Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Omni Cascades

I played the best "you can play" in Virginia today, the Omni Homestead Resort Cascades course.  This is for you, Scott.

This is where Sam Snead grew up, and had his first job as a pro.

The course was designed in 1923 by William S. Flynn.  It has hosted 7 USGA events, a Curtis Cup and an NCAA championship.

The course has a number of blind shots

and I didn't always drive up to the top of the hill to see what I needed to know.  There's plenty of local knowledge to be had.  If you look closely at that last one you can see a bulls-eye up in the trees, which is where you would aim from the left side of the fairway, if you knew on the tee that you were supposed to hit to the left side of the fairway.

The scenery is beautiful.  I was struck this week, driving though Virginia, as I have been other times in other places during our travels, with how many trees there are in our great country.  Even in a state like Virginia, which is pretty densely populated as states go, there are great forests and hills and meadows of open spaces.

If you go to this resort, DO NOT use route 606, aka Sulfur Springs Rd., aka McGraw Gap Rd.  Our GPS sent me this way, and would have done so even in "RV mode", even though this road is marked by a small sign to be impassable by vehicles more than 25 feet long.  The truck is only 22 feet, so I was able to negotiate the hairpin turns on the switchbacks, with nobody coming the other way, but those were the easy parts.  On the wide spots, the road is not more than 16 feet, and the truck is 8 feet wide in its dually "hips".  Some sections looked to me to be about the same size as most interstate highway lanes, so the truck took up more than 2/3 of the pavement width.  There are lots of blind turns, with very short straight sections between them, a cliff wall on one side, and a sheer dropoff on the other.  And the speed limit is 55.  I encountered only a few vehicles coming the other way, thankfully not on sections we couldn't get by each other, and not at speeds that wouldn't allow for adjustments, although some of the little cars were going too fast to have survived a closer encounter.

The Homestead bills itself as the oldest resort in America, founded in 1766 (I don't think it was in the Omni group at the time;)

I guess in those days the first resort would be in the mountains, because "home" was at the beach, they didn't need a resort there.  The town is Hot Springs, so I suppose the healing vapors were the attraction.

The cicadas were out in force.  One tried to fly into my shirt.

Hear the cicadas.

There are indeed cascades on the course.

Very soothing.

Does this tee shot remind you of anything?

I was having success moving the ball from right to left, after a tip from Hank Haney seems to have finally sunk in.  So I figured this was the perfect time to really let it go.  I aimed at the tree on the right, through the fairway, and pull-hooked it across the stream, into the woods.

There's a graveyard next to the 8th tee, just in case a bad score on #7 makes you want to cash in.

My score wasn't great, I'm still working on swing changes, but I did birdie the 17th with 3 really good shots and a 20-footer.

The clubhouse, from the 17th fairway

More pictures.

I will post Kiawah and Pinehurst next.  Soon.

1 comment:

  1. very nice course. I'm sure I would shoot at least a 135!