In addition to being a living museum chalked full of history, Colonial Williamsburg also offers golf enthusiasts some of the best golf courses in the country. The Golden Horseshoe Golf Club located on the grounds of Colonial Williamsburg is a 45 hole golf resort that offers some of the most scenic and challenging golf in the United States. Situated on an Audubon sanctuary, the three courses that make up the Golden Horseshoe differ in layout and difficulty.
Despite the varying course layouts, each course offers its guests a scenic walk through nature without a single residence marring the magnificent Southern Virginia views.
What makes the Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and Reese Jones deigned courses even better is that each course offers a unique round of golf to all those who accept the challenge.
From the difficult Gold Course to the par 3 filled Spotswood Course, the Golden Horseshoe appeals to golfers of all abilities.
Give Yourself the Ultimate Test by Playing the Difficult Gold Course
Opened in 1963 the Gold Course has been described by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. as his “finest design”. This course, which is ranked by Golf Digest as one of the top 100 public courses in the United States, offers even the most skilled golfers a challenge they won’t soon forget.
Although its 6,871 yards does not initially intimidate those wishing to challenge this course, it becomes apparent as soon as you walk to the first tee that the Gold Course will not yield birdies so easily. As is one of the defining characteristics of a Robert Trent Jones, Sr. course, the Gold Course is designed with accuracy as the primary objective. Narrow tree lined fairways that demand precision on every shot are further enhanced in difficulty by the many doglegs that force players to focus on both accuracy and distance control.
Possessing some excellent signature holes such as the mammoth 634 yard par 5 15th and the island green par 3 16th, golfers can expect to be challenged all the way to their final putt on 18. And speaking of putting, I’m by no means a good golfer, so this is coming from a mid-handicapper, but I’ve never putted on more difficult greens than those found on the Gold Course.
The Green Course: Less of a Challenge Yet Still a Substantial One
Although the Green Course plays slightly longer then the Gold at around 7120 yards, this par 72 course gives less experienced golfers a better chance of holding onto their golf ball collection. Reese Jones, Robert Trent Jones’ son, designed this course with wider fairways to allow slightly wayward shots to remain playable.
The Green Course, designed in 1991, celebrated its 20 year anniversary in November, 2011 with a fife and drum shotgun start that celebrated the opening of the course while also exhibiting appreciation for the historical significance of the former Basset Hill Plantation land that now makes up the 18 holes.
Although the Green Course allows players to breathe a little easier with less challenging shots, this course, which was the host of the 2004 United States Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, still possesses its fair share of challenges.
Of all of the great holes at the Green Course, none combine the beauty of the surrounding scenery with the course’s challenging design than the par 3 11th. This 160 yard hole forces the golfer to make a club selection that must take into account the severe decrease in elevation from the tee to the green. This decrease can result in as much as a three club variation in shot selection. If the wrong club is selected, golfers will watch their well struck tee shots sail over the green and into the woods or, if not enough club is selected, into the pond that guards the front.
The Spotswood Course Allows All to Enjoy the Game
For those golfers who enjoy the scenic walk more than the challenge that golf demands, the Spotswood is a 9 hole course that contains six par 3 holes ranging from 90-210 yards, is a great way for golfers to enjoy a relaxing round regardless of their age or ability level.
Named the “best short 9 hole course in the country” by Golf Magazine the Spotswood course, named after Governor Alexander Spotswood, was modified from its original 1947 design by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. in 1963.
Measuring at a mere 1865 yards, this course is a great way for beginning golfers to start their lifelong love affair with the game. This course offers players a large array of chances to capture the elusive first birdie that will keep them coming back for many years to come.
Regardless of what Golden Horseshoe course a golfer chooses to play, they can rest assured that their walk in the woods in the most historic land in all of America serves as the ultimate destination for any golf enthusiast.