THE HOMESTEAD RESORT
Cascades Course Architect: William S. Flynn (1923), Robert Trent Jones (1961),
Restoration work (2005).
Year Opened: 1923
Location: Hot Springs, Virginia
Slope: 137. Rating: 73.0
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 398 Yds 10 - Par 4 381 Yds
2 - Par 4 432 Yds 11 - Par 3 192 Yds
3 - Par 4 289 Yds 12 - Par 4 476 Yds
4 - Par 3 210 Yds 13 - Par 4 440 Yds
5 - Par 5 575 Yds 14 - Par 4 429 Yds
6 - Par 4 367 Yds 15 - Par 3 229 Yds
7 - Par 4 417 Yds 16 - Par 5 527 Yds
8 - Par 3 153 Yds 17 - Par 5 513 Yds
9 - Par 4 448 Yds 18 - Par 3 203 Yds
Par 35 3,289 Yds Par 35 3,390 Yds
Key Events Held: USGA Senior Women's Amateur (2009),
NCAA Division I Men's Championship (2004),
USGA Men's Mid-Amateur Championship (2000),
U.S. Women's Amateur Championship (1994),
U.S. Men's Amateur Championship (1988),
USGA Senior Men's Amateur Championship (1980),
U.S. Women's Open Championship (1967),
Curtis Cup (1966),
U.S. Women's Amateur Championship (1928).
Awards Won: #4 by Golf Digest - Best in State, Virginia (2009-10),
#13 by GolfWeek - Best Resort Courses (2009),
#24 by Golf Digest - America's 100 Greatest Public (2009-10),
4 1/2 stars by Golf Digest - Best Places to Play (2006-09),
#17 by Golf Magazine - Top 100 You Can Play (2008),
#1 by Golf Magazine - Top 100 You Can Play, Virginia (2008),
#39 by Golf Digest - America's 100 Greatest Courses (2003-04).
Old Course Architect: First 6 holes (unknown, 1892), Donald Ross (1913),
Rees Jones (renovation/restoration, 1994)
Year Opened: 1892
Location: Hot Springs, Virginia
Slope: 129. Rating: 69.0
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 5 519 Yds 10 - Par 4 381 Yds
2 - Par 3 153 Yds 11 - Par 3 199 Yds
3 - Par 5 465 Yds 12 - Par 5 544 Yds
4 - Par 5 473 Yds 13 - Par 5 581 Yds
5 - Par 3 163 Yds 14 - Par 4 355 Yds
6 - Par 4 383 Yds 15 - Par 5 502 Yds
7 - Par 4 329 Yds 16 - Par 3 169 Yds
8 - Par 4 323 Yds 17 - Par 4 354 Yds
9 - Par 3 163 Yds 18 - Par 3 171 Yds
Par 36 2,971 Yds Par 36 3,256 Yds
Awards Won: 4 stars by Golf Digest - Best Places to Play (2006-09),
AAA Four Diamond Award Winner (2007-09),
Best Resort for Buddy Trips - Travel + Leisure Golf (2006).
Web site: www.thehomestead.com.
HISTORY: Dating back to 1766, The Homestead is one of the premier resorts in
the United States, if not the world.
For over 200 years, the secluded retreat has been known to rejuvenate the soul
with its warm mineral springs and health spa. Now, 230 years later, The
Homestead is still healing the heart and mind.
As the story goes, an Indian brave fell weary of a long trek while delivering
a message from his people in the mountains to a destination on the ocean
shore. Before reaching his destination, he decided to rest in the warm waters
of the Warm Springs Valley. After a restful night's sleep, the brave's
batteries were recharged and he made his way to his final destination to alert
everyone of his wonderful discovery.
Prior to becoming president, George Washington, then a colonel in the Virginia
regiment, visited the springs. It was however, an officer in nearby Fort
Dinwiddie, Thomas Bullitt, along with Andrew and Thomas Lewis who obtained a
deed to 300 acres, close to where the springs were located. Bullitt had the
foresight to buy out the brothers and build the first lodge on the current
Over the years, The Homestead had many owners, however, when Dr. Thomas Goode,
a local physician in the region, purchased the property in 1832, the resort
reached a whole new level. Claiming the resort and its waters had healing
powers, Goode expanded the hotel, and built bathhouses and cabins to attract
visitors from the eastern seaboard. Although it took days to reach the
mountain retreat, people flocked to The Homestead.
