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Friday, May 27, 2011

Royal New Kent Golf Course, A Mike Strantz Classic

Golf With History

Located between Williamsburg and Richmond, Virginia, Royal New Kent is set upon the low hills between Diascund Creek and the Chickahominy River. In 1997, Royal New Kent opened to outstanding reviews and was named "Best New Upscale Public Course in the Nation" by GolfDigest and No. 23 on Golf Magazines’s Top 100 you can play. In 1999, Royal New Kent was named one of "America’s Top 100 Greatest Golf Courses" by Golf Digest. In 2001, Golf Digest ranked Royal New Kent among the top three courses in Virginia, and in 2002 Royal New Kent was awarded 4 1/2 star by Golf Digest. Equal to the standards set by the course, Royal New Kent has first-rate conveniences such as a full-service bar, dining and meeting rooms, practice facilities, and a pro shop.

The Course

Flowing across 7,372 yards of a windswept, rugged landscape, Royal New Kent has been called "the truest representation of an Irish links in America." Royal New Kent is reminiscent of the Irish Landscape where links course such as Royal County Down and Ballybunion were built. Greens hide behind sharp, grassy knolls, hand stacked rock walls and tall fescue grasses. The generous, countoured fairways occasionally demand blind shots. The par 72 design features over 120 bunkers, many are deep shadow bunkers lined with fescue grass. The enormous, fast greens have bold swales and ridges. Each hole offers several playing options.

3 Remarkable Holes

Hole 1 - The first hole at Royal New Kent is as exhilarating as a ride on the Autobahn. This par 4 features a 75 foot drop from the tee to a cavern-like fairway and an uphill shot to a double-tiered, false-front green.
Hole 7 - After playing this downhill par 3, bungee-jumping would seem anti-climactic. The challenge here is to hit the green with your tee shot and avoid the creek and the bunkers. A golfer who lands in a green-side bunker will need a very clever shot to keep his ball from rolling into the creek.
Hole 18 - Sightseers would swoon at the sight of the sun-sparkling water on one side of the 18th green and the sound of the tumbling waterfall on the other. Golfers cringe at these "hazards." Focused players drive as long as possible on the fairway to set up a short iron to the green. 

Course Accolades

* No. 84 - America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses (Golf Digest)

* Best New Upscale Course in the Nation (Golf digest, 1997)

* 4 1/2 Stars - Places to Play (Golf Digest)

* No. 3 - Best in State: Virginia (Golf Digest)

* No. 15 - 40 Best Public Courses (Golf & Travel)

* No. 28 - 100 Best Modern Golf Courses (Golf & Travel)

* No 23. - Top 100 You Can Play (Golf Magazine)

* Modern Classics (Links Magazine)

Royal New Kent Golf Club
Royal New Kent is the closest thing to the links of Great Britain and Ireland
Royal New Kent was designed by the late Mike Strantz after the links courses of Ireland, and is a great rendition, and much less costly than making the trip across the pond. There’s a lot of the same design elements as you’d find on a traditional links course, open and windy, rolling and rugged terrain, and fairways tumbling and bordered by fall fescue grass. It’s located just off I-64. east of Richmond, took us 1 1/2 hours from NOVA.
Royal New Kent Golf Club
The course is between Richmond and Williamsburg in Providence Forge
Like Royal County Down, there’s target rocks provide direction to blind fairways, with deep pot bunkers that usually require a blast back out to the fairway. There’s blind shots to the greens hidden behind grassy knolls, stacked rock walls but the fairways are wide and forgiving. The course can play to 7336 yards, par 72, and a tough 146 slope, but has 4 sets of tees. There’s 120 bunkers scattered in the fairways at some odd intervals and right around the greens. The greens are huge and fast, but do promote the run up shot which is so useful in the British Isle’s links courses. Play the course from the right set of tees and you’ll enjoy the game much more.

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