Sycamore Creek Golf Course
|Red (W)||70||4431 yards||64.6||111|
|Blue M: 70.0/130||386||373||393||152||502||416||396||203||379||3200||434||215||374||293||540||159||379||169||506||3069||6269|
|White M: 67.0/122 W: 71.8/128||340||354||368||115||484||389||356||175||350||2931||410||168||337||260||495||134||349||127||490||2770||5701|
|Yellow M: 64.5/116 W: 68.7/120||318||299||335||103||431||323||346||149||320||2624||378||128||309||255||475||118||307||117||438||2525||5149|
|Red W: 64.6/111||282||260||240||96||409||277||290||116||293||2263||345||116||241||215||426||97||275||91||362||2168||4431|
Great Design, Greens Need Work
I have played this course a couple times now, and the design is great. Both the front and back start with wide-open downhill shots but then offer some more narrow fairways and over-water shots. Only negative is some of the greens could use some improvement but they are playable. The summer twilight deal is a great value.
Poor Green Maintenance
I've played Sycamore Creek a couple times a few years ago, and the course was always in decent shape. It was really good value for the relatively cheap cost to play there. However, playing this past weekend was very disappointing. The fairways were mostly okay, with some patches. Roughs weren't especially challenging. However, the greens were in terrible shape. The were patches with no grass and sprouts of crab grass littered across the greens. This made putting a major challenge as the ball would bounce unpredictably. I'll say that this was especially bad on the front nine and the back nine was better (but still not great).
I was also disappointed by the pace of the course. We had a 8:11am tee time and teed off about 20 minutes late. We had to wait at nearly every tee box for a couple of minutes to take our next shot and we didn't finish until around 1pm (4 hours and 50 minutes from our scheduled tee time). For a par 70 course that's especially disappointing.
Maybe I'll try this course again in a year. Hopefully they can get their conditions back to what they used to be.
A Good Layout In Need Of Good Conditions
To say that Sycamore Creek Golf Course needs some TLC and better upkeep is not an uncommon complaint among municipal-level golf courses these days. The majority of the ones I’ve played the past couple of years have been wanting for additional maintenance. But some improvements here could make a huge difference because this course has more than a few things going for it.
To start with, the layout here is really good. Generous fairways for most players and though it’s a relatively short track (6200 from the tips), it brings a good challenge with creative approach angles, just enough bunkers and water hazards, and some tasteful tiering on the greens. Speaking of the putting surface, this is the one area of conditioning that shines at Sycamore. The speed is just right, not too fast but fast enough and very smooth too. Bunkers are well placed too and were also in very good shape.
The rest of the course’s conditioning is inconsistent. It’s still early in the season so it’s difficult to judge the fairways but some showed really well, others not so much. Rough was generally quite clumpy but the worst aspect was the cart paths which are really starting to fall apart and many of the bridges and other wooden features were difficult to navigate comfortably due to rot. Tee boxes were just ok. One nice touch is the fresh mulch that’s been laid down on your path from cart to green.
The staff had their hands full with probably the busiest day of the year so far and were doing a good job of trying to get everyone matched up and keep things moving. One curious move was that a single was allowed to tee of on #10 right in between our group and the one we had been tailing for the first 9, but as there were 3 in our group, the single joined up with us and it didn’t really impact our round.
I did partake of some lunch food and the service was friendly and very prompt with decent prices from the menu I saw but it’s just your basic fare, nothing fancy here and that extends to the practice facilities which are fine. I didn’t give the course high marks for value since it’s technically still pre-season and $40 for 18 riding on a Thursday seemed just a tad high. The walking discount here is only $5, so that doesn’t really help.
With either better conditions or a lower walking rate, I would consider playing this course more often even though it’s a good 30 minutes from me. As it is, I’ll give it another try in a few months but I’m not counting down the days.
One of the better public courses in the area
I have always liked Sycamore. it is maintained decently well year round and it is a good challenge from the back tees. There are a few pros and cons that I would like to go over in this review.
Unique design: Sycamore's design is really interesting especially on the back nine, although the front has its moments. The fifth hole is one of the tougher driving holes on the course. It is very narrow and the fairway is guarded by a hazard on the left side and OB and a fairway bunker on the right. In addition, the fairway runs out at about 300 yards. The green is large and gives the superintendent options for tough pin placements. The back nine features one of the better finishes in Richmond. The fourteenth hole is a long par five (550 yards) that is straight uphill. The fairway is guarded by four bunkers and several trees on the left that could effect errant drives. The approach to the green could be semi-blind, depending on where you are and it is elevated and guarded by a bunker or two. The fifteenth is a short (150 yards) and severely downhill (30 feet give or take a few) par three.The green is shallow and is guarded by a false front and several bunkers in the back. The sixteenth hole might be the toughest on the course. It has a semi-blind tee shot and then an approach shot that is straight downhill to an extremely shallow green guarded by trees, a bunker, and a water hazard. The seventeenth is a tough hole if you play from the back tees which are elevated. From the blue tees, it's about 175 yards to a green that is elevated and guarded by hazards on all sides. It is one of the toughest shots on the course. The eighteenth is par five and a funky finishing hole. It seems reachable at first, but it is a sharp dogleg right with a green guarded by water and several bunkers. The tee shot is to an elevated surface with a minor carry over wetlands. Anything on the right side of the fairway will require a strange slicing iron just to put yourself in position for your third shot. (I know this was a very long section, but it is a very interesting course).
