Rick Jacobson's Augustine Golf Club, near Washington makes the grade of its namesake

By Mike Bailey, Senior Staff Writer

STAFFORD, Va. - Like most every piece of land in the Washington D.C. area, Augustine Golf Club can teach an American history lesson.

Augustine Golf Club - 10th Green
Flowers bloom behind the 10th green at Augustine Golf Club.
Augustine Golf Club - 10th GreenAugustine Golf Club - Hole 1Augustine Golf Club - Hole 6Augustine Golf Club - Hole 18
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Augustine Golf Club

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Carved from Stafford County's rolling, emerald green hills, Augustine Golf Club plays across a scenic landscape abundant with mature pines and hardwoods. The pristine white bunkers and the lush fairways contrast nicely with the trees.

18 Holes | Semi-Private golf course | Par: 71 | 6817 yards | Book online | ... details »

The golf course is named for George Washington's father, Augustine, who, as far as we know, didn't play golf but did once own the land where this semi-private golf club now sits.

Augustine Washington surely didn't envision a golf course on his property but probably wouldn't be too upset if he knew how it turned out. After all, he taught his son George that if you're going to do something, do it right, and the folks here did a pretty good job of giving golfers in Northern Virginia a solid test of golf.

Designed by former Jack Nicklaus associate Rick Jacobson, this 6,817-yard par 71 opened in 1995. Carved through rolling hills, this is straightforward golf. You can use the driver on pretty much any hole that's not a par 3; the trouble is right in front of you. And if you can hit it straight off the tee, you'll do just fine.

If you spray it, though, you're in for a long day, as much of the course is tree-lined and heavily forested.

Lots of solid holes at Augustine Golf Club

You get the idea the driver is going to be important from the very beginning at Augustine Golf Club. At 425 yards, the first hole beckons you off the tee with a split fairway. Wetlands divide it, so you have to choose a side and choose wisely.

Come in from the left, and it plays a little longer. Come in from the right, and you have to negotiate another hazard and bunker to get to the green.

Jacobson, who also designed Bull Run Country Club in Manassas, Va., doesn't exactly ease you into Augustine. The next hole is a killer with two water hazards to clear on both the tee shot and approach. The fairway is more like a peninsula with water short and left. And once you get there, you'll have a similar shot to a small, bunkered green.

While the course doesn't play overly long, even from the back tees, being able to move the driver out there surely has its advantages going into these smallish, undulating greens.

There are two par 4s - the second and 11th - that play more than 440 yards, and hitting the driver well will pay dividends on the par 5s, which for the most part are good birdie opportunities.

The last hole, a 501-yard par 5, sets up particularly well with a good drive. With plenty of fairway, the hole is imminently reachable in two, and while there is some risk at going for it in two, it's not great. The hole features a half dozen bunkers with three protecting the green but no water hazards, which encourages players who hit good drives to give it a go.

Augustine also features a nice variety of par 3s, with No. 6, at 195 yards, probably the most difficult. The tee shot calls for a long carry over water, which is also left of the green, protected by two bunkers.

The verdict on Augustine Golf Club

Billed as "the public's country club," the beauty of the land here is unmistakable, and Jacobson made good use of it.

On most of the tees, you can see the entire hole, including where the bunkers and hazards are. There really aren't any blind shots.

This is by no means an easy golf course. There is ample room to drive the ball, but if you're spraying the driver, you are in for a long day on these tree-lined fairways.

The greens complexes are large with plenty of undulation, and reading them is not easy. It's especially important to figure out what's going on around the hole and not get too wrapped up in the initial breaks.

Practice facilities are more than adequate. Rounds of golf, which run $58 to $76, come with a small bucket of warm-up balls. A practice putting and chipping green, as well as practice bunker, let you get a feel for the short game before your round. Lessons are also available from the professional staff.

I also recommend the clubhouse grill, and in particular, the chicken salad sandwich, which is made from scratch from fresh-roasted chicken.

Mike BaileyMike Bailey, Senior Staff Writer

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in the Houston area. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 20 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @Accidentlgolfer.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • It's back!

    Alcw wrote on: May 15, 2013

    The new ownership have restored this great course to it's old quality and conditioning. Worth the drive....although I 95 stinks!


  • Downhill

    Rogeranger wrote on: Apr 1, 2010

    If you want to see how the new management can completely screw up a once-fabulous course, you'll have to see Augustine Golf Club in Stafford, VA. The following problems are clearly evident:
    1. The golf staff are nice but they have no authority over anything. Apparently all decisions have to be made by the new owner but will not be honored
    2. Fantastic layout, however, has been ill-maintained for the past year or so - tee boxes have weeds, greens have weeds, no more flowers anywhere, fairways have become roughs
    3. All things point to the owner not willing to pay any more money since he's been sucked into this already
    4. Moreover, they gave out some cheap memberships and that's the only crowd they're getting these days.
    Don't waste your money here. Other course nearby are Forest Greens, Cannon Ridge, Gauntlet, Mattaponi Springs


    • RE: Downhill

      Alcw wrote on: May 15, 2013

      Thank goodness the same owners of Raspberry Falls now own this course and rescued it from the madness!


  • It was pathetic

    DC golfer wrote on: Sep 12, 2009

    They dont care if you dont like it. From the start it was pathetic, no paper towels in bath room--and they knew when I mentioned it, expired gatorade, day old hot dog, crappy range balls, indifferent to slow play, no fertilizer, dead tee boxes bumpy greens. Damn same, I played there 3 years ago and loved it. I will never play there again!


  • Riiiiiiiiight

    Todd wrote on: Jul 16, 2009

    Is the author of this article being paid by Augustine? Or did he just read about it and then act like he played there? All he talks about is the layout, but nothing about the course. The fairways should be called "poorways". There is hardly any grass on any of them. Well, besides crabgrass that is. The greens look like a 16 year old boy's face, pockmarked beyond belief. They are bumpy and patchy, with deadspots and weeds. I'm talking actual weeds sticking up out of the greens. There is no distinction between the fairway and the rough. They are both brown and weed-infested. There are about three traps on the course with white sand. The rest constitute a long-abandoned renovation attempt and are either mud or solid rock. I mean that literally. The teeboxes are either unmowed or covered in divots. The driving range is horrible. They give you a whopping 10 or 12 range balls, most of which are chipped, cut, or completely bald of dimples. You have to hit off of mats, 90% of which have no tees. The ones that do, the tees are 6 inches high, it's like playing tee-ball. You won't play in less than 6 hours because the course is filled with hacks and non-english speakers who have no etiquette and/or don't feel any sense of urgency. It once took me three hours to play 7 holes. I left. This course, once a thing of beauty, has become a complete disaster. But hey, at least they have new carts. If you are coming to Stafford, pass the exit for Augustine and go to Cannon Ridge. Or, I never thought I would say this, go to Forest Green. They are both in beautiful condition.


  • Agustine

    Rob wrote on: May 26, 2009

    One word... DISAPPOINTMENT!!!! after reading the reviews and checking out the pictures on this site myself and 3 friends decided to take our foursome to this so called " the publics country club". Its a far cry from that. With several types of grasses in the fairways, uncut T-boxes, rocks in the bunkers, greens that are no better than a putt putt course that been around for 50 years and never been redone. At an asking price of some $80. Save your money!


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