Cascades isn’t par for the course
Omni Homestead course takes No. 1 honor for fourth straight year
For the fourth consecutive year, the Virginia Golf Ratings Panel’s rankings of the commonwealth’s top 50 golf courses is led by the Omni Homestead Resort’s timeless Cascades course.
William Flynn’s classic 1923 design in Hot Springs — nestled in the Allegheny Mountains — has both mesmerized and bedeviled golfers from throughout the world for nearly a century. Panelists laud the seamlessness of the course’s routing and the shot-making that’s required for all 18 holes.
Precision also is required to score well at the course ranked just below the Cascades, Lester George’s Kinloch Golf Club in Manakin-Sabot. Completing the top five are Farmington Country Club (North-South) in Charlottesville, Keswick Hall & Golf Club (Full Cry) in Keswick and The Olde Farm in Bristol.
New to the top 50 are the Marsh Hawk (No. 35) and Blackheath (No. 38) courses at Ford’s Colony Country Club in Williamsburg and the Club at Viniterra (No. 43) in New Kent.
When voting, panelists were asked to consider a number of factors — variety in design, routing, strategy, fairness, shot values, memorability and aesthetics. They could vote only for courses they’ve played (and there are more than 300 courses in Virginia). From their ballots, the top 50 courses were determined using a blended scoring system that averaged a course’s ranking per number of panelists who had played it and also rewarded total points received (the higher the ranking, the greater the number of total points).
The panel’s mission is to provide rankings that a broad spectrum of golfers can appreciate. The panel is comprised of several dozen men and women who, while their playing ability varies, share a passion for the game and an appreciation for course design. Each also maintains his or her primary residence in Virginia.
For the first time, the panel also provided a list of the top 10 courses open daily to non-member play. Within this list at No. 4 is Spring Creek Golf Club in Zion Crossroads, widely considered one of the top truly public courses in the eastern United States.
Kevin Brafford is executive director of the Virginia Golf Ratings Panel, virginiagolfratings.com.
Read more from the golf package: