Our USA “par” presidents would have been amazed how beautifully their beloved Virginia has fared, especially Full Cry at Keswick Hall. The third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, fourth James Madison and fifth James Monroe, our par presidents, were not known to be golfers. However all resided in the Virginia area less than an hour drive from Keswick Hall.
Keswick Hall is a luxury resort that combines history and nature in the most spectacular way. It is situated on 600 acres at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in central Virginia’s “Hunt Country”. The entire area is rich in American history as Jefferson’s Monticello home, Madison’s Montpelier and Monroe’s Ash Lawn Highland are all within an hour drive and open to visitors. The area is widely known for fox hunting and the trainers of the hunting club across the street from Keswick Hall often walk the dogs on the Keswick property early in the morning. Besides seeing the sun rise and the first dew on a golf course perhaps the second greatest sight is the dogs scampering across the path and around the course crying with delight. Full Cry is a hunting term describing the call of hounds that have found the scent and are in pursuit of their mark.
The centerpiece of the estate property is the magnificent 48-room mansion; with most notably the northern wing of the resort which contains the historic Villa Crawford, once the Italianesque private estate of the Robert Crawford family built in 1912. The property is also home to the historic Keswick Club, a members club introduced in 1948 when the renowned architect Fred Findlay added the first 9 holes of golf. The course expanded to 18 holes in the mid-50’s and was renovated in 1992 by Arnold Palmer. Most recently famed architect Pete Dye was commissioned to create the new Full Cry layout which has already received notable accolades from Golf Digest and Golfweek. This “Old School Pete Dye” experience has open front greens that are best approached by low “links-style” run up shots. And while all good things must come to an end, Dye masterfully leaves the golfer with a bang as the tee box on 18 offers a magnificent panoramic view of the stunning Hunt Country, Blue Ridge Mountains and Keswick Hall. That combination of history, our Par Presidents and breathtaking natural beauty prove that Virginia really is for golf lovers!