Bayville Golf Club opened in 1995, exclusively for the pleasure and recreation of its members and foremost for their enjoyment of golf. The Club considers every application without regard to gender, race, creed, color, or national origin. Bayville members are bound by the Bylaws and Rules and Regulations of the Club, as amended from time to time. Membership is by invitation only by the Board of Directors.
The Founding Members of Bayville had a visionary path with three basic goals:
- Membership is open to any congenial person of good character and integrity
- Membership is limited, no more than 300 members, to ensure accessibility for all members to play when they wish (no tee times).
- To give members the finest golf experience to be found in this region.
The Founding Members had a vision and a commitment to quality when Bayville Golf Club was planned. The vision of "pure quality golf" transformed a spacious 268-acre site into a superlative golf experience for its members. Over the years, an exclusive membership base of prominent community and business leaders came to fruition. Bayville Golf Club is now one of America's most prestigious private clubs. The Founding Members' vision is now a testimonial enjoyed by its members.
Local environmentalists were concerned when plans were announced to transform one of the few remaining dairy farms in Virginia Beach into a high-end golf course. But fears were unfounded, and since day one, Bayville has been a stellar environmental partner to the area’s ecology. “Most people don’t think of golf courses as being an environmental showcase,” says Billy Mills of Bayscapes, project director for the Alliance for Chesapeake Bay. The organization is a watchdog group with offices in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, committed to protecting and educating residents about the Chesapeake watershed. “From the beginning, concerns with run-off were addressed, including the planting of warm-season grasses and native grasses to reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides.”
Bird watching enthusiasts had feared for the health of Pleasure House Creek, one of the last untouched tributaries of the Lynnhaven River, and a favorite bird-watching environment. The Club contracted with Mary Heinricht—a local environmental planner—who engineered clearing of the river banks by hand rather than machine; moving threatened turtles to a new home when their favorite pond was altered; and an extensive underground network of pipes, drains and catch basins to recycle water back into the existing ponds. “It’s very extensive,” says Heinricht. “You look at this and you’d never believe what’s underneath the ground.”
Architect Tom Fazio added several ponds to the interior of the property and those have only enhanced the environmental diversity by attracting migrating waterfowl, and offered food in the form of new aquatic grasses. There is also a state-of-the-art fertigation system that can pinpoint fertilization needs and address them individually rather than through wide reaching broadcast methods. “It is so much more effective than a groundkeeper walking around with a fertilizer spreader,” notes Heinricht.
Director of Golf Course Operations, Cutler Robinson, CGCS, echoes Heinricht’s pleasure with the system and adds the fact that it has also saved him 50 percent on his fertilizer budget. “That’s not only good for the environment, but cost effective, too.”
“What we are really proving is it’s cheaper this way,” says Heinricht. “And easier,” adds Robinson. A win-win situation, and confirmation that Bayville is not only a terrific golf setting, but a good environmental neighbor as well.