A couple golfs together on the Golden Horseshoe Golf Course [now Gold Course] with the Clubhouse in the background. Ca. 1964.
Golfer George Wright & son walk along a path by the water at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Course Sept 27, 1965.
Michelle Wie at the 2004 U.S. Womens Amateur Public Links Championship of the Golden Horseshoe golf club.
Colonial Williamsburg Golf
Golf course architect Rees Jones and the
Gold Course 50th anniversary
When golf course architect Rees Jones returned to Colonial Williamsburg to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the golf course originally designed by his father Robert Trent Jones Sr., he took a step back in time to compare notes with a fellow architect, Thomas Jefferson.
Master golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. built the Golden Horseshoe Gold Course, which opened in September 1963. Rees Jones redesigned the course in 1998, making it more playable for higher handicap golfers.
“My father built the Golden Horseshoe Gold Course on historic land surrounded by virgin forest that remains so today,” Rees said. “Precision - not length - was most important to dad. Golden Horseshoe Gold is precise with some of the best greens and par 3s in the game.”
In 1963, upon its completion, Trent Jones Sr. called it his “finest design,” adding: “The Gold Course is a natural arboretum upon which a great golf course has been built.” The celebrated layout was awarded status as an Audubon Sanctuary in 2001.
Embraced by mature woodlands, it continues to be one of the country’s most beautiful courses. Today, the course stretches to 6,817 yards with a par of 71 and USGA slope rating of 144.
The Gold Course is the oldest of the three courses at Golden Horseshoe Golf Club, all of which support the Colonial Williamsburg guest experience and are open to the public. Golf revenues support The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, helping to keep this vital piece of American history alive and thriving.
A November 2013 anniversary celebration included a championship round on the Gold Course that began with a shotgun start signaled by colonial cannon fire. It also featured an armchair conversation between Rees Jones America’s founding father Thomas Jefferson, eloquently portrayed by Bill Barker. They agreed that whether you are the architect of a nation or a golf course, a firm foundation and classic style are important.
The Gold Course continues to earn accolades for its updated yet still demanding design: It is included on Golf Magazine’s “Top 100 You Can Play” list of public-access courses, and is one of the Top Six Robert Trent Jones Sr. courses named by Golf Digest, joining the likes of Ireland’s Ballybunion, Spain’s Valderrama, and California’s Spyglass Hill. The Gold Course appears on Golf Digest’s list (February 2013) America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses.