Course Architects: Tom Clark and Curtis Strange
Year Opened: 1995
Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
Slope: 139. Rating: 72.5
Par: 72
Yardage: 6,784
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 389 Yds    10 - Par 4 404 Yds
                      2 - Par 4 395 Yds    11 - Par 4 423 Yds
                      3 - Par 4 462 Yds    12 - Par 3 195 Yds
                      4 - Par 4 320 Yds    13 - Par 5 493 Yds
                      5 - Par 5 542 Yds    14 - Par 4 433 Yds
                      6 - Par 3 196 Yds    15 - Par 4 388 Yds
                      7 - Par 4 284 Yds    16 - Par 5 516 Yds
                      8 - Par 3 146 Yds    17 - Par 3 154 Yds
                      9 - Par 5 582 Yds    18 - Par 4 462 Yds
                      Par 36  3,316 Yds     Par 36  3,468 Yds

Awards Won: 4 1/2 stars by Golf Digest - Best Places to Play (2006),
            #10 America's Best Public-Access Courses (VA) - Golfweek (2005),
            #87 America's Top 100 Resort Courses - Golfweek (2005),
            Top Ten New Courses for Public Play - Golf Magazine (1995).


HISTORY: The final piece of the Kingsmill Resort puzzle was completed in 1995,
as  the  Woods Course opened with  great fanfare. Carved in the deep ravenous,
tree-soaked  landscape  of Williamsburg,  the Woods Course  was crafted by Tom
Clark  of  Ault, Clark and Associates  with consulting work from two-time U.S.
Open champion Curtis Strange.

The  Woods  Course was built just  a short shuttle  ride from the Resort, in a
secluded  section  of property.  Meaning, no homes,  no buildings, just trees,
more  trees, deep ravines and peace and quiet (except when you're on 13). With
most  guests opting  to play the famed  River Course, the Woods is more like a
members club, which is just what the locals enjoy.

Designing  the course  presented many challenges for Clark and Strange. During
the  routing stage, historical sites were found, so they needed plenty of time
and  money to  excavate, not  to mention  with its  difficult topography,  the
routing of the course proved to be quite a chore.

The  Kingsmill  property dates  back  to  the  early  1600s, where  the  first
Englishman  dropped anchor  in the James River. Although they settled upstream
in  Jamestown,  the Virginia Company  of England  granted 300 acres to Richard
Kingsmill,  a member  of the organization. Col. Lewis Burwell III, a member of
the  Governor's Council,  inherited the land from his grandfather and named it
Kingsmill  after the original owner. Burwell's Landing was an integral part of
the  American Revolution  and can  be seen  from the  17th hole  on the  River

Fast  forward  to present  time. The  Kingsmill Resort  and Spa  is one of the
Anheuser-Busch  Companies  in Williamsburg, part  of the 2,900 protected acres
along  the James River.  The Resort features 63 holes of golf, tennis, a full-
service  spa and marina, numerous restaurants, indoor and outdoor pools and of
course, Busch Gardens Europe and Water Country USA.

REVIEW:  The Woods Course opens with a gentle, dogleg right par four, just 389
yards  from  the back tees. A  large, backwards three-shaped bunker guards the
corner,  however  the landing area  is quite generous,  so play down the left-
center  to set  up the best approach. The  green is quite long at 45 paces and
features  two tiers. Sand left and right protects the putting surface, however
with a short iron from the fairway, you should be able to bypass trouble.

One  of  my favorite holes  on the course, the  second is another dogleg, this
time  to the left,  just under 400 yards in length. Once again, a wide fairway
awaits,  however  any shot through the  fairway right will snared by a 40-yard
long  bunker, while missing left will result in trees and being blocked to the
green.  A short iron  will once again remain, however water looms large on the
left  side, beginning from 75 yards out through the green. Another long green,
stretching from right to left can be quite tricky, especially with a back-left
pin. This hole can be had, but don't get greedy.

