Designed by Tom Steele, the scenic Nansemond River Golf Course opened in 1999. Since then, Steele has also won acclaim for his design of Kilmarlic Golf Club in the North Carolina Outer Banks.
What he created at Nansemond is a course with lots of water scenery and excitement – perhaps more than you will see anywhere in the Tidewater area.
You’ll have an easy start on our first hole, a par-4 measuring 385 yards from the back and 284 from the forward tees. “It’s basically a lay-up hole,” says Mark Lambert, our head golf professional. “Hit a three wood and then a short iron for your approach. You probably don’t need a driver.”
The first of 14 holes on the water is No. 4 located on the Nansemond River. It’s a par-4 measuring 370 yards from the back tees and 246 from the front. Water runs along the left side of the hole. From the tee, you can use a three or long iron, says Lambert. “But many golfers use their driver, although you need to be accurate, because a bunker and water on the left side are definitely in play.”
Our marquis hole, perhaps the toughest on the course is the par-4 No. 5. It’s fairly long, 476 yards from the back and 319 from the forward tees.
“There can be plenty of trouble with two marsh carries,” Lambert says. “But it’s also one of the premier holes in the Tidewater area. You’ll be hitting over the marsh off the tee box and again on your second shot to reach the green.”
Along the back nine of our course, you’ll find even more dramatic scenery as there are no homes built here. There’s more water in this part of the course. You’ll also encounter one of our outstanding par-3s, No. 11, playing at 224 yards from the back and 146 from the front tees. You’ll be hitting over a pond here from a slightly elevated tee box.
The 13th is one of the par-5 favorites on the course, playing at about 445 yards from the back and 318 from the front. This is a dogleg right that is definitely reachable in two shots. We alternate using two different greens on this hole.
You’ll find that what we call the “A green” will remind you to the layout of the 18th hole on Pebble Beach. The “B green” creates a longer more straightaway experience. There’s lots of march around both the greens.
Marshland also creates beautiful vistas on our par-3 16th (123 yards from the back and 85 from the front).
Then it’s on to the par-4 that your foursome has been waiting for — the spectacular 17th (365 yards from the back and 276 from the front). This hole reminds many players of the island par-3 at the TPC Sawgrass, except ours is a par-4. From the back tees, you’ll be hitting a driver while the white tees need a 200-yard shot onto the fairway.
Then you’ll be hitting 100 yards onto an island green in a pond. There are other water shots at Nansemond, but this is one of the most outstanding.
Our par-72 course has five set of tees ranging from 5,171 to 7,307 yards, thus offering options for players of all abilities. Hybrid Bermuda fairways and USGA bent grass greens cater to the most avid golfer.
Lengths, ratings and slopes are as follows: Black 7,241 yards (75.3/141); Blue 6,750 (72.6/132); White 6,239 (70.3/130); Gold for men 5,603 (67.6/122); Gold for women 5.603 (72.3/122); Red 5,173 (69.8/121).