Primland Resort - Views of Publicly Accessed Privacy

Text and Photos by Jeffrey A. Rendall


MEADOWS OF DAN, VA – It’s something to dream about – a layout in a beautiful setting with nothing but your thoughts separating you from nature and the game of golf.


There’s not a soul around, and only the sounds of the environment to conduct the symphony.


A fantasy?  Perhaps.  But there’s a new resort experience in Virginia that will bring you as close as you’re going to get to that private paradise that you’re seeking.  Not even at a private club will you have so much to yourself, and this is someplace that takes Visa and MasterCard without requiring a second mortgage to gain access.


I’m talking about Primland Resort in Southwestern Virginia, which features a (British Course Architect) Donald Steel designed layout and 14,000 acres of serenity, privacy, and at least for the meantime, a tinge of rustic living.


There’s nothing rustic about the golf course, however, as it’s already one of the Commonwealth’s best.  It’s hard to believe this golfing nirvana is literally in the middle of nowhere (at least in a golf sense), which may present some difficulties getting there, but complete relaxation once you’re through the gate.


Nature is everywhere, and according to Primland’s Head Golf Professional, Jeff Fraim, that’s exactly the way they wanted it.  “Donald Steel’s design philosophy can best be described as natural.  He’s not an architect who likes to disturb a lot of the natural topography of the land.”


Fraim said Steel’s design thinking had to bend a little at Primland, since the only way they could create enough room for the golf holes was to use dynamite (in spots) to blast a path.  Steel had never used dynamite before, but then again, he’d never encountered a site quite like Primland presented, either.


Because of the nature of the property, Primland embodies a serious challenge to all levels of players – but not purposely so.  Steel elaborates:  “I was aware that the terrain would make it a difficult, challenging course.  Our efforts were to soften that challenge and make it as user-friendly as possible.  It’s still a difficult course if you miss the fairways, but the fairways are all wide enough to make players feel they should hit them.”


As the pictures below demonstrate, Steel is right – Primland is not a ‘crowded’ course in any sense of the word, with few other players on the fairways, or from the lack of space.  And there are some design features that aid in your enjoyment as well.  “Donald did bank some of the areas off of the fairway so that balls would hit in the rough, then collect back in the fairway,” Fraim said.

Primland is one golf destination that truly deserves the word ‘unique’ in the Mid-Atlantic, and its built-in privacy is just one of the reasons why.  Here are some of the things you’ll see (and not see, in terms of huge crowds) there:

At 342 yards, the par four 9th hole isn't long, but it plays uphill the whole way and the green is wider than it is long, making club selection from the fairway a challenge.

The par three 12th hole (205 yards) lies low in the distance, and the large mass of green is generous to shoot at. Primland's challenges often lie in the short game, with ample opportunity to use your imagination.

Here's an example of where Steel needed to use dynamite, to blast a landing area on the par five 1st hole.

The 561-yard, par five 17th plays uphill the latter half of the hole, and according to Jeff Fraim, they literally had to 'move a mountain' to finish it.

Nearly 500 yards in length, the par four 7th hole is Primland's longest two-shotter. Plenty of room the whole way and slightly downhill, it's an exhilarating ride from tee to green.

Turning the corner at the par four 16th, you'll note that the name of the game at Primland is hole variety - there simply aren't two holes that look remotely the same.

Where else in America can you stand at the back of the green and know that it's exactly 5842 kilometers to Dublin? This directional sign is one of many nice accents at Primland.

If the par three 8th hole looks tough, it is! The only safe place to be on this hole is on the green, which is large in size, lucky for you.

The par three 14th hole is a good example of how a mountain course still can play fairly flat. Assuming you can fly the ravine (160 yards maximum), you'll land it safe and level on the other side.

The par four 5th offers one of the most scenic tee shots on the course, yet the second shot, pictured here, has some beauty all its own.

Looking towards the third shot on the par five 17th - these bunkers narrow the landing area for the second shot, but right here's the best angle into the green.

Risk-reward all the way on the 499-yard, par five 3rd hole. Hit a strong driver off the tee, and you're set to go for it in two.

Almost home on the par four finishing hole. This is one view that will change significantly in future years, when the balance of Primland's facilities are in place.


Primland Resort

4621 Busted Rock Road

Meadows of Dan, VA  24120


Phone:  866-960-7746; 276-222-3800




Highland Course Designer:  Donald Steel

Head Golf Professional:  Jeffrey Fraim, PGA


Tees (Par 72)/Yardage/Slope/Rating


Black               7034    147      75.0

Black/Red       6771    143      74.1

Red                  6450    139      72.3

Blue                6054    135      70.5

Blue (L)                      152      71.3    

Green              5422    147      67.3


Note:  No walking allowed; a caddy program is in the works for the future.




$175, includes cart fee, range (under construction, may be open in 2007), country club style sandwich, drinks on course (non-alcoholic), and a small gift from the resort.


Currently, no packages available.


The golf course is open from May 12th to October 31st, depending on weather.


Notes from Jeff Fraim:  Allow time to get to the course.  Once you arrive at a gate, it could be 20-30 minutes to get to the course.  Bring a camera for fantastic shots (especially in fall foliage).  Our chef is sensational, and he enjoys cooking meals that fit our wilderness setting.


Consult the website for accommodations and pricing information. 


A 26-room Lodge and Spa will be the quintessence of Primland when it opens in the spring of 2009.  In addition to richly appointed suites, the Lodge and Spa will offer a true 5-Star experience, complete with exceptional food and impeccable service.

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