Mattaponi Springs Golf Club

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.

MS 1-0I 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.

MS 1-1The approach must carry a wetland and land on a big green.

MS 1-2Like I said, the green is big.  You can have some looong putts here.

MS 1-3Hole 2 – 526 yards – Par 5 

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.

MS 2-1The approach bends around to the right.  You could hit all you’ve got here, but there is a hazard a little past the 150 yard marker.

MS 2-2Below is the hazard I mentioned.  You can see the uphill slope you have to overcome.  That bunker to the right would be a very difficult up and down.

MS 2-3This was another large green, which is good if you are going for it in two.

MS 2-4Hole 3 – 116 yards – Par 3 

The first one-shot hole is a short one.  It plays a little bit down the hill and is fronted by two large bunkers.

MS 3-1You can see below that this green has some severe slope to it.  If you don’t get to the right level I can see a shot spinning violently off this slope since you have a high lofted club in your hand.

MS 3-2Hole 4 – 443 yards – Par 4

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.

MS 4-1I 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.

MS 4-2The green is large.  You can see there is a large up-slope in front of this flag.

MS 4-3Hole 5 – 282 yards – Par 4

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.

MS 5-1If you don’t make it to the green you will be faced with the shot below.  The green is raised ever so slightly with no trouble in front.

MS 5-2Hole 6 – 489 yards – Par 5

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.

MS 6-1Here is a look at the second shot when you get no roll on your drive.  I did mention there was a lot of rain the day before, right?

MS 6-2The 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.

MS 6-3Hole 7 – 179 yards – Par 3

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.

MS 7-1Below you can see the sheer size of the putting surface.  You can also see the large swale in the left side of the green.

MS 7-2Hole 8 – 337 yards – Par 4

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.

MS 8-1The approach shot plays to a plateau green.  Obviously anything short of the green will spin back.  A miss to the right is also not desirable.

MS 8-2Hole 9 – 428 yards – Par 4

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.

MS 9-1Here is a look at the green from the fairway,  The pin location here is in a small section on the green.

MS 9-2Hole 10 – 345 yards – Par 4

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.

MS 10-1From here the green is partially hidden.  You just need to trust your yardage.

MS 10-2You can see why the green is hidden from the fairway.  It sits in a little hollow just below the fairway level.  The green is pretty big, which is nice.

MS 10-3Hole 11 – 377 yards – Par 4

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.

MS 11-1This is kind of a crazy green with all the undulation.  I was getting out of here quickly though with the group behind me.

MS 11-2Hole 12 – 500 yards – Par 5

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.

MS 12-1The second shot is all out in front of you.  There isn’t much to think about except avoiding the bunker on the right.

MS 12-2If 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.

MS 12-3Hole 13 – 386 yards – Par 4

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.

MS 13-1Hole 14 – 211 yards – Par 3

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.

MS 14-1Here is a look from behind the green.

MS 14-2Hole 15 – 323 yards – Par 4

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.

MS 15-1The green is raised enough to where you cannot see the putting surface.  Check it out below.

MS 15-2There isn’t too much going on with this green, but hey, what do I know?

MS 15-3Hole 16 – 474 yards – Par 5

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.

MS 16-1The second shot from the left side is preferable because you don’t have to flirt with the water.

MS 16-2You 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.

MS 16-3Hole 17 – 165 yards – Par 3

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.

MS 17-1Below is a side view of the green.  You can see the slope from back to front and right to left.

MS 17-2Hole 18 – 404 yards – Par 4

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.

MS 18-1The approach is downhill into the amphitheater created in front of the clubhouse.  This is a pretty large green.  You can start to see the slopes in the putting surface.

MS 18-2Below is the green from closer in.  You can see the massive slope to the right of my golf ball.  The rest of the green is mild compared to that.

MS 18-3Like 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!

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