Wintergreen's Stoney Creek - 27 holes of Natural Beauty

Photos By Jeff Janas; Text and Captions By Jeffrey A. Rendall


WINTERGREEN, VA – (From the course review, ‘Natural Splendor In The Valley.’  The link for the full review is below.)  "If you're standing on the tee, and can't see precisely what's called for on the shot, then you're not on a Rees Jones designed golf course" said Wintergreen Resort's Stoney Creek Golf Club's Director of Golf, Mike Mayer.  "Visibility is a defining characteristic here, along with the natural setting."


Mayer aptly sums up the distinctive personality of Stoney Creek, though with all deference to visibility – the thing you’ll probably remember most about this 27 hole golf facility is its natural setting.  Located eleven miles from the main lodge at Wintergreen Resort, Stoney Creek lies in a valley three thousand feet below its sister course, Devil’s Knob.  But it’s more than distance and elevation that separates this Rees Jones delight from the trickier course straight up the mountain.  Stoney Creek offers a much more playable and traditional round of golf – though both layouts certainly have their own unique charms.


Jones puts it in his own words:  “I really liked working at Wintergreen because the two golf facilities there were distinctly different golf courses.  The Ellis Maples course was up top, and mine was in the valley – so I had all these natural water courses and springs to incorporate into the design, which really made for a very natural golf course.”


And in the era of modern golf course design, whenever you hear ‘natural’ you likely think ‘environmental.’  Green laws and regulations are designed to protect the natural environment, yet they sometimes slow things up a bit when constructing a golf course.  Jones said that wasn’t necessarily the case at Stoney Creek, yet it’s also obvious that some extra care was taken along the way to pay deference to Mother Nature – especially on the newest nine holes, named Tuckahoe:


“On the Tuckahoe nine, we had to kind of weave the holes around the sensitive areas – but we really did try to blend all three nines with their individual environments.  It was important to make it look like the golf belonged there – that it wouldn’t disrupt the existing beautiful surroundings.  The Wintergreen folks really helped us in that regard, by giving us the best ground for golf on all three nines.”


Jones continues, “It enables every caliber of golfer to play there, including beginners and those people who may be attending a business function, and maybe only play a few rounds a year.  So you try to design a way for them to get around, and I think that was done very well at Wintergreen.”


But the subtleties of the greens are where the better players will find what they want.  Again, Jones elaborates:  “We put in some really dramatic green contours on a lot of the putting surfaces at Stoney Creek.  So the greens might be pretty large, but you’ve got to position your approach shots correctly on the greens or you’re looking at a good chance at a three-putt.  The challenging green contours are quite effective in protecting par as a standard of excellence.”


Here are some of the sights you’ll see on Stoney Creek’s Shamokin and Tuckahoe nines (we didn’t photograph the Monocan nine on this most recent trip):

Rees Jones won't ease you into it on the Shamokin nine. The 1st hole's a pretty steep dogleg right - but if you slice it a bit too much, you're in the trees. This view is of the second shot, with the beautiful mountains in the background.

Stoney Creek's Tuckahoe nine's par four 2nd hole is one of the more unique links you'll ever see. The tee shot's severely downhill, and the second shot is equally sloped uphill. Should you find one of those bunkers on the right, you might have to just chip out.

The approach shot to Shamokin's par four 9th hole is very wide open - unless you're poorly placed off the tee.

As is true on all of Rees Jones's courses, the ability to shape shots is essential from the back tees. On Tuckahoe's 5th hole, it's fade all the way - but again, if you fade too much, you're reaching for another ball.

This view of Shamokin's par three 3rd hole demonstrates why the course was named 'Stoney Creek.' The target looks small from the tee, but there's plenty of room - just don't miss long!

This lake between Tuckahoe's 6th green and 7th tee doesn't come into play, but it's a pleasant diversion on your ride between holes.

Shamokin's par five 8th hole is an easy three-shot hole - but it's got risk-reward qualities, in addition. If you try for the green in two, you'd better hit your approach shot long and straight.

Looking from behind Tuckahoe's 8th green - there are mountain views from nearly all perspectives at Wintergreen.

Shamokin's short par four 5th hole is very tricky - the green has a ridge running through it, and it's on a plateau. Launch your second shots high and land it soft.

Click on the banner to book a tee time at Wintergreen and other Central Virginia Golf Courses.


Views from Wintergreen’s Stoney Creek (Shamokin and Tuckahoe nines)

Architect:  Rees Jones

Director of Golf:  Mike Mayer




Consult the individual reviews below for further information and reservations information.

Related Links   Comments on this article?
Maryland National Golf Club
Hollow Creek Golf Club
Rocky Gap Resort
PB Dye Golf Club in Ijamsville
Whiskey Creek Golf Club
E-mail Jeff Rendall, Editor: