Mattaponi Springs Golf Club – Played 2016
- Rankings: Golf Digest Public #50
- Location: 22490 Penola Road, Ruther Glen, Virginia
- Year: 2004
- Architects: Robert Lohmann
- Course Access: Public
- Walking Rules: Carts Available
Score Card Information:
- Black: 6,890 yards, Par 72, 74.2 Rating/147 Slope
- Blue: 6,406 yards, Par 72, 72.2 Rating/139 Slope
- White: 6,155 yards, Par 72, 71.0 Rating/136 Slope (Men’s), 77.6 Rating/144 Slope (Women’s)
- Gold: 5,571 yards, Par 72, 68.3 Rating/129 Slope, 74.3 Rating/137 Slope (Women’s)
- Red: 4,924 yards, Par 72, 70.8 Rating/127 Slope
On my way up to Merion I decided it would be nice to get a round in. I will be honest and say that I am not beholden to the Top 100 lists, but I am trying to play them. Financially, it makes sense to play them if given the option instead of another course in the area. I try to say yes to any golf, but this one worked out well as it was a Top 100 and pretty much on my way to Ardmore.
The name of the course refers to the freshwater springs that feed into the river of the same name. Traditionally the Mattaponi people used these springs for drinking water. The property has a lodge and convention center according to its website, but I didn’t see it. I believe I saw some lodging options, but I’m not sure.
According to the website the goal of architect Bob Lohmann was to utilize the natural terrain, preserve natural attributes of the property, and highlight the natural elements when possible. The fairways and tees feature zoysia grass while the greens are bentgrass.
Alright, let’s give you a look into the track. All yardages are from the blue tees. Below is a look at the scorecard.
I want to start by saying that I don’t judge a course solely by its conditioning. I am not sure of the financial situation of this course. It is somewhat remote and there weren’t many people out on a Saturday. That could have been because of a bunch of rain the night before.
That being said, there was a lot of clover growing throughout the rough. I just didn’t think the conditioning warranted this being a Top 100 course. I hope I just caught it on a bad day. I think when it is in a little better shape it would be a very fun course to play.
Hole 1 – 421 yards – Par 4
The first tee shot gives you a boost as you are hitting downhill. You can hit driver here and keep it a little left for the best angle.
I couldn’t get to this hole in two with the wet conditions. Add to that the fact that it plays uphill most of the way and it is a brute.
The first one-shot hole is a short one. It plays a little bit down the hill and is fronted by two large bunkers.
This hole is no joke. You need a good drive to a semi-blind landing area. The shape of the hole favors a power fade.
I didn’t hit a great drive so I had plenty of distance left. The fairway dips down before heading back up to the green. The green is sloped heavily towards you so you won’t get too much roll if you hit the front section.
This was one of the cooler holes on the course. I like a drive-able hole when it makes sense. After some longer holes this was a nice change of pace. The hole bends sharply to the left so you will need to hit a big draw.
This tree-lined hole requires a straight drive. The shape of the terrain filters shot back to the middle. The bunkers you see here are in play.
The green is below the level of the fairway. In front there is a little depression which continues on to a hillock in front of the middle of the green. It is tough to get the right bounce if you don’t carry it all the way to the green.
This hole like the last par 3 plays downhill, but this slope is much more pronounced. The green is large and will allow you some leeway on which way you hit it.
This hole is a dogleg to the right. A fade is the preferred ball flight here. There are some bunkers in the right rough that you cannot see from this angle.
I played through a group on this hole so I didn’t get a photo of the tee shot. The tall tree you see at the top of the hill is near your landing area. The second shot plays all the way down this hill. You must judge how much that will take off the yardage.
The beginning of the back nine is not overly difficult. It bends a bit to the right and your line is straightaway towards the bunker you can barely see.
I played through another group here so I didn’t take a picture from the tee. Here is a look at the approach shot from the left side of the hole. You can see up the left side that there is plenty of hazard to carry.
This is a tricky tee shot if you are new to the course. There is a hazard out there that crosses the fairway so you need to be careful. I’m still not exactly sure how far out it is.
If you leave your second shot on the left side of the fairway you will be hitting to a semi-blind green. Coming in from the right is the better play. You will definitely want to avoid the bunker you see on the left.
I played through my final group of the day on this hole so I only got this shot from behind the green. This one is a straight hole with water up the right side.
This is a tough hole straight up. It takes at least one good shot to make par. Left is dead here and there isn’t much room to the right. You can somewhat make out the slopes in the green as well.
This hole is on the shorter side and leaves you with some choices. You can try to go for the green with a slinging draw or you can hit something out there 200 yards and attack the green with a wedge.
I think this hole is definitely reachable. I say think because I blew my ball way left into another fairway, but I still never found it. A good drive up the left side of this blind fairway will put you in great shape.
You can see below just how close the water comes in beside the green. I was surprised at how small this green was for a reachable par five. The architect wanted to give you a challenge on the second shot.
This is one of the more picturesque holes on the course. The pond bordered the green and hole nicely in my opinion. Only poorly struck shots will be in danger of getting wet. This green is quite wide.
I like a blind tee shot just as much as the next guy. It is a little nerve-wracking though when you don’t know the line. You can pretty much hit this one in the center of the fairway. I can imagine though that in drier conditions you may run out of fairway the further right you go.
Like I said in the beginning, the course was definitely not in the best shape. Even so, it was a fun layout and would be a fun place to play with your buddies. Also, for under $70 I got to play a Top 100 track. You can’t beat that. I hope they get some better conditioning and more play. That would allow the place to get back to where it belongs. Let me know if you’ve played it in better shape!