With the US Open being played this week in the Nation’s Capital, today’s topic will be Golf. First and foremost, as my friends will attest, I’m not a good golfer. I only play 1 – 2 rounds of golf a year (I prefer to play baseball), but when I was right out of college and in grad school, I did golf much more frequently.
Why is the Washington, DC area good for golf? Because there are so many available courses — for a wide range of golfers. Yes, there are the world-class venues, such as Congressional Country Club, where the US Open is being played this weekend; the Robert Trent Jones course, where they’ve played the Presidents Cup matches; and Avenel, which has hosted a number of PGA tournaments over the years. And, there are many private clubs — too many to list.
But, there are also many terrific public courses, scattered throughout Northern Virginia and the suburbs of Maryland. It’s an easy 30-minute or less drive to a large number of courses. That’s something that is not available to the people living in New York City or Tokyo (where you have to drive much further to find good public courses to play).
Then, of course, there’s the good, old stand-by courses in DC that attract a wide range of golfers … from beginners to regulars to hustlers. Those courses would be the legendary Hains Point (where it’s nearly impossible to lose a golf ball since there’s no water on the course – unless you hit it over the fence) and Rock Creek Park, where I played many times while I was a student at AU. It’s much easier to lose balls there — I’ve lost dozens of golf balls in the woods of Rock Creek Park.
There’s also the driving ranges at Hains Point, Woody’s, etc. And, there’s a number of very good golf shops that offer you anything you desire.
Washington, DC is indeed a very good place for golf … for golfers and for fans (which I hope very much enjoy the US Open in Bethesda — we won’t see it here for another 12 – 15 years).