Bull Run Golf Club - 18th
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Bull Run Golf Club - 18th
The view from the 18th green at Bull Run Golf Club demonstrates the exquisite tract of land on which the course was built. Kevin Dunleavy/GolfAdvisor
Bull Run Golf Club - hole 5
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Bull Run Golf Club - hole 5
The fifth hole has one of the many forced-carry tee shots at Bull Run Golf Club in Haymarket, Virginia. Kevin Dunleavy/GolfAdvisor
Bull Run Golf Club - hole 7
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Bull Run Golf Club - hole 7
The seventh at Bull Run Golf Club is one of three straightaway par 5s, and it's the longest hole on the course at 556 yards. Kevin Dunleavy/GolfAdvisor
Bull Run Golf Club - hole 8
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Bull Run Golf Club - hole 8
The 356-yard eighth hole is the most drivable par 4 at Bull Run Golf Club in Haymarket, Virginia. Kevin Dunleavy/GolfAdvisor
Bull Run GC - 9th
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Bull Run GC - 9th
The tee shot on the 452-yard par-4 ninth hole at Bull Run Golf Club is daunting. Kevin Dunleavy/GolfAdvisor
Bull Run Golf Club - hole 12
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Bull Run Golf Club - hole 12
At 355 yards, the 12th hole is the shortest par 4 at Bull Run Golf Club. The best strategy: 5-wood, wedge. Kevin Dunleavy/GolfAdvisor
Bull Run G.C. - 13th
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Bull Run G.C. - 13th
From the elevated tee on No. 13 at Bull Run Golf Club, players overlook a distant but wide fairway beyond the lake. Kevin Dunleavy/GolfAdvisor
Bull Run golf course - 13th fairway
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Bull Run golf course - 13th fairway
For 15 years Bull Run Golf Club was secluded from development, but now there are homes, although they are visible from less than half the holes. Kevin Dunleavy/GolfAdvisor
Bull Run Golf Club - hole 16
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Bull Run Golf Club - hole 16
The par-3 16th hole at Bull Run Golf Club is a secluded gem. Kevin Dunleavy/GolfAdvisor
Bull Run golf course - 18th
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Bull Run golf course - 18th
The 553-yard finishing hole at Bull Run Golf Club plays shorter than its length, tempting players to go for the green in two. Kevin Dunleavy/GolfAdvisor
Bull Run Golf Club - no. 2
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Bull Run Golf Club - no. 2
The most reachable par 5 at Bull Run Golf Club is the 538-yard second hole. Kevin Dunleavy/GolfAdvisor
Bull Run G.C. - 1st hole
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Bull Run G.C. - 1st hole
Bull Run Golf Club opens with a tee shot over water, but the 383-yard par 4 is otherwise gentile. Kevin Dunleavy/GolfAdvisor
12 Images

Bull Run Golf Club in Haymarket, Virginia: A Washington, D.C.-area favorite weathers the storm

HAYMARKET, Va. -- Watching fairways go from lush to threadbare at Bull Run Golf Club in the late 2000s was an unsettling sight for public golfers in Northern Virginia. If the future of one of the most popular golf courses in the Washington, D.C. area could be so threatened, was any local course safe?

But an upturn in the economy and a takeover by Raspberry Golf Management has restored Rick Jacobson-designed Bull Run to its immaculate state of old.

Set in the shadow of Bull Run Mountain and traversing scenic woodlands, meadows and ponds, the course is on a dramatic parcel of land that feels out of the way, but it's less than five miles off I-66.

With wide fairways and sprawling greens, Bull Run is fun and forgiving. From the back tees, it measures 6,979 yards with a rating of 73.1 and a slope of 134. A player can shoot a career round at Bull Run, but it's not a walk in the park, especially for those who struggle to get their driver airborne as many tee shots are forced carries over water or environmental areas.

Kevin Dunleavy is a longtime resident of northern Virginia, a graduate of George Mason University, an award-winning reporter covering golf, colleges, and other sports for the Washington Examiner, and a single-digit handicap still seeking his elusive first hole-in-one. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KDunleavy.
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Bull Run Golf Club in Haymarket, Virginia: A Washington, D.C.-area favorite weathers the storm