Ownership continued to change and so did the facilities at The Homestead.
Cottages, additions to the hotel, tennis courts, a six-hole golf course and
miles of riding trails and walkways were designed. The Old Course at The
Homestead dates back to 1892, and its first tee still represents the oldest
tee in continuous use in this country.
Donald Ross is credited with creating this gem, and expanded the course to 18
holes. The par-72 layout is quite short by today's standards, but still packs
quite a punch with its drastic elevation changes and slick greens.
With golf becoming popular, the Virginia Hot Springs Co., who now owned the
resort, decided to purchase additional land just a few miles away and by 1923
the Cascades Course, designed by William Flynn, opened for play.
Robert Trent Jones designed the final course at The Homestead, the Lower
Cascades, which was constructed 40 years later.
Many national tournaments have been staged at The Homestead, but it is also
known as the home of one of the greatest golfers of all time, Samuel Jackson
Born May 27, 1912 in nearby Ashwood, Virginia, Snead's father worked at The
Homestead and as he grew, the youngest of six children, Snead would sneak on
the Old Course to play. It wasn't until high school, however, that he was able
to play on the Cascades. After high school, Snead became the assistant pro at
The Homestead and was the first golf professional at the Cascades Course.
Snead honed his game at The Homestead, earning the moniker Slammin' Sammy. His
career and sweet swing were legendary....82 PGA Tour wins, 165 professional
wins, seven major championships and a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
But did you know, that when Snead was giving lessons at The Homestead, it cost
a mere $3?
The legend of Sam Snead was certainly born at the Cascades, where he still
owns the course record of 61. Snead started his round by driving the first
green and finishing his round with nine consecutive threes.
The Homestead was always home to Snead, a place where he lived and died. Snead
passed away at the age of 89 in 2002, just four days shy of his birthday, at
his home in Hot Springs. Upon his passing, Jack Nicklaus said it best, "He
brought so much to the game with his great swing and the most fluid motion
ever to grace a golf course."
The United States Golf Association has enjoyed coming to The Homestead for
many years. Just five years after opening its doors, the Cascades course
hosted the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship. Glenna Collett captured her
third Women's Amateur there, and the first of three consecutive titles by
defeating Virginia Van Wie, 13 & 12. In her five matches, Collett was never
forced past the 15th hole, as she dominated her opponents.
In 1966, the USGA brought the Curtis Cup to the Cascades Course, as the United
States posted its largest margin of victory over the team from Great Britain &
The following year, the U.S. Women's Open made its way to The Homestead.
Amateur Catherine Lacoste defeated Susie Maxwell and Beth Stone by two shots.
Although Lacoste became the youngest winner of this championship at the time
and the only amateur ever to win the U.S. Women's Open, the real winner was
the golf course. Her total score for the four rounds was 10-over-par!
Accomplished amateur William Campbell won his second straight Senior Amateur
Championship at The Homestead in 1980, defeating Keith Compton, 3 & 2.
Campbell was the medalist for the stroke-play portion at seven-over-par.
The prestigious U.S. Amateur Championship was staged on the Cascades Course in
1988. Medalist Eric Meeks defeated Danny Yates, 7 & 6 in the championship
match. The field included a who's who of golfers, such as David Toms, Jim
Furyk, Bob May, Chris DiMarco, Robert Gamez, Billy Mayfair and Jay Sigel.
Meeks' road to the title was not an easy one, as he defeated Sigel in 21 holes
and Toms and Gamez 1-up.
ClubResorts, a division of ClubCorp, acquired The Homestead in 1993 and began
a major restoration project. Part of this process was the renovation of the
Old Course by "The Open Doctor," Rees Jones. The million-dollar enhancement
brought this Grande dame into the 21st century.
