A couple of days ago I posted my review of the Golden Horseshoe Green Course. I wrote it on the airplane ride home. I’ve now had a couple of days to reminisce and look over my photos of the Golden Horseshoe Gold Course. I loved it before but the more I reminisce, the better it gets.
Designed By Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
In 1963 the Golden Horseshoe Gold Course opened. It was designed by one of the most famous course designers in golf history, Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
History is a key word because the area of Colonial Williamsburg is a goldmine of historical events, people and places. That goldmine has been preserved since 1926 thanks to the likes of Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin, rector of Bruton Parish Church and John D. Rockefeller Jr. In fact, on a few holes of both courses, a small boat house (pictured right) on the water can be seen. That boat house was owned by Rockefeller.
I’m not typically a fan of “earth mover” course designs. I prefer designs which integrate and flow with the natural surroundings and topography, and that is just what the Gold course does. Back in the early sixties golf course design construction didn’t rely heavily on big machinery and moving a lot of earth. Course designers like Jones used their great imaginations and vision to take advantage of the existing topography.
Located in Colonial Williamsburg, the Green course comprises 18 out of the 45 holes of golf at the Golden Horseshoe. Rees Jones (son of Robert Trent Jones Sr.) designed and built the course with the help of the local crew, including my new buddy Rick Viancour, long time Golden Horseshoe superintendent. The course winds through a historic area which is preserved for its history. The course is also a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, providing a wonderful and beautiful refuge for local creatures and vegetation.
The history of the course isn’t just that of pre civil war Virginia and the burgeoning independence of the USA. The course itself has a wealth of golf history dating back to its opening in 1991, including many famous championships, the making of the Ryder Cup trophy, and the famous 18th hole defeat of Michelle Wie by Ya-Ni Tseng in the 2004 Women’s Amateur Publinks Championship.
The most recent and perhaps most distinguished bit of history for the Green course, is my birdie on the 18th in almost complete darkness. I guess I play better when I can’t see what I’m doing. Hey does that mean I can beat Michelle Wie? I doubt it.
I’m well spent after a long day of great golf at the Golden Horseshoe Gold Course, and touring the historical area here in Colonial Williamsburg. Before I turn in and get ready to jump on a plane home, I have to post a couple of shots from today.
Below is the spectacular 16th hole island green. This island green predates the 17th at TPC Sawgrass by decades.
The 2nd hole, a par-5, has a great approach shot over water. Big hitters can go for it. With conditions being tough and wet, that wasn’t an option for me. Made a decent par though, the old fashioned way.
I’ll populate my image galleries for the Golden Horseshoe Green and Gold courses when the HOG World Tour returns to HOG world headquarters Monday.
I had the pleasure of playing the Golden Horseshoe Green course in Colonial Williamsburg today.
I had a fantastic time golfing with Golden Horseshoe Director of Golf Glen Byrnes and lady golf blogger “ShePutts.” Yes, she can putt. So can I, on #18, for birdie. We don’t need to talk about the rest of the round much though. Conditions were very tough with the course being wet and playing very long.
A review of the course, and surrounding historical area, is coming soon. But for now I have to call it a night. I don’t know what time zone I’m in and I haven’t slept for almost 48 hours.
I’m now prepping for the next stop on the HOG World Tour. Tonight I catch a redeye flight east to Colonial Williamsburg. There I’ll be taking in a heavy dose of US history, walking the same streets as Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Patrick Henry. I’d better brush up on my US history.
Also on the agenda, is golf at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club’s Gold and Green courses. Reading the list of accolades and awards for these courses is an all day event. Additionally, they were designed by some of golf’s most “historic” golf course architects, Robert Trent Jones Sr. and his son Rees Jones. Last but not least, the Gold and Green courses are designated as Audubon sanctuaries. I guess I’d better be careful not to take divots which are too large.
I look forward to meeting Golden Horseshoe Golf Club’s Superintendent Rick Viancour as well as playing golf the club’s Director of Golf, Glen Byrnes. I’ll also be looking forward to swinging a club for a couple of days, as there is currently snow on the ground here at home and the courses are closed!