The first golf hole is a robust opening hole that doglegs slightly to the left. With fairway bunkers positioned on either side of the landing area, an accurate and well struck tee ball is required for a sincere chance at par or better. Once in the landing area, your second shot will be uphill to a plateaued green that is protected by a front flanking bunker. Right of the green is the only place to miss as the left side introduces a false fronted approach that will test every ounce of your short game. Aside from its technical difficulty, the first golf hole at The Federal Club provides some of the finest views you will encounter.
The second golf hole is a straight-on par three. However, the daily pin position can take this hole from a gimme par to a hard fought bogey. The greenside trap on the right side is cavernous and if the pin is on the back right portion of the green, you may feel like it is Sunday at Augusta. The second hole has everything a par three should have: risk; reward and beauty.
The Third golf hole provides one of our best, “stop and enjoy the scenery” tee complexes. Tucked neatly in a thin grove of hardwoods, you will feel like you are sending your drive through a chute. The fairway is protected by three fairway bunkers and is fronted by a marshy, wetland. The approach shot here is most enjoyable as the green is bunkered on all sides, but is hollowed through the middle so that any shot reaching the green nestles in the center.
The fourth hole is a no-frills, test of golf. Straightway, long and unassuming, this par four boasts only three sand traps. The fairway bunker running down the right side can be easily avoided as there is spacious landing area well to the left. You will want to take an extra club on the approach shot because the prevailing wind and elevated green creates a longer than expected second swing. Make sure you look to all sides while putting out on the green because the fourth hole allows for beautiful views of numbers 5, 6, 7, and 8.
The fifth hole may be the best par three on the property. With a plateaued green, native grasses flanking each side and well sculpted greenside bunkers, number five satisfies the desire for beauty, challenge and playability. Although a nice test to reach the green, once there, you will find a spacious and subtly undulating surface. An excellent opportunity to collect a birdie for the card.
Most of our members and guests refer to the sixth hole as “monster.” Stretching out to over 480 yards from the championship tee, this par four requires a mammoth tee ball to be in a good position for the approach. Once staring down the pin on number 6, you will encounter a sprawling greenside trap that flanks the entire front edge of the green. Bailing right or left is an option as the expansive approach area allows for either. Making a five here is fine, especially with our seventh hole on deck.
If there is a birdie stretch on the outward nine, here we go. Number 7 is a lengthy par five, but has a generous landing area perfectly designed for two aggressive swings. Hit the first two well, and you’re staring down birdie from inside of 100 yards. Traditionally one of our purest greens, there is nothing gimmicky about the putting on seven. Read it, drain it and move on.
The eighth hole was designed with match play in mind. At just over 300 yards from the pro tee, the eight hole begs for a decision. Go for the green and risk the plight of a heavily bunkered green complex, or catch a ride on our prevailing wind and drive your way to an eagle putt. If you are not already 2 down in the match, use a hybrid to lay-up and hit wedge on. There are no bad decisions on the eighth tee, only bad execution.
The ninth hole reminds us why we love the game of golf. Another decision craving golf hole asks you to either carve a fade over the fairway traps on the right or lay-up short with a 3-wood. On most days, this picturesque par-five is a three shot hole so put the driver away and play smart. Once inside of 100 yards, the ninth green is protected by a pond along its right side. When evaluating your birdie opportunity, make sure to check the pin location as this two-tiered green can be rather testy if the ball is played to the wrong level. Birdie, par or bogey, the ninth hole is so beautiful that you can enjoy it no matter what goes on the card.
The tenth hole offers yet another opportunity for a birdie. This reachable par-five is bisected by a grassy creek bed that makes the second shot the premium swing here. Once on the upper landing area, you may feel like you’re watching the Master’s as the green complex was designed on the inspiration of Augusta’s number 8. With mounding on both sides, the approach area of number 10 provides some of the most unique wedge opportunities on the whole course.
Frame this one and move on. Surrounded by hardwoods and bunkers, this short 3 par requires a 9 iron and a camera. Although there is nothing breathtaking about the strategy involved, the scenery makes the hole. After making your putt, be sure to enjoy the wooded traverse that brings on the twelfth.
Continuing in the spirit of scenery, the 12th hole has it all. With a testy tee ball needed, this slightly uphill par 4 can be a dream hole or a nightmare. Running high on the ridgeline along the South Anna River, #12 is both beautiful and challenging. Hit it well off the tee and your wedging it to a red score. Otherwise, you are hitting a mid-iron to a plateaued green that offers no relief on any side.
As with the seventh, the thirteenth is full of birdies. Bust two good swings while avoiding the fairway trap on the left and your sand wedge is all that is left between you and birdie. Although a par five, number 13 is one of the more docile holes on the property.
This par three looks more difficult on a scorecard. Stretching out to 214 yards from the tips, you may think it’s too long for bird. To the contrary, the downhill green complex shaves a club off of the tee ball and the inward slanting approach feeds balls to the pins. Hit it straight and at the flag and you’re making a 3 at the worst.
The opposite of 14, the fifteenth hole reads like a short four and plays like a long five. With an uphill fairway and plateaued green, do not let the scorecard lull you on this one. Hit it hard and straight and your left with a soft wedge. Miss it off the tee and your negotiating a greenside trap on the right side and a steeply rolling approach on the left. As with so many other holes, be sure to enjoy the view of the 16th to your left and the fairway looking back from the green.
The sixteenth hole welcomes you on the drive to the clubhouse and welcomes birdies while you’re playing the course. With an expansive fairway, it’s actually a penalty not to swing away here. Avoid the sprawling fairway traps in the center of the second landing zone and 90 yards will be all that’s left. With one of the gentler surfaces on the course, reading putts on 16 is child’s play.
The seventeenth hole should be named “Architects Revenge.” Into a prevailing wind. Uphill. Three-tiered, shallow green. Bunkers on the front and back. That’s it. Swing away, but we don’t recommend that you press the bet here. That can be done on the eighteenth tee.
With everything that the 17th tries to take away, our finishing hole tries to give back. Once you’re through examining the tee shot, rest easy knowing that you can hit it down either side of this split fairway. Once facing the green, realize that left is good. With a lake flanking three sides of the green, the pin position will determine whether you’re finishing with a birdie or staying dry for par. The green reflecting in the surrounding water will be the first thing inviting you back.