Virginia Golfers Can Find Plenty to Love in Bedford County

By Cary Estes on May 9, 2011 at 4:27 pm EST


The official slogan might claim that Virginia is for lovers, but the state is also for golfers. That is evident in Bedford County, which offers a variety of courses for all levels of play, with beautiful scenery thrown in for no extra charge.

One of the toughest golf tests in the area can be found at Ivy Hill Golf Club in Forest. The course, which opened in 1971, measures 7,047 yards from the back tees, and can seem even longer because of the hilly terrain. The surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains are lovely to look at, but golfers can't afford to be overly distracted by the scenery because the Ivy Hill layout requires precision shot making.

The views are similar at nearby London Downs Golf Club. That's obvious on the first tee, which faces the Peaks of Otter Mountains. London Downs opened in 1991 and comes in at just under 7,000 yards from the back tees. There are two lakes and 10 smaller ponds scattered throughout the course, and the terrain is hilly. The club offers a variety of special rates, including a January/February winter special of unlimited golf for less than $30 per day.

The city of Forest also is home to Colonial Hills Golf Club. The 6,318-yard course opened in 1962, making it one of the older courses in the area. While it has some challenging holes, it is considered a manageable test of golf overall, with only four water hazards and two dozen sand bunkers. And like the other courses, the panoramic views are spectacular.

Mariners Landing in Huddleston is a lake resort that includes a 7,155-yard Robert Trent Jones-designed course. It has been named one of the best places to play by Golf Digest magazine. Several of the fairways are narrow, and some of the approach shots can be extremely challenging. The private Bedford Country Club in the city of Bedford has a nine-hole course that dates to 1949. The fairways are tight and the greens are small, placing a premium on accurate shots. The Poplar Forest Golf Course in Forest is a public nine-hole course that has been around since 1981.

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