Good Conditioning: The course is always in good condition year round. The bunkers are decent with ample sand and the fairways are always nice and crisp. The rough can be hit or miss sometimes, but it has gotten better over the years. The greens are starting to show some wear and tear with more and more ballmarks, but it is really not that bad. The greens are excruciatingly slow as many reviews will say, so hit your putts very firm.
A tad pricey: This is not a 53 dollar golf course (weekend, summer pricing), more like a 35-40 dollar course. The greens, as mentioned above aren't in nearly good enough shape for a course to be charging 50 dollars.
Practice Facilities: It has a half decent driving range with all grass tees (which is a plus), but a mediocre putting green that is riddled with ball marks lowers its value.
Customer Service: This is where the course takes a huge hit. There are some guys in there who are nice and know their prices, but several others who have no clue what their selling. One guy tried to charge me the weekend riding 18 hole rate when I was only walking nine. I had to show him the prices on the website and then he had to go get a manager because he didn't believe me, or was embarrassed.
Good course, that tends to be very busy on the weekends. Would recommend it if you are in town, enjoy the layout, but play it during the week when it tends to be less busy and cheaper.
This was my second time playing this course, I was very pleased. For this time of year, these were some of the best fairways (public) that I have played. Greens and tees were average, but fairways were very good. If you are going to walk this course, walk the BACK 9. The front 9 is a very difficult walk, especially between holes. The back is a hilly walk, but not nearly as long between holes. Course layout is pretty good, but nothing overly unique. Also has a great driving range, with all grass hitting area. Staff was happy to recommend other nearby courses (I just moved here).
Understand traps and some spots fairway , but real issues were on the tee boxes . Most very wet and hard to find good footing . Cart path only with carts and very understandable with all the mud. Of course saw at least two groups not really paying attention much to cart path only. Pace was good and nice layout . Had to start on back nine , must have been aerating some of the front nine fairways to help with drainage.. Not much of a clubhouse for a nineteeth hole , but so close to short pump plenty places to go .
Pace was good
Course is in very good condition and layout has some unique holes. Very close to Short Pump so very convenient to play. Greens are soft and does hold well, but as a result they are very slow . Pace here at times can be slow, but today even though nice crowd , pace was very good. Helps when have others out playing know how to maintain pace without making you feel rushed.
A great bang for your buck
Sycamore Creek is truly one of the best value golf courses in Virginia. It is always in good shape and has a neat layout that is about 6,300 yards from the tips. The greens are always very soft and slow, but the course is well manicured with strategically placed bunkers and wetlands. It does not have the best facilities with a putting green that allows chipping and a driving range, but it is very reasonably priced.
Very friendly layout with a good balance of easier, fair and challenging holes. Softest greens I have played in the area by far. Felt like I was throwing darts out there because all my shots in to the green were held nicely which makes for an enjoyable round. I played after work for their super twilight deal. The course was crowded with everyone trying to get in a full round in before dark. Based on the location of the course, the layout and good condition I would imagine the course stays pretty busy. I also agree with the previous posters. The course is very poorly marked which is frustrating. Also agree on the pitch marks. I probably fixed three or four pitch marks on every green.
Putting on pudding
This course has GREAT potential. Nice layout...some challenging narrow fairways, nice elevation changes, strategically placed (but not unfair) bunkers. Most definitely a nice course.
On the downside.....they need some marshals out to speed play up. The course is VERY cheap, an EXCELLENT value, so it attracts some "low time golfers". This is evidenced by the fact that apparently, no one repairs a ball mark. The course is well maintained, but if you play, do us all a favor, and repair two ballmarks including your own....
Will definitely play again.....the value is great, the people are nice, and the course if fun.
Love the course , not the time it too to play .
Ok the positives, course very good condition. Greens were excellent, nice layout that would be fun for all. Nice elevation changes , doglegs and little water make for fun challenging round. Staff were very personal and helpful. Ok now, please place few more markers for direction. If it wasn't for the constant slow play and just followed the foursome in front of us , we would be lost . Come through tunnel under road where sign says 9th hole this way before tunnel , come out and where do we go ? Finally found foursome ahead of us , which we got to know well. Their is the issue . Twosome riding and it took us 5 hours to play on a Thursday. Hit back up on third hole and were waiting all day. Got to tenth tee and one foursome on green , one in fairway and one waiting on tee box. Very windy day today and thouroughly enjoyed our round but 5 hours . Love to play again , but needs to be little less crowded. Waiting on every tee with other golfers waiting behind us, not easy to not feel rushed for 5 hours .