1994 brought the Women's Amateur Championship back to The Homestead, as
current LPGA Tour player Wendy Ward defeated Jill McGill, 2-up. A talented
field of current Tour stars competed that year, including Emilee Klein, Angela
Stanford, Catriona Matthew, Janice Moodie, Kelli Kuehne, Leta Lindley and Riko
When the 2000 Mid-Amateur came to Hot Springs, Virginia, Greg Puga came away
the winner, defeating Wayne Raath, 3 & 1. Four players earned medalist honors
at 3-under. Puga, a caddie at the famed Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles,
became the youngest winner of this championship. Trailing 2-down after nine
holes, Puga caught fire with back-to-back birdies on 11 and 12 to square the
match and then won three of the next five holes to win the match. Puga was
equivalent to 2-under par for the back nine.
The NCAA Division I Men's Championship was held in 2004 at the Cascades Course
and current PGA Tour player Ryan Moore won the individual title. Moore fired a
4-under-par 66 in the final round. Moore's final round consisted of three
bogeys, but seven birdies, including a hole out from the bunker on No. 4 for
birdie, and a chip in from the rough on the final hole for a birdie. He
finished at 13-under for the championship, six ahead of Bill Haas and Chris
Nallen. Moore shot par or better in all four rounds, including a third-round
In 2006, KSL Resorts acquired management of The Homestead and has once again
brought The Homestead into the forefront of the American resort landscape.
As recently as 2009, the USGA brought the Senior Women's Amateur to the
Cascades Course. Sherry Herman won three straight holes on the back nine,
starting with a birdie from five-feet on the 10th en route to defeating
Carolyn Creekmore, 4 & 3 in the championship match. Herman glowed in her
assessment of this classic venue. "It's a phenomenal golf course. I am really
thrilled and honored and will never forget this moment." Even though the
course played under 6,000 yards, not one player finished under par for the two
rounds. In fact, only medalist Joan Higgins was able to break par, shooting 68
in round two. The scoring average for the week was 81.344!
Throughout it's history, The Homestead has hosted presidents, heads of state,
celebrities and even the Japanese during World War II. From Thomas Jefferson,
William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge and Lyndon Johnson to
future presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon,
Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.
Many resorts come and go, but the heritage and splendor of The Homestead will
live on forever.
REVIEW: CASCADES COURSE: At 398 yards from the tips, the opening hole on the
Cascades Course at first blush seems to be a pushover. Don't be misled by the
yardage, the first plays uphill from tee to green and requires an accurate tee
ball, avoiding the bunkers and trees right. If successful, you should be left
with a short- to mid-iron to a very accessible green. The two-tiered putting
surface is flanked by two bunkers left and one right, so don't be careless and
you'll make par.
The longest par four on the front side, the second is another hole at the
Cascades that plays quite a bit longer than the yardage. At 432 yards, it is
rated as the third hardest hole on the course. The tree-lined fairway tilts
hard from left to right with a pair of traps laying in wait down the right
side. A mid- to long-iron will be required to get home, if you were lucky
enough to stay in the fairway. A massive traps guards the green, short and
right, so avoid at all costs.
Your best shot at birdie might come at the third. Just 289 yards long, it
plays uphill towards the green, but requires quite a bit of thought. The
fairway runs out around the 230 mark, as it leans towards the right and is
lined by trees. Long iron or fairway metal will set up a delicate little pitch
over a grassy quarry to the green that's perched on a hill. Nicknamed "Shelf"
the putting surface slopes from back to front and is quite slick, so below the
hole at all costs. By the way, avoid the deep bunker, right, it will mess up
One of the many signature holes at The Homestead, the fourth is the first par
three on the course. From the tips, it's a robust 210 yards playing downhill
from a chute of trees. A large trap on the left side will snare any shot
slightly pulled and missing long is not an option, as it falls off sharply
behind the putting surface.
The lengthiest hole on the Cascades Course is the par-five fifth. It's also
the most difficult on the scorecard. Favor the left side of the fairway with
your driver, avoiding the hillside of rough and canting fairway. This will
leave a blind second shot up and over a sloping landing area. Your approach to
the green will be of the short variety, however downhill slope will give you
an uneven lie. The right to left putting surface is guarded by three traps,
one left and two in the rear, but if you play your cards right and you
negotiate the fairway slope, you can make birdie.
Not be taken for granted, the sixth is another short, but tricky par four.
Just 367 yards, you must find the fairway, as trees down the right and left,
not to mention thick rough will make your life miserable. Your approach is
played uphill towards the green, so take an extra club (trust me), or you'll
dump your approach in the greenside bunker. Beautifully framed by the trees in
the back, don't miss long or left or beauty will be in the eyes of the
beholder, not the golfer.
