Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
After hearing about all of the changes that have taken place at the Fords Colony Country Club since the takeover in management by the Club Corp, we decided to take a trip down to this historical part of town. Over 1000 members have called this club home over the past few years and let us tell you, it won’t let you down.
The Club which originally opened in 1985 with its Bent Greens and Bermuda Fairways has seen many changes with the several million dollars of renovations. The renovations came hand-in-hand with the new ownership rivaling some of the major country clubs across the country that are typically private members only establishments. Better yet, many of the 1000 members live right in the community and know it very well as their own little social area of Williamsburg.
Dan Maples, creator of Ford’s Colony’s three layouts, says he’s not surprised they’re not more well-known, it’s that way for a good portion of his work. “We don’t really do that many golf courses, mainly because of the time I like to spend working on the details of each layout I design. I guess if we had a few more projects here and there, the name might get out a little more. But it’s not such a bad thing to let the work speak for itself either.”
Maples continues, “The thing I’m most proud of about Ford’s Colony is it’s 54 holes of excellent golf. When you consider the amount of energy that goes into designing just one hole-it’s especially gratifying when you get the quality on a complex the size of Ford’s Colony. I’d challenge you to find a weak hole on any of those courses.”
Marsh Hawk is probably the most famous of the three, having hosted a number of notable tournaments in its history, including the Virginia State Open and several qualifiers for Virginia’s annual PGA stop, the Michelob Championship. It winds in and out of woodlands, over lakes and through open-space, and is bordered in many spots by large luxurious homes, well set back from the course.
As we took to the course, some of the notable holes included three, four and five are known as Marsh Hawk’s ‘signature’ series of holes. Three’s a 538 yard, slightly downhill, risk-reward par five. It is possible to go for the green in two if your drive’s a good one, (for those without a few beers in their system) but check the lie before grabbing for the three-wood or any of the hybrids.
On the finish, the 18th, it is a semi challenging par five to finish the round. 515 yards in length, the green button-hooks to the right. A long and accurate second shot may give you an eagle. This was simply a par hole for us, but the course will give you more than a few chances to finish under par if you stay on pace.
What most will really enjoy are the new amenities that Club Corp has put into the clubhouse. The expansion with the private and non-private areas keeps it exclusive for Club Corp knows is golf and their clubs have a level of expectations nationwide. This is exactly what they created when they spent millions on new dining options and course renovations. Normally you would have to visit a resort find something comparable.”
Their lunch and dinner menus are very impressive.
Some of the unique recommendations include as follows.
Appetizers are the Big Bang Shrimp for $11. Busting with flavor and piled high for your enjoyment. The Roasted Garlic Hummus for $9 is a nice treat with the cold vegetables and pita, this is one we would order to take with us on the course.
Don’t miss their Blackened Mahi and Shrimp Po Boy Sandwiches, both packed with a ton fish and shrimp and definitely not another chicken sandwich on the menu.
Their Focaccia Baked Pizzas are packed with tons of toppings and more than enough to share. The recommended item is their BBQ chicken Pizza. It is the pulled smoked chicken that makes this pizza. Sort of seemed like we had a BBQ dinner and pizza all in one place.
If you play an afternoon round, stop in for dinner and sample some of their extensive menu offerings like the Grilled NY Strip for $30 or the Pan Seared Salmon for $21. All amazing options at extremely affordable pricing.
Overall, the course, dining and clubhouse are welcome addition to the area and a way to feel right at home in a country club without paying the fees, but trust us with their monthly dues being super affordable, you will see why many are jumping on the Ford’s Colony Bandwagon.
Ford’s Colony Country Club
240 Ford’s Colony Drive
Williamsburg, VA 23188
Phone: (757) 258-4130
Fax: (757) 258-4168