Virginia Golfer May / June 2015 - Page 19

MAGNOLIA GREEN GOLF CLUB (2) ball toward the tilted green. Meanwhile, the sturdy par 4-18th (previously the second hole) is a long, straightforward hole with water in play that calls for two stout shots to reach the elevated, welldefended green. Some golfers select a tee box based on its color. Thus, the design team wisely mixed up the paint box. The back tees at 7,150 yards, which present a firm test to the scratch player, are green. The next set, at 6,724 yards, are black. The blue markers, the tees favored by average campaigners, are 6,216 yards. The white tees are 5,640 yards, while the red tees, considered ideal for ladies and novices, measure 4,783 yards. UNIQUE NICHE Cochran pointed out that the facility was originally conceived as an upscale private club, which meant a tee-to-green bentgrass grassing plan along the lines of Kinloch Golf Club, Spring Creek Golf Club, Hermitage Country Club and other top private clubs in Virginia. “After the reset, we simplified the agronomic palette to make it easier to take care of the course,” Cochran says. Magnolia Green features bentgrass greens, bermudagrass fairways and tees and fescue accents in the rough and along the back edges of the bunkers, giving the course a rustic, naturalistic look. According to Bobby Kidder, Magnolia Green’s general manager, “the golf course doesn’t remind you of anything else in the Richmond market. With the pines, elevation changes and distinctive bunkers, the layout has more of a Carolinas look and feel. “This is a strategic, second-shot golf course designed for shotmakers,” Kidder notes. “It rewards good iron play. The fairways are wide and the rough is cut short, about an inch to an inch and a half, but you need a vivid short game imagination to score. The greens are tough to putt.” Couple the sloping, slippery greens with numerous “deception” bunkers à la Donald Ross that appear closer to the green than they actually are, and Magnolia Green will debut as a tactician’s delight. It’s a layout that will need to be played more than once in order to unlock its secrets. “In the high-end, semiprivate category, we’re aiming to become one of the top courses in the commonwealth,” Kidder says. “We’d love to attract a State Open or a State Amateur after the clubhouse opens, likely by late 2016 or early 2017.” He says the extensive practice facility, which includes three practice putting greens, will likely develop into one of the region’s best. In time, the club plans to package itself with area hotels. On the real estate side, Magnolia Green offers a variety of townhomes, single-family homes and custom-built residences ranging from just under $200,000 (townhomes) up to $1 million. While a soft opening of the course is slated for mid-May, Magnolia Green’s grand opening is scheduled for June 12. Green fees are priced at $60 on weekdays and $70 on weekends, with reduced rates after 12 p.m. and in the evening. Magnolia Green is cause célèbre. Other than the opening of Potomac Shores Golf Club in northern Virginia in 2014, Magnolia Green, located just minutes east of Interstate 95 in Moseley, is the first new 18-hole course to open in Virginia in six years. Author Brian McCallen is a writer from Stonington, Conn., and a regular contributor to Virginia Golfer. Golfers are forced to make smart, strategic choices in order to successfully navigate the layout, a trait particularly evident at the par-3 11th hole. w w w. v s g a . o r g 18_VSGA_MayJune15.indd 17 IF YOU GO At the par-4 16th hole, players are required to play exacting shots to set up a scoring opportunity. MAGNOLIA GREEN GOLF CLUB 17301 Memorial Tournament Drive Moseley, Va. 23120 Phone: (804) 639-5701 Website: General Manager: Bobby Kidder Head Golf Professional: Mike Russell Superintendent: Jay Wade No of Holes: 18 Par: 36-36—72 Yardages: 7,150 yards (green); 6,724 yards (black); 6,216 yards (blue); 5,640 yards (white); 4,783 yards (red) The Playing Surface: Bermudagrass (tees, fairways and rough); bentgrass (greens) Architect(s): Nicklaus Design in association with Tom Clark Type: Semiprivate The Shot You’ll Need: Magnolia Green is built on rolling terrain. However, most holes allow for strategic plays to generally flat areas of the golf course. When players encounter uneven lies, they still have a chance to hit a quality shot with the correct fundamentals. “If you’re on an upslope, take at least one extra club because the upward angle of the hill effectively adds loft. Play the ball slightly more forward than normal, and try to set your shoulders parallel with the slope,” says Mike Ru