Course architect Bill Love created an 18-hole championship course on 280 acres of land that formerly housed the D.C. Department of Corrections facility at Lorton. During construction, Love and his team skillfully transformed the property from a former prison into one of the premier public courses in the state. They utilized the mature trees and native grasses and allowed some of the 18th century buildings from the prison to remain in full view. At its peak, the prison housed as many as 11,000 inmates.
The course opened in 2005 – five years after the prison closed – and almost immediately began hosting big competitions, including the Virginia State Golf Association Public Links Championship in 2008, 2009 and 2010. In 2011, it was a USGA sectional qualifying site for both the Amateur Public Links and Women’s Amateur Public Links
Paying homage to early course designers in American golf, Love, whose works include the Iron Forge Course at Penn National and Hunting Hawk in Glenn Allen, Va., wanted the natural beauty of the topography to dictate the course’s character.
One of Laurel Hill’s more interesting holes is the par-3 11th, which offers two separate teeing grounds that give the golfer two different angles to the green. One set requires the golfer to carry a large ravine to a deep, wide green protected by a large bunker in front. The other set of tees sits next to a large barn and silo and requires a shot to a long, narrow green protected by bunkers on both sides.
In 2011 Golfweek magazine ranked Laurel Hill No. 13 among its Top 50 best municipal courses in the United States.