Ford's Colony -- ClubCorp finds a home in Williamsburg

By Jeffrey A. Rendall, Photos by Matthew and Amanda Rendall

WILLIAMSBURG, VA – Williamsburg, Virginia has changed a lot over the years. It may sound strange to hear that considering the centuries-old town is best known as the Old Dominion’s colonial capitol and is thought to be the intellectual birthplace of the American Revolution.

The city has grown significantly in recent decades and is regarded as a quality family vacation destination – and also as one of the Mid-Atlantic’s premier golf destinations.

Ford’s Colony is a 54-hole club located about ten minutes from Colonial Williamsburg. Its three Dan Maples designed courses are on par with the best in the area in terms of beauty and playability. Though probably not as well-known as the Golden Horseshoe or Kingsmill, Ford’s Colony shares many of the characteristics that makes Williamsburg golf so special.

Like the town, Ford’s Colony also underwent some changes recently, becoming part of the ClubCorp family. The name ClubCorp is synonymous with high quality, so you know Ford’s Colony is going to be even better in the years to come.

Richard Rice, Ford’s Colony’s Head Golf Professional, expands on the idea. “Many of the changes that ClubCorp put in place relate to the structure of membership. One of many improvements is the reciprocal deal that our members now have at other ClubCorp facilities.”

He continues, “Our members can now play at any other ClubCorp club and are, in effect, members of all of them.  They can use all member only dining facilities, and courses, and they only pay member rates (cart fees, and 50% off of dining).”

Rice said Clubcorp also plans to improve the overall appearance of Ford’s Colony. This winter, for example, they will be closing the downstairs restaurant for a few months for a complete makeover. It will be made into more of a "sports bistro" scene, with plans for over $1 million in changes.

In addition to the restyled restaurant, there will be improvements in the courses and facilities as well. As an example, the irrigation and drainage system on the Marsh Hawk course is in the process of a complete overhaul, which will significantly improve playing conditions.

Again according to Rice, future upgrade plans include, but are not limited to:  bunker renovations, cart path renovations, greens renovations, practice facility improvements, and much more.

It will be terrific for the members, but how about public play?

“Our structure of being semi-private will not change,” Rice said. “Each day we will offer one course to the public... two if we have the space available. We do our best to rotate through the three courses to allow guests an opportunity to play all three.”

Other improvements include a brand new fleet of 200 carts and improved dining menus at the eateries.

Some changes are hard to accept, though you can’t help but be impressed by those being made at Ford’s Colony. It’s a terrific place that will only get better under ClubCorp’s guidance.

Click these links for individual reviews of each course:

Weigh Anchor On The Blackheath Course At Ford's Colony

Pinehurst Meets Williamsburg At Ford's Colony's Blue Heron Course

Whispering Down A Well At Ford's Colony's Marsh Hawk Course

Here are some of the views you’ll see on Ford’s Colony’s three Dan Maples courses:




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Check the wind before teeing it up at the par three 12th hole on the Blackheath course.



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The par five 4th on the Blue Heron course is one where you can make a big number if you are not careful.



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The short par four 13th on Marsh Hawk dares you to go for it from the tee.



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From the back tees it is a full water carry at the par three 3rd hole on the Blackheath course.



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From behind the green of the par four 11th hole on the Blue Heron course.



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The par five 3rd is the #1 handicap hole on the Marsh Hawk course. Players going for it in two will need a steady nerve.



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The beautiful par four 5th hole on the Blackheath course.



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Blue Heron also has its gentle holes. Here, the par three 8th.



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Local knowledge helps a lot at the par four 13th hole on the Blackheath course.



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The par four 4th has a unique peninsula green on the Marsh Hawk course.



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There is quite a sense of isolation in certain spots on the Blue Heron course. Here, the par four 3rd hole.



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Yes, that is an island green on the par four 18th hole on the Blackheath course.


Details:

Ford’s Colony Country Club
A member of the ClubCorp Family
240 Ford’s Colony Drive
Williamsburg, VA  23188

Phone: 757 258-4130

Website: www.Fordscolonycc.com



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E-mail Jeff Rendall, Editor:
jrendall@golftheunitedstates.com