Top 100 #51
- Location: 100 Kinloch Drive, Manakin-Sabot, Virginia
- Year: 2001
- Architects: Lester George & Vinny Giles
- Course Access: Private
- Walking Rules: Walking Only, Caddies Available
Score Card Information:
- Black: 7,203 yards, Par 72, 76.5 Rating/140 Slope
- Gold: 6,810 yards, Par 72, 73.0 Rating/136 Slope
- Blue: 6,405 yards, Par 72, 71.2 Rating/132 Slope
- White: 5,818 yards, Par 72, 68.7 Rating/125 Slope
- Red: 5,222 yards, Par 72, 66.0 Rating/120 Slope
I got a chance to play Kinloch Golf Club in the Richmond area through my friend Steve. He has a friend, Mike, who would be our host for the day. It was an overcast day with a threat of rain, but luckily we were able to get the whole round in before it started really coming down.
Kinloch was originally planned as a high-end daily-fee to be known as a “club for a day”. Once Lester George was selected as the architect, the plan was changed to make the club private. Vinny Giles along with C.B. Robertson III and Charles K. Staples were the visionaries behind this course. Mr. Giles is a highly accomplished amateur player. Among his wins are the 1972 U.S. Amateur, 1975 British Amateur, and multiple Virginia State Amateurs. The club also has overnight accommodations to host many of the national members and their guests. On the day we played, it looked there were some big groups staying in the cabins.
Alright, on to the course. There are five teeing options ranging from 7,203 to 5,222 yards as seen above. We decided to play the blue tees, which played 6,405 yards to a par of 72. The nines are fairly traditional with both being par 36. Unlike on some of my other trips, my wife was not on camera duty this time. I hope the photos are still good! Enjoy!
Hole 1 – 383 yards – Par 4
The course starts with a straightaway hole. Just keep it between the bunkers and you should get some nice roll on the firm fairways.
The second is an interesting tee shot. You will see this as a theme at Kinloch, where you need to determine which side of the split fairway you want to aim. I took it up the left side here.
This is an uphill tee shot. A power fade works really well here. As usual I hit a pull-draw, no fades for this guy.
This is a great short hole. Again you can take it to either side of the fairway. I went to the right fairway with a 200 yard shot.
The fifth presents us with the first one-shotter of the day, but it is no picnic. The pin was tucked behind a deep bunker making distance control imperative.
This is a good view here. Driver is not needed from the blue tees. I hit a three iron directly at the middle of the hazard.
Another visually stunning hole. This only played about a club shorter for me. Per my host, do not go left. I over compensated at put it in the second bunker on the right. That was tough too!
The tee shot is uphill, but the landing area pitches downward. A line just left of the mowed walking path will work great here.
The tee shot here can be tricky. A hazard runs up the right side and if you hit it well you can go through the fairway straight off the tee.
After picking up a refresher at the halfway house, you are left to stare down a stout hole. A good drive up the left side will run down the fairway.
This is a short par 5, but you need to be careful on your tee shot. Sticking to the left side of the fairway is the prudent play, just make sure you avoid the creek that runs the length of the hole as seen here.
Here is another solid hole. You want to make sure you keep it in the fairway to get the maximum roll. Right over the caddy on the left with a slight draw is a good line.
This hole plays much shorter than the yardage. A bomb down the middle is all you need here.
The tee shot here is all about distance control. If you carry it to the pin it will most likely go through the green and there is water back there. A smooth shot at the middle of the green is the play here.
This is a great hole! It gives you options. Take an iron off the tee, wood up the right, or driver at the green. My caddy talked me into the driver since it was playing shorter than the listed yardage. I am glad he did since I ended up in the back fringe.
I would call sixteen the signature hole at Kinloch. It is a truly beautiful hole and I can only imagine what it looks like in the fall. A nice draw down the middle works well here.
This is a pretty hole, but it has some bite. The pin on the right, shown here, should not be messed with.
The final hole is an intimidating shot if your miss is left. Take a deep breath and pipe one down the middle. The hole is downhill so you don’t have to kill it to have a reasonable second shot.
Kinloch was an absolute pleasure. The course was in phenomenal shape. The fairways were firm and fast and the greens rolled very true. The course gives you so many options when you are contemplating shots that it was very helpful to have my caddy talk me through the decisions. We skipped the 19th hole the course has for settling bets and headed straight into the clubhouse for another kind of 19th hole.
I played with two great guys and it was a great day of weather. I could not have asked for a better trip around Kinloch. The awesome lunch in the clubhouse afterwards and a nice local brew was a great way to cap it off. After that, it was back in the car back to home base to plan another trip!