That’s why my favorite courses to play are often well-maintained municipal runs.
Needwood is certainly that, and makes up for whatever monotony the front nine offers with a dramatic back nine over “totally different terrain,” as general manager Kim Mabry puts it. It also plays pretty quickly, if you don’t have anybody holding you up — we finished in 3:40, despite me hacking my way around. Oh, about that — it’s not a terribly difficult course, if you stay out of trouble. I had what felt like an awful round and still shot 86 a day after a much better round — and an 87 — at Potomac Shores.
One of Needwood’s biggest selling points is its easily accessible location, something Mabry fully understands.
“Obviously with us being so centrally located to D.C., we get a lot of traffic, a lot of play,” she told WTOP.
One thing that helps disperse the foot traffic a bit is the nine-hole executive course, providing a quicker and cheaper option for those who aren’t looking to play 18. It’s also a good spot for those learning the game, especially youngsters. The course runs a family golf special, where it’s just $10 for adults with a kid under 18.
Needwood offers basic practice facilities as well, including a 20-stall driving range and putting greens. It’s also got a players club option (detailed below) for those who want to make it their home base. All in all, it provides everything a casual or regular player needs, with a track that gets more interesting the deeper your round goes.
Needwood is a great course for the casual golfer.
The front nine is open for the most part and you shouldn’t lose too many balls, unless your ball has a natural draw to water, like mine. The back nine is slightly tougher, especially if you miss in the wrong spots.
On the par 3 12th hole, I missed right, hitting the cart path and it rolled down hill. I took an 8. There are also a fair amount of holes where the water is in play. You need to know how far you can hit your individual irons. I’m learning my distance for each one — and it helps.
Needwood also has an executive nine-hole course with two par 4s, the rest par 3s.
This course is great for beginners and kids, and ideal to practice your short game. I play the executive course a lot and it really has helped my game — and I’m not saying this just because I recently recorded my first ever hole in one on #5. Unfortunately, I was playing alone and no one saw it!
As for time, I can play the executive course in less than 90 minutes walking. Give Needwood a chance. I think you’ll really enjoy it.
Dates and Rates
Mon-Thu, 18 holes: $34.99 (cart $15)
Fri, 18 holes: $39.99 (cart $15)
Sat-Sun, 18 holes: $54.99 (cart $15)
Mon-Fri: $14.99 (cart $10)
Sat-Sun: $19.99 (cart $10)
Senior: Mon — Thu., $34.99; Friday $39.99
Players Club: $59.95/month
Unlimited range balls
Discounted greens/cart fees
Happy hour discounts
Shop merchandise at cost +10 percent
Full service grill upstairs, above clubhouse
Snack bar seats 75
Beverage cart on course almost every day
Pace of play
Our round: 3:40
Collared shirt and khakis preferred
Take the Beltway to the 270 Spur, take Redland Blvd. exit. Continue onto Redland Blvd. and make right on Needwood Road, course will be on your right.