The Tradition Golf Club At Royal New Kent

4.2189529412 4.2 stars from 5 (35)
  • Holes: 18
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 7480 yards
  • Slope: 153
  • Rating: 77.1
  • Layout

  • 5300 Bailey Rd, Providence Forge, Virginia 23140, New Kent County
  • (804) 966-7023
  • (804) 966-9012
  • royalnewkent.com
Write a review

Year built: 1996
Architect(s): Mike Strantz
Type: Semi-Private
Greens: Bent
Golf Season: Year round

Rentals/Services

Carts: Yes - included in green fees
Clubs: Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving range: Yes
Putting green: Yes
Teaching pro: Yes
Golf school / academy: Yes

Policies

Metal spikes allowed: No
Credit cards accepted: VISA, MasterCard, Amex Welcomed

Tees | Layout | Full Scorecard

Tee Par Length Rating Slope
Invicta 72 7480 yards 77.1 153
Gold 72 7119 yards 75.7 149
Black 72 6695 yards 73.7 145
White 72 6132 yards 71.3 139
White (W) 72 6132 yards 79.3 151
Combo 72 5455 yards 67.9 131
Combo (W) 72 5455 yards 75.2 143
Green 72 4882 yards 65.4 124
Green (W) 72 4882 yards 72.1 136

Accolades

Rating Snapshot

GA Rating Index 4.2 stars from 5
Off-Course Amenities: 4.0 stars from 5
Value: 4.2 stars from 5
Pace of Play: 3.8 stars from 5
Staff Friendliness: 4.5 stars from 5
Course Layout: 4.7 stars from 5
Course Conditions: 3.8 stars from 5
Rating Breakdown 35 Reviews
5 stars:
17
4 stars:
13
3 stars:
4
2 stars:
0
1 stars:
1

recommend this course

32 out of 35 reviews


What Golfers Are Saying

Location is worth the drive   Great for advanced golfers a bucket list/top 100 pick wildlife/ scenic views   Challenges include elevation changes forced carries undulating greens  

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Reviewer Photos

Reviews


Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender

"Great layout"


Robert8495855's avatar
Top 500 Contributor
Age:  45-54
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 09/14/2017
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

Fantastic layout. This is a true links course with the pot bunkers, etc... It has many unique holes. The fairways are generally very wide, and the greens are huge, but the penalty for missing either is huge. I enjoyed this course as much as any course I have played.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Average


I recommend this course


"Highlight of our trip 2nd Year in row!!!!"


Mike7875938's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 09/14/2017
Previously played Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

This course is fantastic very challenging a hidden gem. Greens in great shape, will challenge every part of your game.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent


I recommend this course


"Strantz Classic"


Bombtech6316's avatar
Top 1000 Contributor
Age:  35-44
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 09/09/2017
First time playing Used cart Perfect weather

Reviewed on

I am huge fan of Mike Strantz as an architect so that along with the reviews here led me to play here. This course has everything you could ask for from forced carries, lay ups to ideal spots and great green design. There are plenty of tee choices for your game. The pro shop will give you a course map with distances and layout which is helpful but if you can play with someone who has played before you will be better off. If you have never played a Strantz course you have to keep an open mind. It is challenging, humbling and a lot of fun. The courses conditions were perfect considering the above average rainfall we had in August. This course reminds me the most of Tobacco Road in Sanford, NC, minus the sand and waste areas of Tobacco Road. If you are in the area and want a truly unique experience give Royal New Kent a call. Again prepare to be humbled but have an open mind.


Pace of Play: Average

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Average

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"unbeatable for $25"


meauxd's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  15-19

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 09/07/2017
First time playing Used cart Perfect weather Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

the course is in great shape. My advice, bring some sort of gps, or get a yardage book. Some of the greens are enormous and easily make up at least a 2 club difference depending on pin position.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"Awesome value"


u202883647's avatar
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a month

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 09/04/2017
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

Royal New Kent is an awesome gem of a course that we played for a steal of a price. The layout is breath-taking and there are some magnificent holes that would challenge players at every level. It was evident that the maintenance budget was down since the bunkers weren't raked and several were filled with water, along with slower greens. However, it didn't really diminish what an amazing value this course was to play!


Pace of Play: Average

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Average


I recommend this course


"Awesome"


superdave88's avatar
Age:  35-44
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 08/31/2017
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

Links style course. A "little" difficult, but extremely fun.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"Tough course"


u000005001561's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a month

3 3.0 stars from 5 Played on 08/30/2017
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

Bring your A game, or just have fun, I would recommend playing with someone who has played there before


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Average

Course Conditions: Fair

Staff Friendliness: Average

Value for the Money: Average

Off-Course Amenities: Average


I recommend this course


"RNK tests every aspect of your game"


u000006215315's avatar
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  0-4

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 08/28/2017
Previously played Used cart Perfect weather Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

There is a reason this course is ranked as one of the most difficult in the country. Playing here will tell you where your game really is. This links style layout is unique to central VA and can be intimidating the first few times you play it. Once you've been around this track a few times and know where to place your shots, the scoring opportunities are many. There is no "let-up" and you have to stay mentally focused during the entire round to score well. If you're looking for a golf course with no "home-course-advantage" to play a match with your buddies, this is it... Enjoy!


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"Good Course"


jonnybear77's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 08/05/2017
Previously played Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

Course is in great shape. Cart paths could use some repair. Always a challenge, intimidating to the first-timer, but really playable and fair once you get familiar with it. Cool bar and staff too! Definitely one to play if you are in the area!! ($25 deals on golfnow.com as well)


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"Butt Kicker"


redbankston's avatar
Age:  65+
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  20-24

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 07/26/2017
Previously played Used cart Hot weather Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

This is the toughest course that we play in the central VA area. It takes a course of this magnitude to make a 20 handicapper like myself appreciate the other courses that we play regularly. It has been several years since we played this one and yes it plays a whole lot easier from the member/quest tees than the longer tees but it is still almost impossible at times. we were all successful in hitting two digits with one in the eighties and yes we will be back. A really fun butt kicking.


Pace of Play: Average

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"The Layout Trumps All"


MizunoBen's avatar
Top 100 Contributor
Virginia Advisor
Age:  25-34
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  15-19

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 07/25/2017
Previously played Used cart Hot weather

Reviewed on

*This is an updated review. For more thoughts on this course, see my full review from 6/11/17*

Anyone who has spent this summer near Providence Forge, VA knows how dry it has been and perhaps this course has been affected more than any other. But if ever there was a course that could overcome a bad hand dealt by Mother Nature, this is it.

Royal New Kent is, afterall, a true links-style course, with rolling fairways, fescue-covered dunes and even gorse to hit into. So when a course like this goes brown and dry from the summer heat and drought, it merely adds to the raw, unpampered character of British links golf. To their credit, RNK management have continued to water the greens and at least the thin strip of grass between the tee box markers. Fairways and rough, and the rest of the tee boxes, however, have become hard, brown, and crispy.

I rather liked the playing conditions, though many may think it looks unappealing. The unique, creative, and still beautiful layout will distract many from the dryness and it’s best to just focus on hitting a good shot as this remains one of the toughest courses in the country.

The twilight Golf Now rate of $32 is still a great value and with the variety of the holes here, you can come back dozens of times and never grow bored of playing this gem.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course



"Keeps getting better"


Speedblade54's avatar
Top 10 Contributor
Virginia Advisor
Age:  55-64
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 07/24/2017
Previously played

Reviewed on

The more you play the more you appreciate. First couple times little confusing , trying to figure layout and target areas . Very unique and challenging. Elevation changes , doglegs and design takes getting used to, but the more you play the more you appreciate the layout and the different ways it can be played. Layout very unique to Richmond market and challenge will bring out your best shot making. Nice drive from Richmond market , but worth it for its original design. Enjoy the natural setting and course in very good conditon considering the heat . Links style course actually plays into the heat and dry conditions. Greens very good condition . Tee boxes little hard and fairways weak in spots, but overall very good and conditions add to the links design with plenty of roll. Makes other courses in the area seem easy. Layout really makes you think more about shot selection. Hope to play here more often to change things up.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Good


I recommend this course



Kevin7884321's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/25/2017
Previously played Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Poor


I recommend this course



oregan241's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/11/2017
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

Challenging!! Course layout is very unique. Fairways and greens were in very good shape. We had a great day of golf. Great course for the money.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good


I recommend this course


"Rise To The Challenge"


MizunoBen's avatar
Top 100 Contributor
Virginia Advisor
Age:  25-34
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  15-19

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/11/2017
First time playing Used cart Hot weather Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

This golf course is ranked #9 in the nation in course difficulty and it doesn’t take more than the first hole or two to understand why. From drastic elevation changes to uneven lies, blind tee/approach shots, a plethora of bunkers, and thigh-high fescue just feet from the fairway, this course will challenge you from start to finish.

That said, those features which make Royal New Kent such a hard course are also what make it so beautiful and awe-inspiring. I’ve played many courses claiming to be “links style”, but this one truly is. The design not only is incredibly attractive but also wills you to be good enough with your game to truly enjoy the landscape. The fairways appear to be scooped out of the hills of tall grasses, with many of the greens nestled away in corners making it tough to hit both in regulation. There are exquisitely shaped pot bunkers framing many of the raised greens, giant mounds on nearly every hole, and even gorse-like bushes sprinkled throughout. From 1st tee to 18th green, this is the most picturesque course I’ve ever played.

Such a fantastic layout demands equally fantastic course conditions, but the course fell a bit short during my round. Hard, dry tee boxes, weeds mixing in with fairway grass, different sand in different bunkers, and bouncy greens from heavy use and a lingering signs of aerification were all minor annoyances, but given the rack rate I would have expected near-immaculate conditions. Perhaps it was just the fact that I arrived late on a hot Sunday.

The staff was very friendly and accommodating for my visit and the course has both putting and chipping greens (plus driving range) for practice players. The gas carts come in handy on some steep inclines and there are signs in the carts giving first-timers tips for having an enjoyable (if not quick) round.

