Hole #1 - Par 4
No. 1 is a great starting hole. The fairway falls away from the
clubhouse toward a lake, then turns to run parallel to the lakeshore.
Long hitters could hit through the fairway and find the lake, but a
careful bend of the shot will shorten the hole considerably. Trees and
two traps guard the corner of the dogleg, but the green has no close
Hole #2 - Par 3
A short but challenging hole, No. 2 requires the tee shot to carry the lake. The green is sloped; a putt from above the hole is going to be fast.
Hole #3 - Par 4
No. 3 runs between a lake on the left and OB on the right, but both are
far enough off the fairway that a tee shot should not be affected. The
best shot is to the right side of the fairway for a direct shot at the
green. A small pond and a copse of trees on the left hides the green
from the left side. Two bunkers guard the approach.
Hole #4 - Par 5
This long, uphill par 5 rewards long hitters. From the tee, the fairway
ends slightly to the left. At the green, the fairway makes a more
obvious jog to the left with a bunker on the right. A long bunker lays
behind small swails on the left of the fairway near the top, while the
right side is out of bounds only a few yards past the cart path.
Hole #5 - Par 4
No. 5 is a par 4 with trouble on the right -- specifically a fenceline
with woods and private property on the other side. The landing area is a
plateau that's only slightly lower that the tees, but the hole then
runs downhill to a lima bean-shaped green with a bunker on the left.
Hole #6 - Par 4
No. 6 is a par 4 that requires a straight tee shot. A draw or fade is
fine, but there is a pond on the left and a fence on the right, so a
hook or slice will be in trouble. The fairway pinches on approach to the
green from the right side. An approach from the right has a better
angle. From the left side of the fairway, an approach must take a bunker
Hole #7 - Par 3
One of the signature holes at London Downs, this beautiful par 3
challenges the golfer in several ways. Obviously, hitting over water
adds an element of trepidation. The green is guarded by two bunkers,
plus it's sloped toward the pond so putting from above the hole is a
challenge. When you're playing this, be sure to take a picture.
Hole #8 - Par 5
No. 8 is a long par 5 that uses nature as a hazard. The tees are set
back in the trees creating a chute that aims at the fairway. There is a
slope on the right that can prevent a tee shot right from making the
woods. The first landing area is between large trees, but the last 280
yards of the fairway is open. There are no bunkers, but ponds are on the
right, including a large one that cozies up to the right side of the
green. Staying left on this hole is a better option.
Hole #9 - Par 4
Climbing the hill back to the clubhouse, No.9 is a par 4 that bends to
the left. From the tees the fairway looks exceptionally wide, but the
area to the right of the cart path is a broad swath of rough. Stay
between the large trees on the left and the two small trees on the
right. The approach shot will be from below the green. There is a bunker
on the front left of the green and another behind it.
Hole #10 - Par 4
The beauty of the Bedford County setting is on display on No. 10. From
the tees, look at the Peaks of Otter in the distance as the fairway
drops away and the Blue Ridge is visible. The hole is a dogleg right, so
the hole can be shortened by a shot that bends that way. Trees guard the
corner and a pond will come into play if the ball is hit through the
fairway. There are three bunkers near this green, two on the right and
one on the left.
Hole #11 - Par 5
No. 11 is a sweeping par 5 that favors a player who can bend the ball to
the left. A local rule has out of bounds stakes between the tenth and
eleventh holes to prevent players from straightening out the hole by
cutting through No. 10. Still, keeping the ball left but in the fairway
is the best play. Beginning in the first landing area the fairway rises
in elevation. The green sits on the left at the top of the fairway. It's
guarded by four bunkers in front and the trees close behind.
Hole #12 - Par 3
The advice on this hole has long been "aim between the trees, like it's a
field goal." No. 12 is the only par 3 on the course that doesn't
involve a tee shot over water. It's simple, but the three greenside
bunkers still make an accurate shot valuable.
Hole #13 - Par 4
Don't look at the yardage and think this hole is easy because it's
short. No. 13 is a par 4 that has a challenge or two. Accuracy is
paramount. There is a boundary on the left and trees on the right, so a
wayward tee shot can mean trouble. The best landing area is hidden below
the crest of he hill, so scout ahead to make sure a group in front is
gone. The green has a bunker on each side, but the front is open. A
picturesque pond sits behind the green, however, so going long is not an
Hole #14 - Par 5
This long par 5 has a subtle 'S' shape. A long tee shot needs to be bent
to the left. There is a pond along the right side of the fairway after
the first bend. The second shot is straight to the second landing area,
then the hole turns back to the right at close approach to the green.
The only bunker is on the corner of the fairway, about 50 yards from the
Hole #15 - Par 3
This iconic par 3 is the signature hole at London Downs. No. 15 is
short, even by par 3 standards, but the island green makes it
challenging as well as beautiful.
Hole #16 - Par 4
No. 16 is a long par 4 that's nearly straight. The green is always in
sight, but so too is the fence close by on the left that serves as the
boundary of the course. Fairway bunkers penalize tee shots that miss the
fairway, while three bunkers near the green will collect short, wayward
Hole #17 - Par 4
The second of three par 4s to finish, No 17 has a slight bend to the
left. It's important not to hit the approach too long; just behind the
green are backyards and houses which are, obviously, out of bounds. The
only greenside bunker is on the back left, so the front is unguarded.
This hole plays better from the right side of the fairway.
Hole #18 - Par 4
A great finishing hole, No. 18 offers a risk/reward. The dogleg can be
cut by big hitters, but the woods along the right side of the fairway
are thick and a shot that doesn't make the turn could easily be lost.
Once the fairway turns right toward the green, it dips and rises. A
greenside bunker on the right is well below the level of the hole.