From  the  gold tees, the third  is one bear of  a hole, tying the 18th as the
longest  par four  on the  course.  Doglegging back  to the  right, the  third
requires length and accuracy off the tee, as a large lake right will snare any
offline  shot.  Trees guard the  entire left  side of the  hole, so left is no
picnic  either. A  long iron or fairway metal will remain, especially when the
wind is up, to another mammoth green. The putting surface slopes back to front
and  is guarded by  sand left, right and deep. Making par here will be quite a

It's  time to get one back, as you reach the fourth tee. A short, straightaway
par four of just 320 yards in length. No problem, you might say. Well, danger,
in  the form  of water right of the  green and sand left as you near the green
can  make  this very difficult.  For the normal folk,  a long iron or fairway-
metal  will  set up a  little wedge to a  slightly elevated green. The putting
surface  is very undulating and surrounded by three traps. Stay below the hole
for your best shot at birdie.

The  fifth is  the first par five  on the course and features plenty of drama.
Doglegging  twice  to the left, this  542 yarder can be tamed, however placing
the  ball in  the proper side of  the fairway is of utmost importance. A solid
draw  off  the tee can open  up an opportunity to  go for the green, however a
deep  ravine fronting the green should dispel any and all thoughts. The proper
play  for your second shot should be to the right side of the fairway, leaving
just under 100 yards to a very small, shallow green. Two bunkers lay below the
green  and will see  plenty of action, especially when the pin is in the back-
left portion of the putting surface.

The  longest and  first par three on  the course is the sixth hole. Playing as
long  as  196 yards,  this one-shotter is  all carry to  the green, as another
ravine  fronts the  surface. Two deep traps  guard the left side of the green,
while a pair of bunkers wreck havoc deep. The putting surface slopes from left
to right and back to front, making this one difficult hole.

Although  seemingly reachable, the seventh is a simple par four requiring just
a  fairway-metal and a wedge. A 160-yard carry off the tee will clear the trio
of  traps short  and left of the  wide landing area. From there, just a little
pitch  to  a very small green  remains. The difficulty are the bunkers, front,
back  and  right and the  sloping putting surface.  Let's not forget that your
distance control has to be spot on, or you're making bogey.

The  shortest par  three on the course,  the eighth, could be the hardest. Pin
position  certainly  is a key  ingredient to the  difficulty of this hole. The
green  is very shallow at 28 paces, but is quite wide at 60 yards. Three traps
present  a nice target, however a ravine, fronting nearly the entire green, is
quite  daunting. A front-left pin will be tough and could you imagine the wind
in your face? Better pick the right club.

In  contrast, the  final hole on the  outward nine is the longest on the Woods
Course,  as  it stretches a  whopping 582 yards  from the back tees. Treelined
down both sides of the doglegging left fairway, the ninth requires positioning
and  a little  bit of length. Water comes  into play as you near the green, so
lay  back with your second shot to around the 100-yard mark, thus setting up a
wedge to a long, sloping green. The putting surface, which angles to the left,
is  fronted  by water and sand  left and two  traps deep. The green features a
large  rise  in the center,  so depending upon  pin position, be accurate with
your approach.

The  back nine is  the heart and soul of the Woods Course. That's evident when
you  step on  the 10th tee, a  dogleg-left par four. Trees guard both sides of
the  fairway, that slopes  from right to left. A good drive will leave a short
to  mid iron to an elevated green. A ravine short of the green must be carried
to  reach the putting  surface, which slopes from back to front with a tier in
the  center. Four  well-positioned bunkers protect the green that stretches 35
yards in length. Making par here is a real bonus.