You know what they say about opinions, but in my estimation, the seventh is
the most difficult hole on the front side. From an elevated tee, you'll need
to crack a big drive down the left side, as the fairway tilts hard to the
right, where a pair of traps wait patiently. Although the yardage remaining
should be minimal, your approach is straight uphill to a blind putting
surface. Take two extra sticks or your shot will roll right back down the
fairway. Mine did, not to mention everyone else in our foursome. The green is
fairly benign with sand left and right, so if you've reached the promised
land, take advantage.
The short eighth is not be taken lightly. It's nicknamed "Cemetery Ridge" for
several reasons, some of which have nothing to do with golf. The difficult
part of the hole is choosing the right club off the tee, as it plays a bit
downhill and usually into a swirling wind. A large trap guards the left side
of the green and a little pot bunker is on the right, a no-no for sure. The
putting surface is not tricky, but missing long or right and you'll have no
shot at saving par.
If you thought the view on the seventh was awesome, wait to you reach the
ninth tee box with the mountains in the rear. What a site! You'll have to
focus on the task at hand, as the closing hole on the outward nine is a bear.
At 448 yards, it's the second longest par four on the course. Downhill from
the tee, you'll need to reach the plateau around the 250-yard mark or you'll
have a blind second to the green. Trees and out-of-bounds down the right and
thick rough and more trees on the left will keep you on your toes. The rolling
fairway tilts to the left and plays downhill towards the green. As you get
closer to the putting surface, the fairway tightens, thanks to trees that have
grown thick and tall over the years. A wonderful test of golf.
Put your thinking cap back on as you approach the 10th. Not long by today's
standards at 381 yards, this dogleg right par four requires every bit of
strategy. First the tee shot. The fairway drops down to a flat area around the
260-yards mark, but leave your tee ball short and on the ridge and you'll be
faced with an awkward downhill approach to a well-guarded green. If you were
fortunate to catch the slope and reach the flat, then just 100 yards remain.
The trick is negotiating the less than full approach, especially with a back-
right pin, where a bunker fronts and grassy hollows await.
The 11th is another outstanding par three of 192 yards. Although it plays
slightly downhill, you'll need a mid- to long-iron to reach the putting
surface. The green slopes from left to right and front to back and any
approach past pin high, usually runs over the green. The large fronting trap
see's plenty of action, not to mention the trees and thick rough to the right.
Although the scorecard rates the par threes at the Cascades as the easiest,
As far as difficulty goes, No. 12 gets high marks. It's the longest par four
on the course (476 yards) and it's the tightest of the bunch. From an elevated
tee box, you'll need to thread the needle on this bending left dogleg. Tall
stands of trees guard both sides of the fairway on this old par five, and
although no bunkers come into play in the landing area, thick rough takes over
instead. A long iron or fairway metal will be required to reach the green,
which is guarded on three sides by sand. The long putting surface is
relatively flat, and that should help when you're trying to save par.
Number 13 is a smart, dogleg left par four, the second of three consecutive
solid holes over 400 yards. With a creek running down the entire left side,
cutting the corner is not recommended. Playing back towards the mountain, the
play should be a draw off the right fairway bunker. A mid-iron remains to a
green that looks closer than it is due to the series of bunkers, short and
left of the green. Remember stay clear of the left for your best shot at par.
The straightaway 14th continues a difficult stretch of holes. This par four
reaches 429 yards and must be negotiated with precise accuracy. The tee ball
must find the fairway, as trees dominate down both sides of the landing area.
The real test is your approach, that must carry the fronting bunkers. Although
the green is small in length, it is wide and very slick from right to left.
Believe me when I say that three-putts are the norm.
The longest of the three pars, the 15th stretches to 229 yards and although it
plays slightly downhill, you'll need to reach into your bag for a fairway
metal. From a chute of trees, try to work the ball left to right to achieve
the best result. Sand left and right guards the long, narrow putting surface.
