Award-winning golf course architect Rees Jones will return to Colonial Williamsburg’s Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in November to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Gold Course. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., the dean of American golf course architecture, the Gold Course opened in September 1963. Rees Jones renovated his father’s course in 1998.
The Jones family and The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation enjoy a shared legacy that will be commemorate during a weekend-long celebration. Joined by the Commonwealth of Virginia’s golf community, devoted friends of Colonial Williamsburg, as well as national and regional media the occasion will honor the vision first expressed by the Rockefeller family when selecting Robert Trent Jones Sr. to design and build its signature Golden Horseshoe Gold Course more than 50 years ago.
The celebration will include a championship round on the Gold Course that will begin when a colonial cannon fires the traditional “shotgun” start of play on the Jones’ classic golf layout.
Rees Jones will be joined for an armchair conversation by Bill Barker, who eloquently portrays America’s founding father Thomas Jefferson, covering a range of topics such as the importance of a firm foundation and classic style, whether as architect of a nation or a golf course.
In 1963, upon completion of the Gold Course, Trent Jones Sr. called it his “finest design.”
The course is also one of the most beautiful in the United States, routed through mature woodlands and lovingly maintained. When the course debuted, Jones Sr. described it as “a natural arboretum”; the course was awarded certified Audubon Sanctuary status in 2001.
In 1998, Rees Jones made the Gold Course more playable for higher handicap golfers. Today, the course stretches to 6,817 yards with a par of 71 and USGA slope rating of 144.
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.