A local golf enthusiast and realtor offer their insight into area golf courses
Williamsburg is widely known across the state of Virginia and beyond for its pristine golf courses. Whether you’re coming into town for vacation and want to play a round of golf, or you’re a local resident who plays weekly (or daily), Williamsburg has something for everyone.
Roger Moore is a retired psychologist and businessman who has been living in the Williamsburg area for nearly two decades. Originally from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Roger has played all of the courses in the area, and now he’s letting us in on his review of each.
John Womeldorf, also known as Mr. Williamsburg, is a realtor serving the greater Williamsburg area, but his work goes far beyond selling houses. By constantly updating his website, www.mrwilliamsburg.com, John offers a unique glimpse into what it’s like to live, work and play in the Colonial Capital.
As a retiree, Roger has the luxury of being able to golf nearly every day of the week. As a realtor who has been selling homes in Williamsburg for nearly two decades, John has a wealth of knowledge about living in these golf communities.
When it comes to picking the right golf course for you, Roger and John agree that you should explore the various options because each one brings something different to the table. Until you can find the time to come to the ‘burg and play each course, Roger and John have joined forces to provide what they know about each course in one convenient spot.
Golden Horseshoe Golf Club
Roger is a member of the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Colonial Williamsburg. A resident of the Holly Hills neighborhood on Jamestown Road, the course is just a two-minute drive from his house.
“When looking for a course to join, there are two main things to look at: the design and the condition of the course,” Roger says. “I have played all of the courses in the area, and I can say without a doubt the Horseshoe has the most versatile design. I play there every day and never get bored. That is what makes a good course to me.”
As a member, Roger gets unlimited play at all three of the Horseshoe’s courses, as well as preferred reservations for tee times. He also gets reduced cart fees, guest fees, and discounts at the golf shops, tennis club, spa boutique and select restaurants. Members can also play or visit other participating private clubs across the country with reciprocity privileges at a preferred rate.
Another perk about joining the Golden Horseshoe as a member is you can also opt into their Wellness Membership, which allows you access to their spa amenities like the sauna, tennis, indoor and outdoor pools, facials, massages and more.
At its location in Colonial Williamsburg, Golden Horseshoe is a public course that attracts both locals and out of town visitors. Because it is not tied to a particular neighborhood like many of the other courses in town, you get a good mix of locals and tourists. “Anyone can walk in and play,” says Roger.
Roger has been a member of the Golden Horseshoe for 16 years and says he can still play the courses every day and not get bored. Out of the three courses offered – Green, Gold and Spotswood – the Gold course is his favorite.
Another thing that Roger says sets Golden Horseshoe apart from the rest is the views on the course. “You see a lot of wildlife like deer, rabbit, turkey, foxes, bald eagles and osprey. In many of the residential communities you see a lot of houses, but not at the Horseshoe.”
John says Golden Horseshoe is a great option for those wanting to live walking distance to Colonial Williamsburg and/or William & Mary. “Not everyone wants to actually live in the golf community, so the Horseshoe allows folks to live in neighborhoods with low HOA fees, be walking distance to things like the Farmer’s Market and summer concerts in CW, and still have access to great golf.”
To explore available listings near Golden Horseshoe Golf Club, visit here.
Two Rivers Country Club
In addition to the Horseshoe, The Two Rivers Country Club, located in The Governor’s Land neighborhood, is one of Roger’s favorite courses. Overlooking the James and Chickahominy Rivers, the views from the 18-hole championship course are hard to beat.
“The Two Rivers course is always in good condition and the Tom Fazio design is good too,” says Roger. “Playing on the back nine is beautiful.”
Roger has played Two Rivers multiple times, and at one time had a corporate membership through his wife, Liz Moore’s, realty business. He says the course is great for residents of Governor’s Land, with it being so convenient and getting preference on tee times.
Two Rivers offers a variety of different membership packages, including a full membership, non-resident membership, dining membership and more. Full golf members get unlimited use of the course and practice facility, seven-day advance tee time reservation as well as access to all of the club amenities.
“I have sold many homes in Governor’s Land through the years, and it’s the only neighborhood that offers a private club environment,” says John. “Their clubhouse is the best waterfront venue in town, and they have a lot of unique amenities, including a private beach, sailing team, tennis courts, nature trails, and of course golf. Although not a gated community, Governor’s Land has 24-hour security, which many folks find appealing.”
To browse available listings in Governor’s Land at Two Rivers, visit here.
Ford’s Colony Country Club
The Ford’s Colony Country Club features 54 holes with three distinct golf course designs: the Blackheath, Blue Heron and Marsh Hawk. The courses feature water, large generous fairways carved out of dense wetlands and Champion Bermuda greens that provide smooth surfaces throughout the year.
