Editors' pick

Penderbrook Golf Club

Golf Course
One of three area golf courses managed by Arnold Palmer's group.
Dawn to dusk
(Fairfax City)
$34-$54 Monday-Thursday, $34-$59 Friday, $34-$69 Saturday-Sunday.
703-385-3700
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Editorial Review

One of three area courses operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management, Penderbrook is fairly short but also tricky. Tucked in the woods of Fairfax near Route 50 and Interstate 66, the course has seven holes with water hazards and more than 60 bunkers to trip you up as you work your way through the tree-lined layout.

But with many short par 4s -- we're talking just a shade more than 300 yards from the white tees, if that -- you can card a low score if you stay out of trouble. Easier said than done, especially during the eighth-, ninth- and 10th-hole stretch. Your drive and approach on the eighth must contend with a huge pond to the left of the fairway and in front of the green, and you have to go back over the same pond on the drive from the ninth hole, an uphill par 4. The 10th is especially brutal - a 200-yard par 3 (that's PGA distance!) back over water.

The course throws consecutive water hazards at you again on holes 12, a sharp dogleg left that requires an accurate tee shot, and 13, a 135-yard par 3 from the whites. Stay dry through these holes and you should be able to score well.

There's no driving range, but Penderbrook offers a full-scale pro shop and an eatery, Traditions Grill.

-- Brandon Weigel (June 15, 2012)