Virginia Golfer Sep / Oct 2017 - Page 17

GreatHoles No. 5 THE OLD COURSE AT THE OMNI HOMESTEAD RESORT by DAVID PARTRIDGE F or nearly a century, The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs has been a passionate supporter of the VSGA. Having served as the venue for countless championships and other Virginia State Golf Asso- ciation events dating back to 1922, it is one of the most important partners of the VSGA. Opened originally as a six-hole course in 1892 and later expand- ed to 18 holes in 1901 by the legendary Donald Ross, Omni’s Old Course has the distinction of being home to the nation’s oldest first tee in continuous use. As highlighted by a plaque on the tee, many American presidents have played The Old Course, and their interest in the game—along with the support of iconic institutions like The Omni Homestead Resort—helped golf really begin to grow in popularity in the United States. In August, The Old Course played host to two championships, the 60th VSGA Women’s Senior Amateur and the 5th VSGA Super Senior Four-Ball Championship. This year marks the 14th con- secutive Women’s Senior Amateur to be played at the Old Course and the 58th Women’s Senior to be held at Omni. One of the best designs on The Old Course, and indeed one of the truly neat short holes in Virginia is the par-3 fifth, the signature hole at The Old Course. Played downhill toward Sam Snead Memorial Highway, this little gem demands an accurate, well-judged shot to reach the well-bunkered, trian- gularly-shaped green that is narrow in the front and expands at the rear. The small target is only the start to the challenge of the fifth hole as the putting sur- face is very fast from YARDAGES front to back and breaks sharply from left to Gold: Blue: right. A subtle, but very 163 yards 140 yards strategic spine in the White: Red: middle of the green cre- 137 yards 148 yards ates some real challeng- es—both for putting and recovery shots—espe- cially when the hole is cut in the right rear of the green. With the wider, more forgiving back section of the green affording more uphill putts, whenever possible golfers would be wise to play their tee shots to finish past the flag on this charming, yet testing, par-3. The Omni Homestead Resort and The Old Course were a superb venue for both state championships. If you would like to enjoy the hospitality of the Omni Homestead Resort and the outstanding golf it offers, the VSGA encourages you to sign up for the VSGA One-Day events to be played at the Old Course and on the world-famous Cascades Course on October 22–23, respectively. Both tournaments include a Ladies Flight so these events will be extremely popular—especially for couples—so the VSGA encourages you to sign up quickly. PAR 3 S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 17 | V I R G I N I A G O L F E R 15