Editors' pick

Greendale Golf Course

Golf Course
This course offers some pleasant challenges in a convenient location.
(Franconia/Springfield)
$30 Monday-Thursday, $37 Friday-Sunday. Cart rental: 18.
703-971-3788,703-971-6170
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Editorial Review

Greendale provides about what you'd expect from a municipal golf course: The tees and fairways can get a little gnarly, the greens play fairly slow and the clubhouse is little more than a snack bar, pro shop and locker room. But what it lacks in style Greendale makes up for with a layout that is more than your standard up-and-back, offering plenty of doglegs and water hazards that will test you.

After a relatively easy first five holes, things pick up at the sixth, a 158-yard par 3 over water with an undulating green. Hole No. 7 is a classic risk-and-reward hole, a par 5 with water to the right that will swallow any hard slice (or hook if you're a lefty) and a stream that cuts across the fairway closer to the green, forcing you to decide if you want to lay up or try for an eagle putt.

The back nine starts and ends with two beautiful holes. The 10th is a sharp dogleg left par 4, with woods to the right and a massive pond along the fairway to the left. The 18th is a terrific finisher, a downhill 513-yard par 5 that bends left through tight trees and opens to a pond that can swallow errant approaches.

All told, there are eight holes where water becomes a factor. If you avoid trouble on those, you can score well. My golfing buddy Pat, who usually shoots in the 90s, carded a 75 (there it is, Pat, in print). So while Greendale may not be flashy, it offers more than enough to make for an enjoyable round.

-- Brandon Weigel (June 15, 2012)