FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Sometimes you just don’t have time for 18 holes, but you still want to get out on the course.
Thankfully, there are a handful of nine-hole runs around the D.C. area that still provide a decent challenge without wiping out your whole day. One such course — Jefferson District Golf Course in Falls Church, Virginia — gave us just that, as well as our prettiest scorecard so far on Playing Through.
The course is definitely short, easily the shortest we’ve played. In addition to helping our scores, that also cut down on the zig-zagging, allowing for a very quick round. The layout is such that there aren’t too many choke points, keeping the flow pretty good. Despite some traffic out in front of us, we finished our round in just an hour and 50 minutes.
Public courses, especially those on the more affordable end of the spectrum, can sometimes lack in greens quality, but Jefferson stands out for the quality of its putting surfaces. We played just a month after they had punched the greens and wouldn’t have had any idea if they hadn’t told us. General manager Jonathan Casey chalks that up to his grounds crew and the course’s relatively mature soil, which allows it to recover quickly.
“Of all the compliments we receive here, I’d say the majority that we receive are about the conditions of the greens, especially for how much this course is used,” Casey told us.
And it’s used a lot — roughly 45,000 rounds a year.
The most popular times are right at daybreak and right after work, so there’s no twilight rate. But at $19 during the week and $24 on the weekend, that’s hardly prohibitive. You can also get a cart for $10, but it’s a very easy course to walk.
And it’s a fairly easy course to play, so long as you’re able to keep yourself down the middle.
“There are some open fairways here, but it puts a premium on being accurate,” said Casey.
See how we did in the gallery above.
If you don’t have over four hours to play an entire round, Jefferson is for you. It took us less than two hours to play. It’s a great course for the casual golfer — and I’m not saying that because I shot a personal best 46 for nine holes. The water hazards aren’t difficult. It’s a little tight, but a great course to work on your irons. Try to avoid the trees on #7. As usual, I found them and took a 5 on a par 3. The last hole is a short par 4. I actually drove the green, which left me about an 8-foot putt for eagle…which I left it short! Overall, it’s a fun course to work on your game. I’ll play it again.
Dates and Rates
Dates: Open year-round other than Christmas Day
Rates: Mon-Fri, 9 holes $19
Weekends & holidays, 9 holes $24
Mid-December to mid-March, $18
Frequent Player Pass: Discounted rounds if purchased ahead of time in packs of five, 10 or 15.
Grill in clubhouse.
No drink cart. Beer available at clubhouse, but no outside alcohol allowed on site, per VA law.
Pace of Play
Average pace is right around two hours, but can be quicker.
No metal spikes; T-shirts OK.
Address: 7900 Lee Highway, Falls Church, Virginia
Take the Capital Beltway from either direction to Gallows Road and follow Fairview Park Drive across Lee Highway to the entrance. You can also take Lee Highway straight to the course from anywhere inside the Beltway in Northern Virginia.
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