Time to get out the golf clubs for another year on the links

By Duncan Nixon

There once were two eighteen-hole golf courses in Fluvanna County, but now the Lake Monticello course is the only game in town. Luckily, it is a good game. The course is challenging but fair and there are multiple tees for players of both sexes and all abilities. Nowadays all men and all women are not expected to tee off from the same tee box, whether they are scratch golfers or duffers. The Lake course is managed by Troon Golf a huge entity with hundreds of courses under management in the U.S. and around the world. The golf pro, Mark Marshall, and the course supervisor, Jim Prucnal, are both experienced and outstanding at what they do. 

Regulars at the Lake Monticello course who have yearlong contracts should be aware that their 2023-24 contracts expire at the end of February, so they will need re-up for the year starting on March 1. The course has many greens fee membership options. Many regulars sign up for men’s Gray Foxes or the comparable women’s groups. The men’s Gray (50 years and over) Foxes play on Tuesday morning in nine-hole competitions and on Thursday mornings in 18-hole competitions. The women’s groups (no age limits) play eighteen-holes on Tuesday mornings and nine-holes on Friday mornings. There are also Monday and Wednesday evening leagues that tee off at 4 p.m. for nine-hole competitions. The Monday competition is generally not as serious in outlook as the Wednesday competition. All these leagues are always looking for new participants. Check with the pro shop if you are curious about options.

Marshall said that outside play has been growing significantly for the past several years and that there now is a lot of weekend play. While golf can be an expensive sport, the Lake Monticello course is reasonably priced by Central Virginia standards. 

Special events include the Peggy Kirk Bell (PKB) tournament, The Faulconer Invitational, and the Member-Guest tournament. The PKB which is held early in the year is a tournament that attracts top young women from all around the east coast. It is a two-day event. The Faulconer, also a two-day event brings in some of the top amateur golfers in the Central Virginia area. Lake residents volunteer to assist with these tournaments and tournament organizers are very happy about the help they receive. 

Golfers who sign up for groups like the Gray Foxes pay a small fee each week and play a variety of competitions over the year. Dan Atkinson, coordinator of the eighteen-hole group said that there are 32 scheduled dates. On half of these Thursdays, competitors play individual events in which their eighteen-hole score determines the outcome and who wins store credits. On nine Thursdays, each player plays his own ball the entire round, but the competition is a two, three or four man team event. On seven weeks there are team events, like alternate shot, where the players do not play their own ball all the way around the course. Other groups also have varied events. The women’s’ groups have a beginning of the season breakfast, and the Gray Foxes have a yearend banquet.

Marshall, who is a master instructor, offers lessons and runs youth clinics in the summer. Check with the pro shop, if interested.

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