Bull Run -- Views of Playable, Serene Bull Run Golf Club

Photos and Text by Jeffrey A. Rendall

HAYMARKET, VA - Earlier this year I spoke with course architect Rick Jacobson on the attributes of Bull Run Golf Club, a favorite in Northern Virginia. Bull Run is located just off of route 15, a few miles north of Haymarket and a few miles south of Middleburg.

Jacobson says the Bull Run project turned out well because there was plenty of varied real estate to mold and shape: "From an architect's standpoint, the Bull Run site provided a nice diversity in the land, which is always great to work with. Part of it was kind of rolling terrain, part of it was heavily wooded, and there were some real nice elevation changes. The ground where the clubhouse sits is a little higher than much of the course, which offers some outstanding views of the layout and the mountains."

"We also had one existing pond to work into the design (on numbers one and eighteen) and added two more - so there's quite a bit of water hazard variety as well," Jacobson added.

It's also very playable. Jacobson says he likes it that way. "I like to design player-friendly courses, but it really depends on the market the course is in, and how the developer wants to use the land. Since Bull Run's a high-end facility, we wanted to make it wide and enjoyable, but also include some tough pin placements on the greens in case they want to host a competition."

There's little doubt Bull Run's layout is an embodiment of Jacobson's talents. You can see it when you play the course - with wide fairways, excellent visibility, run-up options to the greens and some tough pin locations. It's an attractive visual presentation, yet difficult enough to challenge good players, which is clearly what Jacobson set out to accomplish. Here's what you'll see:

Jacobson probably wasn't wild about a forced carry off the first tee, but the 383 1st hole is a fairly mild start to your round, including the first drive of the day.

The 432 yard, par four 4th hole features the most intimidating tee shot of the round. But the landing area is extremely wide if you've got the distance to carry the abyss.

The 162 yard, par three 6th hole certainly isn't difficult, but it sure is beautiful.

Let the Big Dog hunt on the downhill par four 8th hole (356 yards). If the wind's right, you could run it up just in front of the green.

There's a sizeable lake to carry off the tee of the 452 yard, par four 9th hole -- but the choice is yours as to how much of the water you want to mess with.

Looking towards the green of the 456 yard, par four 17th hole. Playing downhill the whole way, it's much 'shorter' than it appears on the card.

One final mild carry on the 18th hole. At 583 yards, long hitters still might be able to get near the green in two, as you're likely to receive good roll off a down slope in the tee ball landing area.


Bull Run Golf Club
3520 James Madison Highway
Haymarket, VA 20169


Phone: (703) 753-7777

Toll Free: (877) 753-7770
FAX: (703) 753-0938

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