Sunday, September 5, 2010

Redgate Muni, A True Bang For Your Buck Course

You never know what you're going to get with a municipal golf course.  You have to be ready for uninspired design, shoddy fairways and slow greens.  Like a bottle of wine, you more or less can expect to get what you pay for.

But Redgate Municipal Golf Course, run by the City of Rockville, MD, doesn't disappoint.  And, it gives the mid-handicapper about the best bang for the buck in the D.C. Metro Area.

Approach shot on the par five fourth at Redgate. 
The layout of the golf course is quirky, but by the end of the round it leaves you with an appreciation of what the course designers have made out of a pretty uninspiring piece of land.  The most memorable holes on the course are undoubtedly the par 5 4th and the par 5 16th.  Unless you are playing the course from the tips, driver is the wrong play off the both tee boxes.  On #4, a massive lake intersects the fairway at about 220 yards.  On #16, the landing area is NARROW, and again at about 220 yards out, the fairway ends and the ground abruptly drops 65 feet down to a murky pond. 

So, no matter how frustrating it is to hit a wood, hybrid or long iron off the tee, it has to be done.  But don't put that club away, keep it in your hand for the next shot, and be ready for a forced carry of at least 150 yards on #4 over the lake, and 180 yards on #16 over the ravine and pond.  Even if you hit two spectacular shots, dont expect to be close to the green on these holes.  I've played the course six or seven times and never had less than a full wedge into these greens.

These holes can be frustrating, because in all honesty, they are too long considering you cant hit driver.  Par on these holes is extraordinary.  Bogey's aren't bad either.  Even a double can be overlooked.

The course is set on top of rolling hills and ravines, and the architect did a nice job incorporating elevation changes.  This alone makes Redgate stand out from other munis in the area.

The greens, which have long been a strong point for Redgate, were in poor shape.  In my previous visits, the greens had been smooth but receptive, and fast.   The greens were still receptive, and they were fast, but they were not smooth.  At least one green was so burnt out that it needed to be replaced and several others deserve a makeover.  There were ball marks everywhere, and those that were fixed were done so poorly.  (this was the getting what you payed for part of the round.)

I dont usually pay much attention to the staff when judging a course, but in this case the staff made a difference for me.  As you may recall, my driver busted two weeks ago so I was a man down in my bag- I  was planning on just using my partner's driver for the round.  As I was checking in, I recounted the story to the clerk at the desk and he ran to the back of the shop to grab me a demo Taylormade Superfast driver.  I would have never thought of it, but it was a nice gesture, and really got the round off on the right foot.

The pace of play at Redgate has always been fast.  Most players choose to ride (hilly), so if you're traveling by foot, expect to have people either on your ass or pass you.  Even as a twosome, we got passed.  But the good part about fast play is that we never had to wait on a shot.  For a muni, that is absolutely incredible.

As I said before, Redgate is a great bang for your buck course.  For $47 bucks during peak season weekend mornings, $34 for twilight, Redgate is a great deal.  It is challenging enough to be fun and interesting, but cheap enough that you don't have to break the bank to get there.

Grizzly Golfer Rating: 6.5/10

No comments:

Post a Comment