“Ford’s Colony provides three wonderful and challenging courses,” says Roger. “The Bermuda greens provide golfers with a true, consistent roll. If variety is the spice of your life, then Ford’s Colony is for you. They have a vibrant membership and terrific amenities.”
“Ford’s Colony is a massive gated community, with more than 2,500 homes,” says John. “Prices of homes can range from $300,000 to $1 million+, so you can find everything from small ranches to huge mansions. There are 13 miles of paved walking trails, pickle ball courts, two pools, and 50+ different social clubs. Having sold numerous homes in Ford’s Colony through the years, I have found this community to be one of the most active. People are always running, cycling, pushing strollers, playing golf, hiking, etc. It’s also very convenient and only about a 10-minute drive from most locations in town.”
To view available listings in Ford’s Colony, visit here.
Roger says that his fellow local golf enthusiasts rave about golfing in Kingsmill. With two 18-hole courses, members, residents and resort guests can play where the pros have on Kingsmill’s stunning River Course, which is rated one of the best golf courses in Virginia.
“The River Course is a lot of fun,” says Roger. The River Course has served as a popular PGA Tour site for 22 years and is home to the LPGA Kingsmill Championship.
Golf legend Arnold Palmer created a sister course to The River Course, known as The Plantation Course, to appeal to golfers of all abilities. The Plantation Course challenges players of all skill levels, with its water, deep woods and yawning ravines.
To play on the River and Plantation courses, golfers must be overnight guests or members of Kingsmill Resort. The Woods Course is open to Full Golf Members only.
“It’s great that they offer three wonderful courses, and they all provide the avid golfer great challenges,” says Roger. “The 17th hole on the River Course is not only a great par 3 but also offers scenic views of the James River. The bar and restaurant offer a wonderful 19th hole experience after a great round with the best water view in Williamsburg.”
“One of the first planned communities in Williamsburg, Kingsmill has 2,000+ homes ranging from townhomes in the low $200s to mansions in the $3 million+ price range,” says John. “The club is totally separate and not mandatory to join, but if you want to eat at the neighborhood restaurants, go to the fitness center, use the golf courses and the marina, you will want to join. The HOA does give access to the tennis courts, pools, walking trails and social activities. Kingsmill is also gated and offers 24-hour security.”
To view available listings in Kingsmill, visit here.
Williamsburg National Golf Club
Down the road from Ford’s Colony is Williamsburg National Golf Club. Not associated with a particular residential community or resort, the National is a popular spot for locals. According to Roger, it is also one of the more affordable options in town.
At the National, 36 holes of championship golf ensures plenty of accessible tee times for club members. Members enjoy one-month advance tee time reservations, unlimited green fees, unlimited range balls, member-only tournaments, leagues, social events and more. They also offer the ability to customize your golf membership based on your playing habits and individual needs.
Roger says Williamsburg National is in his top five list of courses in Williamsburg.
“Williamsburg National is right beside the Greensprings Plantation and Greensprings West neighborhoods,” says John. “There is no connection between the golf course and the HOA. Both neighborhoods are great for families and have a ton of kids on the swim team. The 1607 Grill, the golf club’s restaurant, is a great local spot to enjoy some food and drinks after a round of golf.”
To view available listings hear Williamsburg National, visit here.
Colonial Heritage Golf Club
The Colonial Heritage course emulates the classic beauty and refinement of the natural terrain and landscape of its southern Virginia surroundings. Situated in a residential community for Williamsburg residents who are 55 years of age and older, Colonial Heritage is a popular and active retirement community with many amenities.
Roger says he likes the Colonial Heritage course, but isn’t crazy about all of the homes lining the course. While Roger prefers a more natural setting, some may prefer the residential surroundings, especially those living in Colonial Heritage.
The Colonial Heritage Golf Club is built around the foundation of family and friends enjoying a full calendar of events that promote relationships and social camaraderie. Colonial Heritage offers a year-round calendar of activities.
“Colonial Heritage is Williamsburg’s only golf community for residents who are 55 years old and up,” says John. “All of the floor plans feature a first-floor master, which is a huge draw for those looking to downsize and age in place. The neighborhood features trails, a clubhouse, pools (indoor and outdoor), a fitness center, golf pro shop and even a woodworking workshop. The HOA is mandatory.”
To view available listings in Colonial Heritage, visit here.
Williamsburg Golf Club
Formerly known as Williamsburg Country Club, Williamsburg Golf Club is a private club located off of Merrimac Trail near Busch Gardens and has been around since 1958. In fact, it is the first place Roger golfed when he first arrived in Williamsburg.
“The course was always in good shape, but it has a lot of trees which I don’t love,” he says. “The food at their restaurant is great!”
Memberships are offered in the categories of a full membership, social, national (for people who do not live within a 50-mile radius of the Club) and corporate. Because WGC is a private facility, all players and guests must be accompanied by a member while on the property.