Ah yes, the always thorny issue of pace of play! Look, we all complain about it at any heavily booked course and in full disclosure: I didn’t see another soul on the course during my round, never mind being held up by anyone. But I’ve never seen a course less conducive to a reasonable pace of play. Limited access fairways, cart-path-only par 4s, long distances between holes, cart paths that double-back several hundred feet, even a par-3 12th that is tucked away off in the corner of a housing development. Add to this the aforementioned blind shots and fescue that swallows every ball you hit into it and you have the perfect recipe for a 5.5-hour round. I played on my own and was chasing daylight and still needed 3 hours to finish. Ye be warned!

In all, I do recommend everyone give this course a try, especially if you can luck out like I did and have the place to yourself (and have a dozen balls you don’t mind losing), you will truly enjoying this golfing experience. It really is like no other in Virginia.


Pace of Play: Average

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course



Commented on 07/17/2017

Hey Brandon, thanks so much for the share! Sorry for the delay, I just got my social accounts up and running: @MizunoBen and mizunoben on IG.


Commented on 06/13/2017

Thanks for posting. We'll share on social. Are you on IG or Twitter?



u996293224's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/11/2017
Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on


Pace of Play: Average

Course Layout: Fair

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good


I recommend this course



Eric4647645's avatar
Age:  35-44
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a week

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 04/11/2017
Previously played

Reviewed on

I play here often. Most recently, I played first and alone on a Tuesday morning, and it still took me three hours to play (more on that below). The fairways are mostly Bermuda, so given the season the fairways were dormant, but still in very good shape, considering. The greens were running a little slow, as I believe they had recently punched with small tines without over-seed. The tiny holes in the greens barely impacted the roll, if at all.

As most reviews will mention, this is a difficult course. It's also impossible for a foursome to play in 4 hours because of the way the cart paths are routed, factor time into your decision to play here. However, it's an outstanding course. When it opened back in the 90's it was rated on the list of America's Top 100 golf courses (it was #86 on the list) and given the honor of "Best New Upscale Public". Conditioning through the 2000's is the reason it fell out of the rankings. However, the past few years the conditioning has improved and, in my opinion, this place deserves more attention from the magazines for inclusion into the rankings lists simply based on how much fun it is to play.

Bottom line here: If you're in a hurry, play somewhere else. If you're easily frustrated by difficult terrain, or haven't honed your golf skills yet, play somewhere else. If you gasp at the sight of a few washed out bunkers, play somewhere else. If you want to play a severely underrated and unique course, PLAY HERE.


Pace of Play: Fair

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Average


I recommend this course


"Bite the bullet"


niceguyeddy's avatar
Age:  45-54
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  15-19

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 10/22/2016
Previously played Used cart Played 18 holes Fair weather

Reviewed on

This course is a must play.....but go out and enjoy the scenery and appreciate the difficulty of the course.....I scored poorly, but really enjoyed myself, which is a nice experience. I actually played well, but the wind was blowing 30 mph and the course itself is a brute. We do enjoy great variety in the area, and this course is very unique.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"What a Difference A Year Can Make..."


VirginiaF1's avatar
Age:  45-54
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a month

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 10/19/2016
Previously played

Reviewed on

It is without question, the most dynamic course design in Virginia. While I haven't played Mike Strantz' Tobacco Road, nearby Stonehouse is equally unique.

RNK's Tee-to-Green conditions remain very good and at no point were we disappointed.

That said, we fortunately avoided all bunkers as the sand in many of them was rather thin and hard-packed.

Greens were in beautiful shape, rolled true but were of only medium speeds.

For $39 on a Wednesday, we played 18 with cart, hit excellent range balls and were treated to a hearty sandwich & a cold Vienna Lager at the turn! Unbeatable Deal!

Why don't more courses offer these daily packages?

Clearly, Golf has waned since Tiger's zenith and we thinning remaining players have to feel appreciated more.

Traditional Clubs did a great job of this..!

As far as suggestions, we felt:

- the bunkers should be re-raked at noon each day so as to match the premium up-market feel of the course design. [see Player Appreciation]

- the 20 year-old cart paths need significant repair on at least 4 holes. [see Player Appreciation]

- the driving range flags and yard markers are due a refresh. Painting in a "fairway" and a "green" at 150y would be of great help too. [see Player Appreciation]

- EVERY water jug should be checked mid-day as we played in 89F mid-October.

2 jugs were EMPTY by 2pm.

[again, see Player Appreciation]

In summary, combining an amazing design, good conditions and a friendly supportive staff equal the best value in Virginia Golf.

Here's to Another 20 Years of RNK!!


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"Challenging and fun"


Speedblade54's avatar
Top 10 Contributor
Virginia Advisor
Age:  55-64
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 10/10/2016
Previously played Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

Definitely not your typical course. Every hole a a challenge and unique. Not a grip it and rip it course. Have to know your limitations here and when to challenge . Makes for a very interesting round , but yes bring plenty of balls. Beautiful, natural course that is in very good condition.. Pay close attention to yard markers, 200 -150 -100 poles throughout. Follow there lead until played a few times and know when to challenge.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course




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