Greendale Golf Course holds the distinct honor of closest 18-hole Virginia track both to our nation’s capital as well as to the BeltwayGolfer’s residence. The Fairfax County run facility is less than 4 miles outside of the beltway on Telegraph Rd, just south of Old Town Alexandria. Each time i play Greendale, it feels more and more like a home course. Growing up on the other side of the beltway, my friends and I learned the game on Montgomery County munis like Sligo Creek, Northwest & Needwood, which all have a feel and atmosphere not unlike Greendale. The starters and staff, while not always the picture of efficiency, always a welcoming sense of humor about them. The clubhouse, while extremely modest, has a cozy feel and everything you need including free ball markers & repair tools.
At 6,352yds from the longest tees, Greendale is not a terribly long course, however many of the narrow straight fairways require accuracy with the driver. The front nine is fairly straight forward with scoring opportunities on both reachable par 5’s at the second and seventh holes. One doozy of a hole is the par 3 sixth hole which plays slightly downhill over a pond, where a deceivingly large humpbacked green makes most pin placements a difficult two putt. This is easily the trickiest putting surface on a course otherwise full of relatively flat greens. Water comes into play on nine holes at greendale, with five separate hazards ranging in size dotting the course. The front nine’s scorecard is a bit unusual in that there are three par 3’s complimenting the pair of par 5’s.
The back nine plays quite a bit tougher than the front, as it is slightly longer and has quite a few tough holes. The largest water hazard on the course comes into play off the tee on the tenth as well as on the eleventh when your blind tee shot can easily go right into the drink if hit toward the left side of the fairway. The twelfth is another tricky par 4 that requires a precise right-to-left tee shot to avoid trouble on either side of the fairway. Greendale doesn’t relent when your coming in with three finishing holes are among the toughest on the course. The sixteenth is an uphill par 3 that leaves with only about the top-half of the flagstick in view, and at 234 yds from the back tees, it becomes one of the toughest greens to hit i’ve seen in the area. The seventeenth is a par 4 with an undulating fairway that wants to send almost every tee shot rolling down off the fairway into trouble on the right, while the par 5 eighteenth is the longest hole on the course, with an elevated tee shot that opens the door trouble if your driver gets wild.
All in all Greendale Golf Course is a fun challenge to play, that is flat enough to walk and surprisingly not often crowded despite it’s proximity to Old Town & D.C. The staff brings not a whiff of pretension to the clubhouse and practice areas, and have always been accommodating even when the BeltwayGolfer shows up late to his tee time.
Weekend rate: $35 walking , $50 w/cart
Weekday rate: $29 walking, $44 w/cart
– Alex Dickson