As embarrassing as it is to admit, Golden Horseshoe Golf Club’s Gold Course is another architecturally significant course in my home state of Virginia that I had neglected to play until very recently. I have several family members who live in Williamsburg and although I visit and play golf there quite often we simply never made plans to visit the Gold Course. Oh sure, we talked about it for years, but none of us actually took the initiative to make a tee time. Fortunately, one of my father’s friends recently came to town for a visit and wanted to play the Gold Course so finally, after all the talk, we set up a game.
Since it is about an hour drive from Richmond to Williamsburg my brother and I set out pretty early in order to make our 8:30am tee time. Upon arrival we checked in at the pro shop and went directly to the range to meet up with my Father and his friend as well as to hit a few balls off the mats. About 20 minutes later we were being called to the 1st tee and made our way in that direction.
After a fairly benign start, we got our first look at what was to come when we reached the 2nd tee. This hole is a short par 5 of 476 yards from the 6,522 yard blue tees. I love a three shot hole that gives me a chance to get home in two so this was certainly up my alley. The fairway starts out straight and flat but then drops off with a fairly significant hill down to the green which is fronted by water. Standing on the top of that hill was a quite a view and and the first hole of several that had dramatic elevation changes.
As is fairly typical of Robert Trent Jones, Sr. the par 3s all play over water. Additionally, all three of them play downhill and are all mid-iron shots. The 3rd hole is pictured below.
Over the next several holes we made our way through the densely tree lined fairways until we got to the 6th tee. Again we were faced with a reasonably short three shot hole. This one plays 471 yards from the blue tees and the drive is to a blind landing zone as can be seen in the photo below.
Pictured below is a view into the green.
The 7th is another downhill par 3 over water.
The next eleven holes consisted of a dog leg here, a blind tee shot there, and hitting into greens over water . . . all quality holes, but not anything that really stands out as exceptional.
Here is a look a the final downhill par 3 over water at the 16th hole.
The overall look and feel here is very typical of a parkland course. I would say that the strength of the course is its tee to green play as the undulating terrain makes for some interesting shots. There are a handful of excellent holes, but also a number of fairly pedestrian holes. I enjoyed all of the par 3s, but as mentioned above they are quite repetitive. In general, I had fun playing the course, but I can’t say that it left me clamoring to get back and play it again.