Charles Schwab Challenge

Colonial Country Club



Courses

The best courses you can play in Virginia

The Highland Course At Primland
Public
The Highland Course At Primland
Meadows of Dan
The Highland Course at Primland sits atop a mountain plateau overlooking some of the most unusual scenery in America, a deep river valley dotted with tall spirals of rock called the Pinnacles of the Dan River. The course design by veteran British architect Donald Steel is austere in its green contours and bunkering, as if not to overpower the setting. Aided by his then-associates Tom Mackenzie and Martin Ebert (who have since formed their own very successful partnership, Mackenzie & Ebert), Steel routed holes along ridges, over chasms, down valleys and into sideslopes, always offering a safe alternative to every perilous carry. There’s a stretch of three straight holes - 13 through 15 - with no sand, because dense trees and deep gulleys are hazards enough. Primland is Smoky Mountain majesty.
View Course
The Omni Homestead Resort: Cascades Course
As Wayne Morrison and Tom Paul point out in their massive, comprehensive biography of William Flynn, Seth Raynor was originally consulted about building the Cascades Course but declared the property insufficient. So the then-relative unknown William Flynn got the job and made the most of it. The topography of Cascades is magnificent and its bunkering is superb, particularly the cross-bunkers on the really fine 12th and 13th holes, both strong par 4s. The fourth and eighth are considered two of the great par 3s in the country and Cascades finishes with another par 3, a rarity among top courses. The Virginia gem has hosted eight USGA championships, including a U.S. Women's Open, a U.S. Amateur and two U.S. Women's Amateurs.
View Course
Golden Horseshoe Golf Club: Gold Course
Back in 1966, Golden Horseshoe was ranked among America's 200 Toughest Courses by Golf Digest. How times change. In 2012, we ranked The Gold Course as one of America's 50 Most Fun Public Courses. "Trent Jones in his kinder, gentler persona," we wrote. "Even the island green seventh hole is a generous target." The evolved Williamsburg track hosted the 1999 USGA Men's State Team Championship.
View Course
Kingsmill Resort: The River Course
4.1
44 Panelists
Pete Dye gained notoriety in the 1960s for his unique, trend-setting take on architecture at courses like The Golf Club, Crooked Stick and Harbour Town. He became a virtual household name in the 1980s after creating sensations like The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, PGA West and Blackwolf Run, and the fame continued throughout the 90s and for the rest of his career—at The Ocean Course, Whistling Straits, The Dye Course at French Lick and numerous others—until his passing in 2020. Less heralded are his courses from the 1970s. But among them, the River Course at Kingsmill Resort continues to stand out and remains a strong expression of Dye’s early design period, more in the mode of Harbour Town than Sawgrass. The course, which hosted the PGA Tour’s Michelob Championship from 1981 through 2002 and now hosts an LPGA event, sits quietly on the land and lets the natural movements of the wooded site—rather than sharp architectural features—define the character. The final three holes circle near the James River, including the par-3 17th that plays on a bluff above the water.
View Course
Royal New Kent Golf Club
Public
Royal New Kent Golf Club
Providence Forge
4
41 Panelists
One year after winning his first Golf Digest Best New Course design for Stonehouse, Strantz hit gold again with Royal New Kent, the 1997 Best New Upscale Public Course. Royal New Kent is just a 20-minute drive west of Stonehouse, but it couldn’t be more different. The general theme is golf in the United Kingdom, with holes like the sporty par-4 first that lays out a visible section of tumbling fairway on one line and hides a different section tucked behind a grassy dune on another. The first nine holes are a treasure, especially four through eight that gallop over a peaceful, heathlands-like sector with gorgeous ground movement. The left-right/right-left par-5 10th is another winner, but from there the real estate gets in the way and the routing becomes broken and boxed in. But it didn’t stop Strantz from pulling, twisting and hiding targets. When the land wasn’t giving him much to work with, he made his own fun. The course re-opened under new ownership in 2020 and is currently ranked 12th in state.
View Course
Spring Creek Golf Club
Public
Spring Creek Golf Club
Gordonsville
4.1
45 Panelists
There’s an admirable polish and sophistication to the holes at Spring Creek as they wind attractively through a quiet property of hardwoods and pine, with the first nine circling out broadly through undisturbed nature and the second moving out and back along the Spring Branch stream. Winner of Golf Digest’s Best New Public Course Under $75 in 2007, the scale and positioning of the bunkering, for reference, brings to mind Bethpage Black, while the topography of streams and ravines recall Mike Strantz’s no-longer-open Stonehouse on the opposite side of Richmond, which won the magazine’s Best New Upscale Course in 1996. Most greens are angled to the line of play and present a decision between playing to a safe, open side or a challenging side only accessible through strategic positioning and precision.
