Trump National Golf Club
An Incredible Experience and a Beautiful Course!
I was invited to play a round at the River course here at Trump National.
The River course was definitely my favorite of the two courses in terms of the layout. Despite its name, the River course doesn’t actually have any holes that border the river. Instead, it offers a more diverse scenery and design (compliments to architect Arthur Hills, one of my favorites) than its sister course. Rather than a completely open layout, the River starts you out in the hills and trees, beautifully framed by flowering bushes and manicured creek beds. After several holes you join the floodplain shared by the Championship course but even here I found the River’s holes to have just a bit more character and required some extra thought for tee and approach shots alike.
This was particularly true of the par-5 8th hole which is likely the most controversial of the 36 on property. With two separate water hazards threatening your layup and/or approach shots, playing safe isn’t actually that easy to do (as I found out). The last two holes finish up in the woods, though the 18th isn’t as grand a display as its counterpart over at the Championship course.
As with the other course here, the conditions of the River course were impressively excellent. Northern Virginia’s summer weather has been an utter disaster for many public courses in the area without the resources to combat the prolonged periods of flooding rain and sweltering heat. Looking at these courses though, you’d have thought it was 80 degrees everyday with a light shower each night. Greens, fairways, rough, bunkers, and tee boxes are all kept in immaculate condition, very green, very even, and very smooth. The thick rough will grab your club, making finding the fairways and greens extra important.
The greens are pretty quick (rolling about a 10) but with just the right amount of slope and undulation and the bunkers are predictable to hit out of. I recommend a forecaddie or yardage book as many of the golf apps don’t have the updated routing.
The facilities here are world-class with an absolutely massive locker room inside the opulent clubhouse. The practice area has a grass range, chipping/pitching green, and putting green that would be the envy of most public courses. The food served in the restaurant downstairs was excellent and all members of the staff exceedingly professional. I really enjoyed my round playing here and if you ever get an opportunity to do the same, don’t pass it up!