Staying below the hole shouldn't be a problem, as the green slopes from back
Back-to-back par fives should cure the scorecard, or will it? Not so fast. The
16th is a wonderful, dogleg right three-shotter of 527 yards. The tee shot
must try to cut the corner to have any chance of getting home in two. Three
bunkers down the right cover the corner, not to mention several tall trees and
the creek that runs the entire right side. Next up is the layup or if your
bold, going for it. The layback is the sensible play. Although the fairway
tightens the closer to the green you go, it sure beats going in the creek/pond
that fronts the putting surface. That's right, the babbling brook that runs
down the right, cuts in front of the green, creating a little bit of havoc
with your thoughts. The putting surface runs back to front with two bunkers in
the rear. Use your head, layup short and then knock down a little wedge and
make the putt for birdie.
Trailing by nine shots heading into the final round of the 1967 U.S. Women's
Open, Louise Suggs rallied to pick up eight shots heading into No. 16. Her
third shot on the par five however, finished embedded in the bank of the pond,
as she took a seven and thus costing herself a chance at the title.
In complete contrast, the par-five 17th is a dogleg left with thick trees left
and once again, the creek down the entire right side. Off the tee, you must
favor the right side, as any shot too close to the left, will be blocked out.
Although reachable in two at just 513 yards, play down the left, as the creek
juts out into the fairway near the green. Bunkers left and rear will keep you
honest, but they shouldn't hinder your shot at birdie.
Not many courses in the United States close with a par three, but the Cascades
Course concludes with a beauty. How this hole is rated the easiest on the
course is beside me. At 203 yards and all carry, No. 18 is far from simple. An
elevated tee box heightens the experience as you blast your long iron or
fairway metal. The crystal clear pond short of the green should not come into
play, but the two traps, one on either side will. Even hitting the green in
regulation is no guarantee of a par. The putting surface is as slick as any on
the course and runs hard from back to front.
Snead felt that, "If you can play the Cascades, you can play anywhere." That
statement is right on the money.
OLD COURSE: The granddaddy of The Homestead, the Old Course opens with a short
par five of just 519 yards. Whoa! It's rated the hardest hole on the course.
Well, for starters, it's straight uphill from tee to green, a climb of 50
feet. A group of trees down the right must be avoided, but miss left and your
OB. A trio of bunkers down the left side pinch the fairway as you head up
towards the green, so layup right and leave yourself a little wedge to a
partially blind putting surface. The green is simple, so take advantage if you
Number two is the first of six par three's on the course. At 153 yards, it's
also the shortest, but not necessarily the easiest. Once again, playing
uphill, the green is not in view from the tee, but the deep, fronting bunker
certainly is. The putting surface runs back to front and can be quick, if
you're not paying attention.
The climb continues on the par-five third. Another short three-shotter, this
one can be had, but don't underestimate the ascent. The tee ball is played
down to a valley that tilts from right to left, with thick rough on either
side. A fairway metal should be enough to get home in two, just make sure you
miss the greenside trap to the right. The putting surface is long and can add
a club or two to your approach. The bottom line, a real birdie chance.
The third par five in four holes, No. 4 is also reachable. Just 473 yards in
length, this time the trees down both sides of the fairway are most definitely
in play. Avoid the vegetation and your home free, well, sort of. Your second
shot plays down towards the green into a valley. The fairway runs out well
before the putting surface and any shot short of the green, will leave the
player an uphill pitch to a very tiny green. There is sand left and right that
is set below the surface, which makes for a difficult up and down.
Another stellar par three, the fifth plays downhill to a boomerang-shaped
putting surface that runs from middle to back. The bunkers right and left are
very deep and are to be avoided at all costs. Not to mention, missing long and
right. You won't believe how fast this green is.
The sixth is a roller-coaster par four. Not very long at 383 yards, but it
has plenty of bite. Trees down the right and thick rough on both sides, really
squeeze the player as he tries to finesse his first shot. Your approach is
directly uphill to the green, so make sure you take an extra club or two to
get home. The bunker short of the green on the right side sits well below the
putting surface. Miss left and the ball will feed down towards the green, miss
right and you'll miss the green entirely and your ball will trickle down the
hill. By the way, the back-to-front rolling surface can give even the best
After crossing the road, the short seventh awaits. A dogleg left par four of
only 329 yards, it's one of the shortest on the course. Take out the driver,
as the hole plays uphill towards the green and you'll give yourself a great
shot at birdie. Avoid the left corner and you'll have just a wedge to a long,
narrow green with sand on both sides. It's birdie time.
