If you’re a Remote Control All-Star who enjoys watching pro golf on the weekends, one image will probably form in your mind when you read the following phrase: Kingsmill Resort.
It’s the par 3 17th on Kingsmill’s River Course. The aerial view shows a hole bordered by stately oak trees and mounding on the left, and the James River on the right. Yachts and leisure boats dot the shoreline, bearing golf fans cheering each group that tackles this tough par 3.
It’s a spectacular setting that makes you want to reach for your phone, call Golfpac Travel and secure a reservation for your next golf vacation.
And why not? Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, VA, offers everything you’d expect in an extraordinary golf getaway. It is the only 4-Diamond condominium resort in the region, providing a true “home away from home” experience. And the timing couldn’t be better, as a resort-wide renovation was recently completed.
“Everything is new, from the rooms to the spa, which opened in 2014,” said Craig Farrin, Director of Leisure Sales. “There is something for everybody here at Kingsmill. We have a lazy river and water slide, a full marina, 15 tennis courts and five restaurants.”
And, of course, two outstanding resort golf courses, including the Pete Dye-designed River Course, which has hosted 33 PGA and LPGA Tour events, including the LPGA Championship in May.
“The River Course was originally built in the 1970s and had the railroad ties and all the Pete Dye elements you’d expect,” said Kingsmill Resort General Manager Wayne Nooe. “It had a lot of forced carries that gave higher handicaps fits.
“The goal with the re-design in 2004 was to keep the course challenging for better players, but make it more playable for the average player. Pete accomplished this by giving higher handicappers areas to play around the trouble, not forcing them to play over it. He kept the challenge for better players by doing things like making the bunkers deeper and steeper toward the back of the greens. Amateurs more times than not come up short when they miss so the more severe bunkering won’t affect them as much.”
In his re-design, Dye created runoff areas around several greens, giving players options to chip, pitch or putt to try to save par.
The River Course features a couple of short and memorable par 4s that Dye is known for. The 11th, for instance, challenges bigger hitters to drive the green, but a devilish pot bunker on the front left will gobble up shots that don’t quite measure up.
The signature hole is the beautiful par 3 17th that plays 177 yards from the tournament tees. The undulating green is 47 yards deep, placing a premium on club selection. The James River borders on the right, and a large mound comes into play on the left.
The other resort track at Kingsmill is the Plantation Course, designed by Arnold Palmer/Ed Seay. Landmarks from Richard Kingsmill’s 1736 plantation are woven into the landscape. While not as long or demanding as Dye’s River Course, it still challenges the best players, especially in the short game.
“The defense for the Plantation is in the greens,” said Nooe. “There is a tremendous amount of movement in these putting surfaces, with various levels. You really need to put your ball on the correct level, or putting will be a real challenge.”
Several holes feature ravines near the greens, placing even more emphasis on the short game.
Your round will likely be made or broken on a challenging stretch of holes in the middle of the round. No. 9 is a short par 3 that requires a carry over wetlands to a three-leveled green. No. 10 is a long par 4 that features a small green bordered on the right by water. No. 11 is an even longer par 4 that requires an approach shot over a ravine. And 12 is a classic risk/reward par 5 at 460 yards. Players will have to carry a hazard in front of the green if they choose to go for it in two.
These are two distinctly different golf courses that provide a wide variety of experiences for any level of golfer.
What happens, however, when the sticks are put away for the day? Well, that is entirely up to each individual guest. The options are numerous.
Need to relax? The Kingsmill Spa offers all the treatments you’d expect from a first-class facility, but there is so much more. Sip on a glass of wine as you relax in the quiet room or on the deck gazing out at the beautiful James River. Or enjoy one of the numerous nutritious in-spa dining selections. It’s all there in a soothing setting.
Need a little more action? There are 15 tennis courts, 12 of which feature clay surfaces. A full-service marina has kayaks, paddleboats and jet skis to rent. There is an inside pool and an outdoor water complex which features a water slide and a lazy river.
If you haven’t had enough golf, you can get a fine tune-up at the Kingsmill Academy. Head instructor Chris George has been ranked the No. 1 instructor in Virginia by Golf Digest. He and his staff will not try to force a pre-conceived concept on their students, instead working on their individual weaknesses and strengths. You can learn for an hour, a day or in two- and three-day camps.
Hungry? With five restaurants and full in-room dining options, you’ll never wait for an outstanding meal during your visit. From savory snacks to sweet treats, tantalizing buffets to gourmet dinners, it’s all readily available at Kingsmill. Or, you can simply spend the time relaxing and dining in your spacious guestroom, condo or private cottage. All of the choices have balconies with great views of the river, the golf course or other resort areas. The condos are available in one, two or three bedrooms and feature full kitchens and family rooms with fireplaces. The three- and four-bedroom cottages are located just feet from the river’s edge, and are adjacent to the River Pool complex.
Take a step back in time by making the short jaunt to Colonial Williamsburg, a living-history museum and private foundation presenting part of a historic district in the city of Williamsburg. You’ll relive colonial times via museums, presentation and tours.
As you can see, Kingsmill Resort has all it takes to provide a lovely golf vacation. So just close your eye, pull up that aerial view of the 17th hole by the James River, then contact us today to book your trip to Kingsmill.