On the scorecard, hole 17 at Kingsmill Resort’s River Course In Williamsburg, Virginia reads just like any other par 3 around the world: 177 yards. And that’s a shame. It should read; “You are about to play the ‘Most Historic 177 yards of Golf in America.’ Take it all in. Don’t rush. Look around and imagine how this very land played a role in our American history in the early 1600’s.
Thanks to its strategic and inviting position overlooking the James River, the tee box features visible remnants of the earthen works(a hastily made fort or defensive structure) from the American Revolution which was then repurposed in the Civil War. Today a canon and flag guard this sacred ground. I am sure some duffers would like to use the canon to launch their ball to the green. FYI, they will still be in the water.
Well before the early settlers in search of a new home or aggression dominated this shoreline, Native Americans lived here and enjoyed the oysters still plentiful and being served at the Resort’s James Landing Grill. Today, when golfers walk between the tee box and the green at the Pete Dye designed River Course’s 17th hole, they are stepping on the same land where the Jamestown settlers stepped off their boat in 1607. Those settlers would later sail upriver and start a settlement that would become the United States of America. The old pilings in the river are the location of the original port and start of the road from the James River to Williamsburg, the colonial town that is still thriving as a tourist attraction 500 years later recalling the early times of Virginia and the country. To the left of the hole are the foundations of what was basically a pub, an early warehouse, hotel and some say a brothel, all dating back before 1776.
That is 177 yards of pure history from the Native Americans to the Jamestown Settlers, the American Revolution and War Between the States to where LPGA Tour players tee it up in the annual Williamsburg Championship Presented by JTBC, being held this year May 18-21. Kingsmill Resort is also the place where Presidents Clinton, Bush(43) and Obama have come to meet, relax, work and rehearse for debates. Today golfers, families, couples and friends come to the Resort’s hallowed grounds to make their own history. Recently, the Virginia Golf Rankings Panel picked the River course #15 best in the state in its inaugural list.
While you may not score an eagle (hole-in-one) on 17, it is quite common to see an American Bald Eagle flying overhead because they nest on the property, enjoying the delectable James River fish, perfectly fitting for the ‘Most Historic 177 Yards of Golf in America.’ The golf courses are Audubon Certified Cooperative Sanctuaries, protecting the environment.
Winston Churchill once said, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” In golf, duffers call this a mulligan, and if there is any golf hole in America to pause a moment, take it all in- and repeat it- this is the one.
This March, Escalante Golf announced that it successfully acquired Kingsmill that boasts three championship golf courses: Besides Pete’s River course, the Plantation course designed by Arnold Palmer and the member only Woods Course, designed by Curtis Strange and Tom Clark.
In April, LPGA Kingsmill Championship Tournament Director Matthew Schulze was named the 2017 Middle Atlantic Section PGA Professional, the highest honor paid to an active PGA Professional. Matthew is also President of the Section, one of the largest in the nation. Schulze was the Head Professional at Richmond Country Club, where he initiated the Eagle Classic Tournament, an LPGA Symmetra Tour event in 2008, which led him to his current position at Kingsmill, where he has been the director for four years. Don’t forget 5/18-21 to see the greatest Ladies in the game play at Kingsmill.
Kingsmill Resort is the only AAA Four Diamond condominium resort in historic Williamsburg, Virginia, and one of the most iconic resorts on the east coast, started more than 45 years ago by Anheuser-Busch Company. Amenities include 15 tennis courts, the newly redesigned luxurious Kingsmill Spa, five dining options, and a plethora of recreational activities with a full-service marina. Kingsmill is the ideal stay for golfers, business meetings and families to enjoy the historical areas of Jamestown and Williamsburg. Visit Kingsmill.com or call 800-832-5665 for more details.
Founded in 1991, Escalante Golf is a boutique owner and operator of luxury golf properties across nine states. The Fort Worth, Texas based company has quietly assembled an impressive collection of exclusive clubs in key markets. Operating partners David McDonald, Elcio Silva, Robert Silva and David Matheson direct the Escalante team. Visit EscalanteGolf.com to learn more.