Golf Course Review: The Gauntlet, Fredericksburg, Virginia

Cross posted at TCSGA.org, another site that I administer.

The Gauntlet features bent grass greens set around Curtis Memorial Park

The Gauntlet Golf Club

18 Fairway Drive
Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406

COURSE REVIEW BY JIM SWIFT, JANUARY 16, 2010

On January 16, CSGA President Omar De La Rosa and I played “The Gauntlet” in Fredericksburg, Virginia. About an hour away from Capitol Hill, this course is an absolute gem. Designed by Pete Dye in 1995, the course is privately operated in conjunction with Stafford County, Virginia.

In the spring, the rates are obviously higher, but if you can take advantage of their winter rates, by all means, do so. Members of the Virginia State Golf Association’s VIP Program will be pleased to know that this course is on the VIP Card.

17 of the 18 holes were open, and while the fairways were in the process of growing back, the course was quite playable. Because it was the official first day they were open, it was $25 all you can golf — cart included. Their carts are outfitted with a very accurate GPS system.

Omar De La Rosa and Jim Swift

In its first year of operation, The Gauntlet was voted as one of the “Top 10 new courses in the U.S. and Canada” by Golf Digest Magazine, and has been listed as one of the Top 100 Places to Play by Washington Golf Monthly.

The course features a grass driving range and a practice green (no chipping.)

The clubhouse pro shop has a great selection of golf items, including many items customized with the course’s logo, which, aptly, is a Gauntlet (metal glove used by knights) holding a red rose. The food from the pro-shop is amazing, and you can order from your cart’s GPS system when it recognizes you’ve approached the 9th tee. Their cheeseburgers and chili dogs were particularly good, and affordable. The staff provides great service and the hospitality you’d expect.

A view from the tee on the Par 4 fourth, the courses's signature hole. (Click to expand.)

The course is 5,828 yards from the White Tees and is a par 72. From the Whites, the course has a rating of 68.2 and a slope of 124. Water comes into play on 11 of the 18 holes, and there were at least 65 bunkers.

The entire course is beautiful, and while you’re not likely to go all the way down to Fredericksburg to play 9 holes, the front 9 is prettier than the back.  My favorite hole was the Par 5 fifth hole, which is also their number 1 handicap. It’s a dog-leg left measuring 495 yards from the White with a large water hazard protruding in from the left side. The elevated green is surrounded by bunkers, with two fairway bunkers flanking from the right.

If you have a spare Saturday, I’d highly recommend you make the trip down south to see and play this course. It is amazing. We’d like to schedule an event here if the interest is significant enough. Members will soon receive a survey about possible event locations and preferences in the near future.

I give the course a grade of A, it is a must play.

Jim Swift is the Secretary of The Congressional Staff Golf Association.

If you would like to provide a course review for our website, please contact Jim Swift before you play, and please bring a camera to take pictures.

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