LOUISA COUNTY, Va. -- If it is summertime in Virginia there are three constants you can count on. Heat and humidity and Andrew Woolfolk mowing.
"It keeps you busy. I don’t know what the odometer is on this thing. But it is a lot," says Andrew.
The 31-year-old from Louisa tackles his weekly task with his good friend John Deere.
“I’d say every weekend I’m cutting five or six hours of grass," says Andrew.
For this groundskeeper, every blade needs to be just right.
"Well, my lawn is a lot of a lawn so yeah," says Andrew.
Just a chip shot from his front door Andrew has fashioned a duffer’s dream.
“So it’s like growing up I’m going to have to cut lawn anyway I might as well turn it into a fairway and green so," says Andrew.
A slice of golf heaven for a father and his three boys.
Andrew, 5-year-old twins Ryan and Brady and three-year-old Miles are a fearsome foursome.
“I mean this is why you do it. Watching the boys. There is nothing more priceless watching them out here," says Andrew.
On this golf course, rounds can resemble a hockey game.
But the staff member at Louisa County Schools wasn’t satisfied with just one green.
“We are on hole number ten Blackberry walking over to hole 11 to Hackberry. We have a lot of tree names for our holes," says Andrew.
What began with one hole in 2005 has expanded to a full-fledged 18-hole backyard course called Breezewood.
“Most people are in disbelief. They’re like, ‘You have a golf course?'”, says Andrew. “Disbelief is usually the first response. The second is when can I play?”
This is not putt putt with windmills and clowns. Here doglegs and hazards greet golfers at every turn.
“The cardinal rule is if you have water, you have to use it.”
Each hole is equipped with regulation cups and flag sticks. Breezewood even offers official score cards.
“So we start off the course with a 141 par 5 then we follow it up with a 70-yard par 4," says Andrew.
These links are legit. Andrew’s course comes complete with a relic cart dating back to the days of Arnold Palmer.
The hilly course is carved out of the Woolfolk’s 550-acre family farm. A place where soybeans avoid slices and husks of corn dodge hooks.
This started when a teenaged Andrew envisioned these fairways and greens after a family vacation in South Carolina.
“I wish we could just play golf here I hate that we got to go to Myrtle Beach and we come home and don’t play. This is typical of my dad and his style. We got to go build one. You got to go and build one.”
So Andrew got to work. Bobby Woolfolk admires his son’s determination.
“It is not easy to get a par on this course," says Mr. Woolfolk. “Each day he comes up with something that seems like new or better so that is fun watching that happen too.”
To Mr. Woolfolk family time beats a birdie any day.
“Memories we’ll never forget both of us. And we’re hoping he gets the same kind of memories with his boys," says Mr. Woolfolk.
Breezewood never closes. A course where scheduling a tee time is hardly an issue. Greens fees are always on the house and a relaxed dress code is customary.
“Always try to make time for it," says Andrew. "What better way than to spend an evening than chipping and having a good time.”
Andrew's wife Bethany Woolfook says after school she knows exactly where to find her boys big and small.
“We have it right in the backyard," says Bethany.
The soon-to-be mother of four says living on a golf course has its perks.
“This was something the boys could do with their daddy. And that is what I loved the most about it," says Bethany.
“When I go out and come home from work some days I say I need to go decompress and I’m going to play a couple of holes of golf with the kids she totally gets it so I am forever indebted to her," says Andrew.
While Andrew relishes making new memories with his family. He grips tightly to the past. And to the legacy of one player who isn’t here.
“Just a car accident right down the road maybe two or three miles down the road so. Yeah, Tough day.”
Andrew’s older brother and mentor Ryan was killed in a wreck in May of 2004. Ryan’s death left the family reeling.
"I think about Ryan almost every day. He has had a huge influence on me," says Andrew.
Andrew says his brother lives on with each backswing at Breezewood.
“Of for sure I hope so. He has a great view of the course so I hope he is enjoying it for sure," says Andrew.
Bonding with his little boys on the back nine soothes any lingering sadness.
“They love being outside," says Andrew. "They love playing. It keeps them active.”
Here serious golfers take a backseat. At this true home course rules sometimes bend. A place where even triple bogies come with booty.
Breezewood may lie a long way from Pinehurst and Pebble Beach. But head groundskeeper Andrew Woolfolk says those PGA courses will never outshine his 18 holes that are always under par.
“This is like Field of Dreams, but with fairways," says Andrew. “I’ll say it again. [I'm] more blessed than I could have ever imagined. I would say this is the best it has ever been.”
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