The eighth is a wonderful par four that starts low and finishes high. A
straightaway 323-yarder, take the big stick out and bang one deep, leaving
60-70 yards to a very steep, uphill putting surface. The bunker right is
similar to the one on seven, so pay attention. Any shot just reaching the
surface, will find it's way back down the fairway, so be careful. Birdies
galore, but plenty of bogeys.
Number nine is a solid par three of 163 yards. Slightly downhill from the tee,
sand occupies the right and rear of the green. With plenty of trouble to the
right and long, feel free to bail out left. It's no crime to get up and down
The backside opens with a downhill, slight dogleg left par four of just 381
yards. Play towards the right side of the fairway, as your tee shot will bound
left down the hill. Just a short iron should remain to a slightly crowned
green with sand left and right. Any approach slightly mishit will roll off the
front side and into a collection area or the deep trap left. The putting
surface rolls hard from back to front, so stay below the hole.
The 11th is the longest par three on the course, reaching 199 yards from the
blue markers. Don't be fooled by the slightly downhill appearance, you'll
need every bit of your long iron or fairway metal to get home. My four iron
was pin-high in the right greenside trap, which made for a difficult up and
down, as the bunker sits well below the putting surface. Long is no picnic
either, as the steep incline indicates.
Number 12 is a long and somewhat reachable par five. At 544 yards it can be
had, but you'll need a straight tee shot and an even more accurate second to
reach the putting surface. Use the right-to-left tilting fairway to your
advantage in an effort to get home. Laying up will leave an awkward lie in the
fairway, but with a wedge in hand, you should be able to negotiate the
terrain. The putting surface is small and circular and fairly quick from back
to front. Short shots tend to roll back off the green, so club choice is key.
Similar to the front side, the closing nine has back-to-back par fives,
however the 13th is not reachable. At 581 yards, downhill and to the right
with trees and out-of-bounds right, it's highly unlikely. The vista from the
tee is beautiful and worth every penny you spent to play at The Homestead.
Your layup will be a difficult one, as your stance will be crooked and the
landing area you seek tilts from left to right. Favor the left side with your
third, as even a slightly pulled shot will carom to the right, however a
missed approach to the right will end up in sand or worse, OB!
At just 355 yards, the 14th is a fairly, straightforward par four. From an
elevated tee, favor the left side to avoid the trees down the right. You'll
have less than 100 yards to a raised green that presents little trouble. Here
is your chance to get one back.
The final par five on the course, the 15th is long and lean, reaching 502
yards. It plays uphill from the tee box and over a hill to a rolling, narrow
fairway. You'll have to splice your tee shot into the short grass to have any
shot at getting home in two, as thick rough on either side and OB right can be
distracting. On a positive note, there is no sand to be had on this hole, just
plenty of green, green grass. The putting surface rolls off in every
direction, but shouldn't hamper your attempt at birdie. If I can make four, so
The closing stretch of holes can be construed as the easiest section on the
course. If you think that, you're sorely mistaken. Number 16 is probably the
hardest par three on the Old Course. For some reason, it ranks 18th on the
card, but you have to be precise with your tee shot, or you'll end up in sand
or worse, long and right of the green. You see, the two fronting bunkers sit
well below the putting surface, making it next to impossible to make three
from. Any shot off line to the right will bound down towards the road, ditto
for anything long. And the green, well it's one of the smallest on the course.
Go ahead, make three, I dare you.
Seventeen is a short, downhill par four, inviting you to let one loose.
Whatever you do, don't! You're just asking for trouble. Just a long iron off
the tee will set up a sharp, downhill approach to a postage stamp putting
surface. Sand short-right is a bad miss, as is long and right. The view
however of the hotel, is awesome.
It's not often a golf course finishes with a par three, East Lake in Atlanta
comes to mind, however the 18th on the Old Course is just that. At 171 yards
in length, it requires pinpoint control and accuracy, as trouble looms all
around. Miss right and you finish in sand, five feet below the green. Miss a
little left and you might get lucky. A lot left and you're re-teeing. And
long, well, you have no shot at finding your ball in the trees. Think
positive. Take out the right stick and make a good swing. Heck, it's only
FINAL WORD: The Homestead is a step back in time, with an emphasis on the
future as well. A complete resort experience from top to bottom.