View Course
Poplar Grove Golf Club
Public
Poplar Grove Golf Club
Amherst
3.9
26 Panelists
Located just 20 minutes from Lynchburg, Va., in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this Sam Snead and Ed Carton designed course recently underwent a series of extensive renovations and upgrades that were unveiled in 2021. The renovations included a tree clearing and bunker redesign project, a new practice green and practice bunker and comfort stations located on holes 6 and 15. The layout boasts a nice mix of challenging long and short holes, forgiving fairways and smooth putting surfaces.
View Course
Mattaponi Springs Golf Club
Public
Mattaponi Springs Golf Club
Ruther Glen
3.3
30 Panelists
Located between Richmond and Fredericksburg, Va., along the I-95 corridor in central Virginia, this rolling, 330-acre property boasts a Bob Lohmann and Mike Benkusky design with scenic vistas and nice variety. The club was a runner-up on Golf Digest’s Best New Upscale Public courses in 2005 and then ranked among America’s 100 Greatest Public from 2009 to 2013 (it has been as high as 50th on our public list).
View Course
Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech
4
49 Panelists
A donation from the Goodwin family in 2003 allowed the financial support to cover a complete redesign by Pete Dye on an existing 18-hole layout along the New River in Radford, Va. The River course earned a fourth-place award from Golf Digest in its Best Remodel rankings of 2006, the highest of any public facility. The course—which is the home to both Virginia Tech and Radford University’s golf teams—has earned the reputation as one of the best collegiate courses in the country.
View Course
Bay Creek: Palmer Course
Private
Bay Creek: Palmer Course
Cape Charles
3.8
14 Panelists
The 7,250-yard Arnold Palmer-designed course at Bay Creek is located on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, featuring exquisite topography and expansive views of the Chesapeake Bay and Old Plantation Creek. The adjacent Jack Nicklaus course is now just nine holes but well worth playing. The Palmer course, currently ranked 20th in Golf Digest’s Best in State rankings, was in America’s 100 Greatest Public courses in 2003.
View Course
Full Cry at Keswick Golf Club
3.7
46 Panelists
Pete and Alice Dye’s renovations to an existing Arnold Palmer course at the 600-acre boutique Keswick Hall resort opened in 2014—garnering a ranking inside Golf Digest’s top 20 in Virginia ever since. Located just outside of Charlottesville on a serene piece of land with vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Dyes’ minimalist design offers options off the tee and open approaches to run balls onto greens if desired, but challenges golfers that are off line with tough, small bunkers.
View Course
The Omni Homestead Resort: Old Course
3.9
27 Panelists
The Old Course opened in 1892 and is home to the nation’s oldest first tee in continuous use. The unique 6,099-yard layout consists of six par 3s, six par 4s and six par 5s. The first president to play golf during office, William McKinley, did so here in 1899, and many other presidents have done so after him. The Donald Ross original design features forced carries, blind tee shots and contoured fairways.
View Course
Independence Golf Club: Championship
4.1
23 Panelists
Located just outside of Richmond, the Independence Golf Club's Championship course is Tom Fazio’s first public course in Virginia. Later renovated by Lester George, the course offers five sets of tees ranging from 5,000 to 7,100 yards, and boasts fast greens along with punishing bunkers. Renovations by Fazio's team earned an award among Golf Digest’s top 10 remodels of 2016.
View Course
Kingsmill Resort: The Woods Course
3.8
13 Panelists
Designed by Tom Clark and two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange, Kingsmill's Woods course challenges golfers of all abilities with deep bunkers, undulating greens, numerous water hazards, and a double green shared by the 12th and 15th holes. Set along the banks of the James River just minutes from historic Jamestown, the Woods Course is one of two award-winning 18-hole courses at the resort.
View Course
Potomac Shores Golf Club
Public
Potomac Shores Golf Club
Dumfries
3.6
33 Panelists
This Jack Nicklaus design boasts a series of challenging holes that require proper shot selection through varying landscapes, including navigation over the river bluffs. It is the only publicly accessible Nicklaus design in Northern Virginia, just 30 minutes south of the nation’s capital.
View Course
Magnolia Green Golf Club: Magnolia Green
3.9
15 Panelists
Jack Nicklaus’ design group and Tom Clark collaborated on the addition of a second nine and renovated the existing nine holes (previously called Westham Golf Club) before the course re-opened in 2015. The layout tips out at 7,020 yards with significant fairway width, and though the course boasts its finishing hole as its “signature hole,” our panelists compliment the short par-3 11th hole with its small green protected by three menacing bunkers.
View Course