This wild Virginia course has the longest hole in the United States

the longest golf hole at meadows farms golf course

Of all the zany features at Meadows Farms Golf Course in Virginia, none stands out more than the 841-yard par-6 hole.

Courtesy Meadows Farms Golf Course

You don’t often see Kyle Berkshire laying up. But check his YouTube channel and there he is, the three-time World Long Drive champion, on a golf course in Virginia, taking three whacks to reach a green.

Berkshire is long. But the hole he’s playing is even longer. At 841 yards, it is, according to the “Guinness Book of World Records,” the longest hole in the United States.

“People come from all over to see it,” Lora Dotson says.

With her husband, Ken, Dotson is the co-owner of Meadows Farms Golf Course, a 27-hole facility in Locust Grove, Va., and though she played no role in its design, she knows how the quirky course came to be. 

Meadows Farms takes its name from the late Bill Meadows, whom everyone called “Farmer,” owing to the work he did.

An Army vet and former high school football coach who turned a summer gig selling tomatoes into a multi-million dollar plant nursery, Farmer played golf for the first time when he was 21. Though he liked the game, he had other things to do, so he didn’t play again for another 35 years. By then, he was middle-aged and wealthy but fueled by youthful energy and whimsy. Rather than travel to other courses, he chose to build one of his own, on farmland roughly 90 minutes south of Washington D.C. 

the longest hole in the united states
A diagram of the 841-yard par-6 hole at Meadows Farms Golf Course. Courtesy Meadows Farms Golf Course

As the story goes, Farmer had three criteria for the project: modest greens fees, friendly service and unicorn golf holes, each one different than the next. Like a high-end collage-maker, he bought a large collection of golf coffee-table books and cut out pictures of things he liked. Then, in collaboration with a golf architect named Bill Ward Jr., he went full kitchen-sink, throwing everything and more at the design.

The result, completed in 1993, is a routing composed of three aptly named 9-hole layouts: the Waterfall 9, the Longest Hole 9, and the Island Green 9, which, technically, should be the Island Green 10, since it has a warm-up hole. It also has — you guessed it — an island-green hole, with railroad ties of the kind you’d find at TPC Sawgrass. The Waterfall 9 has — surprise! — a hole with a 40-foot waterfall behind it, as well as a par-3 meant to look like a baseball stadium, with a billboard-covered wall behind the green.

From the moment he began dreaming up the course, Farmer knew he wanted it to feature the longest golf hole in the world. But at the time that honor fell to a 948-yarder on Koolan Island, in Australia (a mark that has since been surpassed by a 1,100 par-7 at Gunsan Country Club, in South Korea), and Farmer wasn’t sure that he had enough land. He is also said to have wanted a USGA rating and was worried that the governing body wouldn’t sanction a par-7. (When reached by, the USGA said par isn’t a factor in its ratings.) Whatever the case, he wound up with a par-6 hole and settling for the domestic record instead.

Farmer died in 2017, three days shy of his 82nd birthday, with countless rounds at Meadows Farms under his belt. By then, he’d sold the course to Lora and Ken Dotson, who have stayed true to its founder’s original intent by hiring cheerful staff, keeping greens fees modest (they range from $35-$68) and leaving the unusual design intact. 

The long hole plays as the third on the Long Hole 9, and no one has ever reached it in two shots. But a gaggle of big hitters have gotten there in three, including a 15-year-old named Michael Wallace, who seven years ago became the first golfer to make an albatross on the hole. Playing from the white tees, at 720 yards, with an aiding wind, Wallace went driver, 3-wood, 3-wood, jar.

No one has equaled that feat since. Not even the long-bombing Berkshire. In his YouTube video, teeing it from the tips, he blasts a driver, nukes a 3-iron and flushes a 9-iron to set up a ho-hum birdie 5.

Josh Sens Editor

A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.