Editors' pick

Goose Creek Golf Club

Golf Course
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Editorial Review

If you judge Goose Creek Golf Club by the company it keeps -- the course is practically a well-hit 3-wood's distance from the Golf Club at Landsdowne Resort and a handful of other Northern Virginia private courses and country clubs -- you'll be disappointed. But when it comes to value, it's hard to find a better deal than the charming 18-hole Leesburg course.

What Goose Creek lacks in off-course amenities (there's no driving range for pre-round practice swings) and on-course inventiveness (the back-and-forth layout contains few surprises), it makes up for in aesthetics: The fairways are impeccably kept and the greens play smooth and fast. The gas-powered carts add to the sense of history at the 60-year-old course; speaking of which, some old-timer by the name of Ben Hogan holds the course record of 59.

The layout is wide open, and you're more likely to find your errant tee shots on neighboring fairways than among the trees, which makes for a faster pace of play (and less time in the woods for the habitual slicers among us). "It was very forgiving," said Jordan Andrew, 28, of Washington, after playing the course for the first time. "If I had played like this on another course," he joked, "I probably would have shot 130."

-- Alex Baldinger (June 15, 2012)