Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 3
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Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 3
The 452-yard third hole -- straight uphill -- is one of many daunting par 4s at Laurel Hill Golf Club. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 4
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Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 4
The 188-yard fourth is one of five stellar par-3 holes at Laurel Hill Golf Club in Lorton, Virginia. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 5
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Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 5
An intricate bunker complex on the fifth hole at Laurel Hill Golf Club can dissuade players from going for the course's shortest par 5 (524 yards) in two shots. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 6
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Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 6
At 500 yards, the sixth hole is the longest par 4 at Laurel Hill Golf Club in Lorton, Virginia. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 7
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Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 7
Bunkers guard the shortest par 4 at Laurel Hill Golf Club, the 321-yard seventh. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 8
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Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 8
There's no trouble on the par-3 eighth hole at Laurel Hill Golf Club -- other than its length of 240 yards. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 9
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Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 9
The ninth at Laurel Hill Golf Club is 565 yards, but players can cut distance by negotiating the S-shaped hole in two shots. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 10
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Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 10
The 10th hole at Laurel Hill Golf Club hints at the property's previous identity -- the Lorton Reformatory. Some of the prison buildings overlooking the hole have been transformed into new dwellings. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 11
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Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 11
A guard tower overlooks the par-3 11th hole at Laurel Hill Golf Club in Lorton, Virginia. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 14
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Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 14
The par-3 14th hole at Laurel Hill Golf Club is 218 yards uphill to a two-tiered green. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Laurel Hill Golf Club - prison building
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Laurel Hill Golf Club - prison building
A look backward from the tee at No. 14 at Laurel Hill Golf Club shows an old prison building. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 15
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Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 15
The 15th, at 612 yards, is the longest hole at Laurel Hill Golf Club -- and it's mostly uphill. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 15
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Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 15
The 15th hole at Laurel Hill Golf Club plays toward the clubhouse, atypically elegant for a municipal course. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 16
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Laurel Hill Golf Club - hole 16
The par-3 16th hole at Laurel Hill Golf Club plays over water. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
14 Images

Laurel Hill Golf Club in Lorton, Va.: The premier daily-fee course near Washington D.C.

LORTON, Va. -- Laurel Hill Golf Club, which opened in 2005, sits on the site of the former Department of Corrections in Lorton, but after designer Bill Love's transformation, you would never be able to tell.

There aren't many trees and water only comes into play on one hole. Instead, the challenges on this 7,102-yard course come from the length and the elevation changes. Love also incorporated sprawling, asymmetric bunkers that both narrow the fairways and protect the greens.

The golf course's par 3s are especially memorable, with the most notable being the intimidating 11th, which offers a small glimpse into the location's former use. There are two teeing areas on this hole, one over a vegetation-filled ravine and the other next to three silos, remnants of the prison's farm.

A unique feature of the course that makes it accessible to a wide range of skill levels is that there are six sets of tees. Laurel Hill also has a practice facility that is comparable to that of a private club, including a driving range with target greens and grass and mat stations as well as a short game practice area.

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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Built on land occupied until 2000 by a maximum-security prison, Laurel Hill Golf Club was a revelation when it opened to golfers five years later. The transformation of the forbidding property, formerly marked by guard towers and razor wire, to perhaps the Washington, D.C.-area's premium public golf address is an intriguing success story.
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Laurel Hill Golf Club in Lorton, Va.: The premier daily-fee course near Washington D.C.