After  a lengthy  cart ride through the  trees, the most difficult hole on the
course  comes to  pass.  The 11th  is  a rugged,  dogleg-right  par four  that
requires  pinpoint  accuracy with the  driver. Trees  and a ravine protect the
right  side, so fade  the ball if you must, but be careful. Your approach shot
will  be made with  a medium iron, played downhill to a green partially hidden
by the slope of the fairway. The putting surface is guarded by two traps right
and  one  deep, while  the green  slopes from  back to  front with some sneaky
undulations.  Aggression is  not the order of  the day, make your par and move

The  12th is  the signature  hole of  the Woods  Course and  rightfully so.  A
beautiful  par three  over water to the largest green on the course. Deceiving
however,  since it's  part of a double  green, shared by the 15th. A difficult
pot  bunker splits the  green in two, while one trap short and one right guard
the  surface.  Club selection is  quite important,  as anything long and right
will most certainly trundle down the hill and into the woods. This hole can be
a round-killer if playing into the wind.

The  tee  shot on  the 13th  is critical  to have  any shot  at birdie on this
relatively  short  par five.  Bending to  the right  and playing downhill, the
landing area is quite narrow and requires a serious fade off the tee. Avoiding
the  fairway bunker  on the left is  crucial, not to mention missing the trees
and  ravine on the right. The green sits well below the fairway and is guarded
in front by two deep traps and a ravine right. The play is to the left side of
the putting surface, which angles left to right. The ideal play is left of the
green where it opens up, chip close and make your putt for birdie, as you join
the screams from Busch Gardens in the background.

The  par-four 14th sweeps hard to the left from the tee. The key here, like 13
is  the tee  ball, which  must carry  230 yards  over a  bunker from  the gold
markers  to have any reasonable shot at reaching the green. Your approach shot
with  a  medium to long  iron, plays slightly downhill  to a fairly wide green
with  sand  on three sides,  less the front. The  wide opening makes this hole
very accessible.

Don't  be fooled  by the length of  the 15th, as the hole plays uphill towards
the  fairway and don't  think that just a fairway metal will get the job done.
Take out the big stick and bomb it down the right side to set up a short iron.
The  green is large,  as it's shared with 12, and has three bunkers around the
right and one left. Below the hole works every time.

The  16th  could certainly be  considered another  signature hole at the Woods
Course. A sensational, sweeping dogleg-left par five, this gem features all of
the  characteristics of great  design. First off, a draw from right to left is
needed  to negotiate  the trees  right and  left, not  to mention  the sloping
fairway.  Next, serious thought must be taken into account, as you contemplate
going for the green in two. The problem, ravine and trees left and a series of
traps  around  the putting surface. A  back-left pin could be hidden from view
when  attempting your  second shot.  The green  is fairly  benign, so  birdies
should be made.

The  final par  three on the course,  the 17th plays downhill to the green and
can  be affected  if the  wind is  blowing. Club  selection will  be key,  but
usually  just a short  iron should be able to land on this long, narrow green.
Sand left and right is trouble, but deep is jail, so choose wisely.

The  closing hole at  the Woods Course is an outstanding par four at 462 yards
in  length. Doglegging sharply to the left, the hole can be had if you hit the
fairway.  Trees  guard the left side  of the generous landing area, while sand
lays right. The approach to the green is quite picturesque, with a lake on the
right  side,  creeping out towards the  fairway. A long sand trap sits between
the  water and the green. A back-right pin could be the hardest on the course,
with  sand behind  the putting surface. Visually intimidating, especially when
you need par to break 80!

FINAL  WORD:  The Woods  Course  is  a perfect  complement  to  the River  and
Plantation  Courses at Kingsmill.  In fact, it runs a very close second to the
main  venue. With tees ranging from 5,100 to 6,780 yards, the Woods is for all
levels of play.

The  course is  a great mix of short  par fours, a few reachable par fives and
some  solid par threes. However, don't overlook the six par fours that stretch
over  400 yards.  A great  practice  area, outstanding  conditioning, a  solid
layout  and a  very warm and friendly  staff, what else could one ask for. How
about a return visit?

The  resort  has some  great golf packages  to chose from,  not to mention the
wonderful  spa, Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. Kingsmill is a resort for
all  seasons  and a  fantastic place  for the  guys to  take their annual trip
without  their  significant other. It's golf  and fun without ever leaving the