Virginia isn’t a state I’ve spent a lot of time in. I was there as a child on a family vacation but unfortunately, I haven’t been back since. From everything I hear however, the state is full of wonder that’s largely yet to be discovered like other places around the country. That includes some great golf.
We’ve already published a guide about the best golf courses in Virginia, but I’ve had some demand to learn more about courses in the northern part of the state.
So, I reached out to our readers who are knowledgeable about this region and they had plenty of insight.
Let’s take a look at the general consensus for the best public tracks.
Westfields Golf Club
Westfields Golf Club is located in the charming town of Clifton.
Designed by Fred Couples, this course fits seamlessly with the natural landscape. The course makes its way through wetlands, rolling hills, and forest of beech and oak trees. No houses border the Westfields either.
Even though this course might look intimidating at first glance, it’s more playable than it appears. That’s one of the reasons people love it so much.
If you’re looking for a round where you can be at one with nature, Westfields Golf Club is a great bet.
Raspberry Falls Golf and Hunt Club
Raspberry falls was designed by Gary Player. He built the course using nature to his advantage, not for it.
The course has received countless awards and accolades from the likes of Golf Digest, Golf Monthly, and the Washington Times.
When you play a round here, you’ll encounter tranquil streams, lush forests, jagged rock walls, and spanning vistas of the surrounding Catoctin Mountains. This is truly an experience unlike any other.
One feature that sets this course apart from others is the presence of deep Scottish-style pot bunkers. You’ll want to avoid these at all costs as extraction is difficult.
For a true Virginia golf experience in beautiful country, check out Raspberry Falls.
Potomac Shores Golf Club
Just a short 30-minute drive south of Washington D.C., you’ll find Potomac Shores Golf Club.
This is the only Nicklaus design open to the public in the northern part of the state.
The layout meanders through dense, hardwood forests and every hole sits on its own. You won’t feel rushed or crowded when you play here.
The majestic Potomac River can be seen from a number of holes.
Speaking of holes, the variety here is outstanding. Some are long, others short. Elevation changes throughout mandate proper club selection.
World-class golf awaits at this property you won’t want to miss.
Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club
Blue Ridge Shadows is the perfect mix between old and new design styles. On one hand the course has an intimate feel and subtle peculiarities. On the other hand, big features and plentiful hazards can be found throughout.
Target golf is the name of the game here. Landing areas are clearly defined on your full shots, and failure to hit it in the correct spot can lead to some big numbers.
Located in the iconic Shenandoah Valley, the views are spectacular too.
If you’re interested in playing more than one round, look into the stay and play packages. They’re reasonably priced and the accommodations are first-rate.
Bull Run Golf Club
If you’re a history buff, chances are you’ll find yourself in close proximity to Bull Run Golf Club at some point. The course is situated near a number of Civil War battle sites.
Open since 1998, the open layout occupies a substantial piece of land. The spread-out nature makes it a tough walk. Taking a cart is recommended.
Designed by Rick Jacobson, Bull Run is a stern test geared toward better players. From all the way back, you can expect your long clubs to get a workout.
If the pin locations are tucked (which they often are), the course plays that much harder.
Sound course management and consistent ball striking are needed to score well on this expertly maintained course.
Stonewall Golf Club
Stonewall Golf Club is set along the shores of Lake Manassas. This makes it one of the most picturesque courses in the whole state. That’s especially true if you play here during the fall when the leaves are changing. Bring your camera and your clubs.
Though most holes offer a view of the lake, their variety keeps the round interesting.
There’s plenty of opportunity for risk and reward though the emphasis is always keeping the ball in play.
Friendly service, scenic views, and a fun golf course make Stonewall Golf Club a must play.
1757 Golf Club
Players in Northern Virginia call 1757 Golf Club “Golf Heaven”. The course has been open to the public since 2009 and has received rave reviews.
This is a shot maker’s track that demands precision, not distance. Even though it’s short in length, the shot values are outstanding.
While the design is somewhat straightforward, subtle features and small greens keep your attention. If you miss it in the wrong spot, scores can add up quickly.
A memorable round of golf and proof that courses don’t have to be long to provide a solid test.
Reston National Golf Course
The infamous Ed Ault designed Reston National Golf Course which opened in 1970.
A classic parkland design, this is yet another ball striker’s paradise. Tree lined fairways and small, sloping greens ask for precision in order to score.
The layout features subtle changes in elevation and holes that move both directions and vary in length. You’ll hit every club in your bag during a round here.
Reston National is also certified as a Cooperative Sanctuary by Audubon International.
Classic golf at a fair price, Reston National is a fine choice.
Bristow Manor Golf Club
Bristow Manor is an iconic course that sits in the beautiful Northern Virginia countryside.
This links layout is a breath of fresh air in a state filled with plenty of parkland designs. The fairways are wide so let the big dog eat.
Zoysia fairways and bent grass greens are a treat to play from. Not a bad lie to be found anywhere.
Hole seven is sure to get your attention. A 467-yard par four, this hole is the course’s signature hole and considered one of the “Ten Toughest in Virginia”.
Don’t miss a chance to play this course that’s unlike most any other in Northern Virginia.
South Riding Golf Club
One of the best kept secrets in Northern Virginia is South Riding Golf Club.
Designed by Dan Maples and opened in 1997, South Riding is set amidst hardwood forests, rolling meadowlands, and a number of lakes and creeks.
Like many other courses in Virginia, accuracy trumps being able to hit a mile. The fairways are tight and greens small.
No matter your ability, you can play here. Multiple tee boxes allow you to find just the perfect length.
A favorite for both locals and visitors, South Riding is worth the trip.
The word hasn’t yet gotten out about golf in Northern Virginia. It doesn’t appear it’s going to take long though. There’s more than enough great golf in this part of the state to go around.
Chances are I’ll be heading this direction with my clubs in tow sometime in the near future. Will you be joining me?
Thanks to everyone that made this guide possible. With your continual thoughts and input, we’re able to churn out these guides and share information.
If we’ve missed something, leave a note in the comments.