Kiskiack Golf Club
Located just off of Interstate 64 in Croaker, Kiskiak Golf Club is set on the ridge of a natural bluff and offers a day of golf for players of all levels. Many of the holes demand accurate shot making from tee to green, while others are more forgiving – making it a fun place to play for beginners and seasoned players like Roger.
“It’s a very fun course, and it has a great owner,” he says. Roger says Kiskiak’s owner is very passionate about golf, and that he really wants people out there who enjoy playing the sport. “It’s a great place for first-time golfers,” he says.
Benefits of joining Kiskiak include unlimited golf and use of the practice facility, unlimited use of the driving range, 30-day booking window and access to the first available hour of the day, four guest passes, discounts and more.
“Kiskiak Golf Club is located near a number of neighborhoods, and many of them feature large lots and low HOA fees,” says John. “There’s Wexford Hills, Riverview Plantation, Oaks at Fenton Mill, Banbury Cross, Skimino Landing Estates and more. These communities are also near York River State Park, so if you’re someone who likes large lots with privacy, nearby golf and recreation, this area might be for you.”
To view listings near Kiskiak Golf club, visit here.
Stonehouse Golf Club
Located just outside of Williamsburg in Toano is the residential community of Stonehouse. For those living in upper James City County, Stonehouse is a convenient location for playing a round of golf without having to drive into town or deep inside a gated community.
Stonehouse is home to the recently re-opened Stonehouse Golf Club. Members receive unlimited golf and use of the practice facility, unlimited range balls, 14-day booking window and access to preferred tee-times, discount on merchandise and reduced golf cart rate fees.
The course was designed to disturb nature as little as possible. With deep bunkers and wide fairways, the par 72 layout features dramatic elevation changes.
With the drop in the market in 2008, the former owners of the course had a hard time staying open. By 2017, the golf course had lost all of its greens, tee boxes were bare and the fairways overgrown with weeds. The course was officially closed in November of that year. In December 2018, J. Sanders Construction bought the property and restored it to its former glory following a multi-million-dollar renovation that is still ongoing.
Roger says he has only played at Stonehouse once and it was before the course closed. He says the course design was not his favorite, but he is hoping to give it another try under the new ownership.
“Many people do not realize that Stonehouse is on 5,700 acres of land, so it is twice the size of Ford’s Colony,” says John. “There are still around 2,000 lots still to be developed. Stonehouse features separate clubhouses and amenities for residents of Stonehouse and Stonehouse Glen, walking trails, fitness centers, and a great restaurant. In Stonehouse, you get a lot of house for your money, which many buyers find appealing. The neighborhood is hilly, so there are several homes with basements available.”
To view available listings in Stonehouse, visit here.
The Club at Viniterra
While Golden Horseshoe is his top pick, Roger says if he had to pick a second best it would be The Club at Viniterra in New Kent. A short 30-minute drive from Williamsburg, Viniterra is a residential community that also boasts a beautiful winery.
“It is such a beautiful course,” says Roger. “If it were closer, I would probably be a member.”
Roger says what makes Viniterra so great is its playability. It’s a course that he thinks he could golf every day. While there are no homes on the course at the moment, Roger says there are plans for some in the future.
“I’d like to convince my wife that we need a condo there,” he laughs.
“Viniterra is a great location for commuters, especially if you work in Richmond or Williamsburg,” says John. “It’s located right off of Interstate 64, yet it’s nestled in a beautifully wooded area that takes you away from the hustle and bustle.”
In addition to homes in Viniterra, there’s also a 55 and up community nearby called Four Seasons at New Kent Winery as well as The Arbors at New Kent.
To view available listings in and near Viniterra Golf Club, visit here.
Brickshire Golf Club
Located in Providence Forge, the community of Brickshire boasts the Brickshire Golf Club. They pride themselves on being “player-friendly” with their wide, inviting fairways, rolling greens and dramatic elevation changes.
While Roger has only played Brickshire once, he says it was a fun course that he found to be similar to The Williamsburg National. “I remember it being affordable, too,” he says.
“Brickshire is an extremely popular community,” says John. “Homes priced in the $400,000 range in Brickshire would easily be $500,000 in one of Williamsburg’s gated communities. Building lots are very inexpensive right now. Located in Providence Forge, I find a lot of people moving from Richmond to this area for the affordability factor. There’s also walking trails, a pool, clubhouse, and restaurant that is open to the public.”
To view available listings in Brickshire, visit here.
Roger and John’s advice for golfers moving to Williamsburg
“Play every course before you settle on one,” Roger says. “There are so many to try out, and they all have something different to offer. You never know which one you will like the most until you try it. What I prefer in a course might not be what you prefer. Also, Williamsburg is a place where you can golf year-round, with the exception of a couple of weeks in the winter when it’s just too cold.”
“If you want to explore specific courses, reach out to me first because I might be able to set you up with special discounts,” says John. “I am also happy to connect you with the membership contacts.”
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