$38 walking (weekday)
$44 walking (weekend)
The 18 hole course at East Potomac Golf Links, one of the three public courses in Washington, DC owned by the National Park Service. Located within East Potomac Park (aka Hains Point) on the DC side of the Potomac River. Founded in 1923 and designed by Walter Travis. Originally designed as a links course, but gradually devolved over time into a more generic parkland course. A relatively forgiving and generally easy course; there are no water hazards and few unrecoverable positions aside from some berms, a few patches of woods, and the perimeter fence. Will be undergoing renovations at some point in the near future along with the rest of the complex.
Conveniently located just off I-395, but has a tendency to become crowded and slow on the weekends due to the convenience and relatively low cost ($40 to walk). Don’t bother paying for a cart unless you have a disability that necessitates it; the course is almost entirely flat and is less than six miles to walk.
The island the course is located on is not a natural island; it was created during the dredging of the DC boundary channel. Because of this, the course tends to drain poorly and will become quite damp (and parts of the course may flood) after a heavy rain and high tide. All the more reason to walk, since it’s frequently cart path only anyway. Also bring bug spray in the summer, as the mosquitoes can be quite bad (especially on the back nine). There are also large numbers of geese on the course for much of the year. Finally, there is almost constant noise due to the proximity of DCA and the parade of helicopters down the river.
For all its flaws, it’s still a pretty cool place to play golf. There aren’t many courses where you line up a tee shot with the Washington Monument. If you’re in town and have a few hours to kill, it’s worth checking out for that alone.