This course has been on my radar for quite some time, as it’s been around since 1999, but i never seemed to get around to looking into just where the hell Ijamsville is. When i finally looked it up, i was pleased to find that it’s right at the border of Montgomery & Frederick counties, not far from Little Bennett which i played several times back in high school. After picking up my regular golfing partner, Jake in Ashburn, we shot up Rt 15 crossing the Potomac at Point of Rocks, arrived at PB Dye for our 3pm tee time and per usual waited 15 minutes past that for our always late third playing partner, Drew, to show up. This late in the day his lateness wasn’t an issue for us to get out, just an excuse for Jake and I to give him hell for the first 3 or 4 holes.
The weather was my favorite golfing climate. Extremely overcast, occasional misty drizzle without ever really threatening to rain, and the temperature settling in around 70. Kinda what i imagine the skies to look like at St. Andrew’s just about every day of the year.
Once out on the course it did not take long to realize that we were in for both a challenging day and exciting track.
The front nine starts off with a few holes that are not most difficult from tee to green but immediately put the pressure on your putter with some highly tricky greens. Right off the bat the first green is all undulations, the second green, a short par-3, has slopes on every side of it waiting to slide your ball right off the putting surface and the par-5 third has shelf splitting the green horizontally that leaves wishing you could use a wedge if you end up on the front lower half. It’s almost as if Mr. Dye planned on giving you a few easy trips off the tee early before he starts to torment you with narrow fairways, deep roughs, large fairway bunkers and large patches of out-of-bounds right in front of the green that the rest of the course starts throwing at you not long after.
The course as a whole is not terribly long, however it can be quite treacherous with the variety of ways to lose golf balls out of bounds and in knee high rough. Seven holes i played at par or better which is above my recent average so i wasn’t hitting the ball all that bad, but the other 11 holes i played at +23 ! I’m not sure if this an indictment on my own inconsistency or a demonstration of how this course will simply punish you with penalty strokes and double bogeys if you are not accurate off the tee, which i often was not.
The clubhouse was a lively atmosphere as there was a rowdy tournament finishing up as we arrived, from which we were able to pilfer a few jello-shots for our round. After our round there was what seemed to be a pre-prom party for group of local high school kids going on next to the clubhouse bar, which had local Flying Dog brewery’s Woody Creek White on tap which was a phenomenal way to celebrate my lone birdie of the day on number 18.
Billy Casper Golf manages the course which puts in the same management stable as 1757, The Osprey’s, Reston National, and Virginia Oaks, and offers some nice membership options which give you big discounts at all five courses.
Our threesome were all fans of the course and we’re eagerly looking forward to getting back out to try to tame this one again soon.
– Johnny Valencia