The Itinerant Golfer

The Itinerant Golfer's Take on Ford's Colony Country Club (Blackheath)

Williamsburg, Virginia | Ford's Colony Country Club (Blackheath)

Architect: Dan F. Maples
Year: 1985

240 Fords Colony Drive, Williamsburg, Virginia 23188
(757) 258-4100

driving range available
motorized golf carts available

I started playing golf in Williamsburg fairly regularly about 10 years ago. In fact it could be argued that this is where I re-established my love for the game after taking a hiatus from age 18 until my early 30s. As my parents neared retirement they began to spend quite a bit of time in Williamsburg and eventually moved there once my Dad retired from working full time. With my brother and me both living in Richmond it was pretty convenient for us, so we began making regular visits and those trips almost always revolved around a game of golf. In addition to my parents, my aunt and uncle ended up making the move to Williamsburg after spending their entire adult lives in Arizona. Over the years my aunt has been the most consistently avid golfer in our family, so it was neve too hard to put together a foursome.

My parents and my aunt and uncle decided to play their golf at Ford’s Colony Country Club which is a semi-private facility that features three 18 hole golf courses. I’m not sure what the current policy is after the recent ownership change, but back when I first started playing there the club had a very generous guest policy for their member’s immediate family which was great. Since this was before I belonged to a club in Richmond it was pretty appealing for me to make the one hour trip to Williamsburg and I ended up playing the bulk of my golf here for several years.

On a recent trip to visit the family we had a game of golf scheduled at the Blackheath course so I decided to bring along my camera so I could add the course to the website.

I have always liked the tee shot on the opening hole at Blackheath. It is a par 5 that plays 540 yards from the back tees and starts from a very elevated tee box. If I’m feeling aggressive I’ll hit driver and try to cut it around the corner a little bit, but if I want to be a bit more conservative I will hit a hybrid which takes the danger of hitting through the fairway and into the water out of play. There’s not much worse than starting a round having to hit your third stroke off the tee. The photo below was taken from the tee.
Ford's Colony Country Club
The course has several holes that feature water hazards and the 187 yard 3rd hole is one of them. The carry on this hole is about 160 yards and I’ve seen a lot of balls go into this water . . . mine included!
Ford's Colony Country Club
The 4th hole is a bit of a tricky one and my Father’s personal nemesis. It is a par 5 that plays a lengthy 583 from the back tees and 552 from the gold tees. At the end the hole doglegs sharply to the left and if the first and second shots are not good ones there will be no chance of reaching the green in regulation. Not surprisingly this is rated the hardest hole on the course. The photo below was taken from the tee.
Ford's Colony Country Club
In order to get clear of the corner and have a view into the green players must have reached at least the 150 yard marker with their second shot and it needs to be positioned on the right side of the fairway. Below is a view of a clear shot into the green. Layup shots that are too far to the left will be blocked out by the trees that can be seen on the left side of the photo.
Ford's Colony Country Club
My favorite hole on the course is the 6th which we play as a 316 yard par 4. The hole is a sharp dogleg to the left and the ideal shot off the tee is 200-220 yards. Balls that don’t get far enough into the fairway will be blocked out by the trees on the left and will not have a clear angle to the green. The photo below was taken from the 6th tee.
Ford's Colony Country Club
This hole also has my favorite green on the course. I don’t know if I like it so much because it’s a really good green or because I’ve made a lot of birdie putts on it. There is a slope on the right side of the green that will feed the ball down towards the hole when the flag is at the front.
Ford's Colony Country Club
The last hole on the course is by far the most dramatic. At 356 yards I would almost be tempted to call this a short par 4. The drive requires a carry over a lake where the player can decide how much they want to bite off. With the hole being as short as it is, there isn’t really a big advantage gained by getting to aggressive here.
Ford's Colony Country Club
The approach shot into to the green is a short one, but the green is completely surrounded by water expect for the short area with the land bridge over to the island. The island does contain some bunkers and some rough around the green, so it is not like the island green at TPC Sawgrass where the island is only putting surface.
Ford's Colony Country Club
Blackheath is a solid course that has some fun holes and offers the opportunity to make some challenging shots. The course winds through the Ford’s Colony housing development, so some – but certainly not all – of the holes are lined by houses and those pesky white out of bounds stakes. Although there are a few long tee to green stretches, the course can be walked and I regularly see people using push carts to do so. Overall, it’s a fun course with a collection of solid golf holes of which several are better than average and offer some fun strategic options.