I played this course this past week, 7/2011. The price is appealing, $25 for walkers. However, that is the only appealing aspect to this course.
Gunpowder tries to replicate a Scottish style course with many hills and turns. The greens are extremely technical with sloping edges. This is a great concept for a course except that Scotland receives ample rain and has grass on their courses. With little to no irrigation, the greens and fairways are barren. A 200 yard drive becomes 250 as the ball bounces of the fairway, as if it's the beltway, and continues out of bounds never to be seen again. The sloping greens become so fast a great chip shot becomes another chip and another chip due to the ball rolling off the green every time. On two holes we gave up due the the fact that not one of the foursome could keep our ball on the green. This course turns great shots into frustrating failures. Even at $25 a round, the course conditions make this a rip off.
The best value for your dollar in the DC area. Many walkers do not allow faster cart players to play through. Hole 16 (signature) always a pleasure to play. Love to shoot this course, but would like to see a few small improvements like the irrigation on center of greens removed.
The course really is a good bargain. It rates well against some regional courses like Needwood. My only serious gripe is a desperate lack of yardage markers. You'll find yourself doing a lot of hunting for those.
The pro is a super nice guy. My buddy asked about testing some used Ping G15's sometime and the pro let him take the clubs out on our very first round of the season.
The course is VERY hilly. Be prepared to do some climbing if you're a walker. You'll be doing a lot of it.
I am a beginner, and this is only the second course I have played, and it is the first and only full 18 hole course. (Thus far.)
The price was great. The staff and customers very friendly and welcoming to this new and unskilled player, and the course was challenging to me, giving me a lot to think about during my next trips to the driving range.
The grass on some of the tees was thin, the fairways were a bit bumpy and rough, while the greens were a lot better than I expected from a municipal course. Not what I'd expect from a country club course, but then this was far below country club priced. In my mind it's a great value.
There were several holes demanding fairly precise drives, at least to my beginners eyes. Maybe half the holes are back in some hilly woods, and those woods devour slices and hooks. Either it's slope rating should be higher, or I should beware of going to other courses for a while.
On the other hand, many holes had wide fairways, providing a fair chance to recover from an errant drive. So while I found the holes in the woods frustrating, the more open holes allowed me to build confidence. Good mix, imo.
It's also quite hilly in places, with some very steep slopes. I suspect players with limited mobility mightput a few balls into locations they can't reach. On the other hand, walking the course carrying a bag of clubs felt like a fair workout for those who escew carts.
All in all, I found it to be a fun course, with a great price, providing, to my mind, an excellent value. I've already returned to it once, and I plan on many visits in the future.
Okay this basic course deserves a basic review. I'll run down a list of pros and cons so the fellow golfer can make an educated decision on dropping money @ Gunpowder or not.
I am an experienced golfer who has played a wide variety of courses in the DC area and beyond.
- Cheap, at 20 bucks for 18 holes on weekends.
- Fairly well maintained greens
- Starter is a jerk who demeans first time visitors and tries desperately to slang overpriced golf carts.
- Course was ravaged by storms and has evolved into a horrifically topographic nightmare to navigate.
- Majority of holes have extremely elevated fairways and greens.
- Woods and tee boxes are not maintained.
- Back 9 looks and plays like a construction site in the Sahara Desert.
- Random, broken-down farm machinery riddles the land.
- Paths between holes are dangerous to navigate.
- Club house is a wreck, like something out of a Rob Zombie movie.
- Course signage is rusted, not present, or sharpie on an old street sign(??)
- Overall, Gunpowder clearly shows that the owners will let the place dilapidate into a once-was.
My friends and I will not be returning to this run-down course.