As soon as you walk into the grand hall of the luxurious and not overstated
hotel, you harken back to a simpler, yet elegant time.
Amenities galore, The Homestead has so much to offer.
Let's begin with the activities. For the outdoor enthusiasts, there's hiking,
biking, horseback riding, carriage rides, fishing, falconry, swimming,
shooting, paintball, tennis and of course, golf. Remember, The Homestead is a
year-round resort, so let's not forget skiing, snowboarding, skating, tubing
and snowmobiles. In fact, it was The Homestead which brought skiing to the
southern region in 1959.
Oh, there's more.
The spa, named one of the top-50 spas in North America, uses the time-honored
therapies to heal and nurture the heart and mind. With all of the latest
technology, The Homestead Spa features an indoor pool, built back in 1904 and
of course, guests have access to the Jefferson Pools. Just a short ride from
the resort, the pools are split into two buildings, one for men and one for
women. Just as they were during the 18th century, the crystal-clear waters are
a balmy 96 degrees throughout the year.
How about bowling and a movie? The bowling alley features eight lanes with
complimentary shoes. Toss in a few video games and it's q family home run. You
can even take in a flick after dinner in the movie theatre.
Speaking of dining, you'll need a coat and tie to taste the sumptuous fare in
the main dining room, where musicians play nightly. The 1766 Grille features
French and American cuisine as you overlook the beautiful Homestead grounds.
If it's a casual dining experience you seek, go no further than Sam Snead's
Tavern. Just a few minutes walk from the hotel, the tavern boasts a wonderful
collection of photographs and memorabilia from his life and times. And the
food's not bad either!
When we talk about tradition, then mosey your way down to the Great Hall to
sip some afternoon tea at 4 p.m., while listening to a soft piano and eating
scones...now that's a time-honored custom. The setting is just like it was
in the 1700s.
Venturing off the property can be an exciting experience as well. Grab a pizza
at a local hangout and you might just run into J.C. Snead, the nephew of the
golfing great, who still frequents the area. The younger Snead, also born in
Hot Springs, played successfully on both the PGA and Champions Tours, winning
combined 12 times. Don't be shy, he's approachable!
And the golf, well, The Homestead is as good as it gets in that regard.
It's not often you get to play a course that's hosted so many national
championships as the Cascades Course. And the Old Course, what a blast.
There's even the Lower Cascades Course which was designed by legendary
architect Robert Trent Jones in 1963.
The Cascades Course features five par three's that are as memorable and
captivating as any in the east and that includes Golden Horseshoe's Gold
Course. Premier architect William Flynn, who designed many east coast gems,
such as The Country Club, Shinnecock Hills and Atlantic City Country Club, and
also assisted Hugh Wilson with the completion of Merion Golf Club's famed East
Course, created this masterpiece.
Originally laid out in 1892 as a six-hole layout, the Old Course was expanded
in 1913 and was crafted by none other than Donald Ross. His accomplishments
are well known and so is this beautiful, yet demanding layout. Six par five's,
four's and three's make up the course, which traverses throughout the Virginia
countryside and Allegheny Mountains. Rolling fairways with rarely a level
lie..you'll be hard-pressed to break par.
The accolades are endless. The conditioning is sensational and the staff as
professional and personable as you'll find anywhere in the country.
The latest addition to the resort is the Homestead Golf Academy, which debuted
in early 2009. "The Homestead has always been a leader among U.S. golf resort
schools, as it has been designed to teach smaller groups, giving each student
individualized instruction and attention," said Don Ryder, director of golf at
The Homestead. The customized packages fit all levels of players and families.
A driving range and a wonderful short-game practice facility, not to mention
full-stocked pro shops at The Cascades and Old Course will tantalize your
taste in apparel. Golf at The Homestead is a seven-letter word, Perfect.
Let's get this straight. Presidents, heads of state, members of high society
and royalty have been graced by The Homestead and its lore. You have to ask
yourself, why haven't you?
When all is said and done, it's the wonderful atmosphere, accommodations,
amenities, activities, hospitality and southern charm and grace that will keep
you coming back year after year to The Homestead.