Wherever there are powerful people making decisions for the public, you will find many golf courses where powerful discussions take place in private. Washington DC golf courses are no exception, and you are sure to enjoy golfing in the capital city. The neighboring suburbs in Virginia and Maryland offer golf courses with pastoral showcases unique to the area. Those are covered elsewhere in this guide. For now, we are focused on public golf courses in Washington DC itself.
There are three main Washington DC golf facilities, each different, but all well worth your visit. The most centrally located of these is Rock Creek Park Golf Course, which lies deep in the wooded area of Rock Creek Park. The course is rarely crowded, and has cheap green fees under twenty dollars, and is operated by helpful and friendly staff. The back nine is one of the most challenging of any golf courses in Washington DC, with dense woods on either side of the narrow fairways. The back nine will test your perseverance and how accurate your driver is!
Another beautiful place to play Washington DC golf is also one of the only Washington DC golf courses listed in the National Register of Historic Places: the Langston Legacy Golf Course. Named for the famous black leader John Mercer Langston, this course was originally built as a segregated golf facility, to allow African-American golfers a course of their own. Leading the way to the development of the sport amongst African-Americans, Langston Legacy Golf Course also led the way to desegregation of the sport. The first black golf clubs for men and for women, respectively the Royal Golf Club and the Wake Robin Golf Club, have made Langston their home. Major tournaments like the International Pro-Am and the Capital City Open also are held here. Unlike other Washington DC golf courses, the National Park Service owns Langston. Its gorgeous location is bordered on one side by the National Arboretum, on another by the Anacostia River, and plays around the water of Kingman Lake. Because of the significance of this course to the African American community and to DC golf itself, a museum is being created there, for future tourists.
Whereas both Rock Creek and Langston Legacy offer cheap green fees, last but not least among Washington DC golf courses is East Potomac Park Golf Course, where green fees are slightly higher, but still affordable between thirty and fifty dollars. Located just south of the Jefferson Memorial on a 300-acre peninsula between the Washington Channel and the Potomac River, this course is quintessential Washingtonian. The park in which it is located culminates on the peninsula across from the monuments, in the famous Hains Point. Here, across the water from the city of freedom, the famous "Awakening" statue portrays the human struggle to get out of the muck. This can be inspirational to golfers whose shots have gone astray! With one 18-hole course, one nine-hole, and one twelve-hole course, as well as a miniature course on site, there is a course here appropriate to all levels. No matter where you go, Washington DC golf offers a chance to relax amidst the urban political noise, and these city courses have enough to challenge most, as well.