Golf at Smith Mountain Lake
In its 12th year, the Water's Edge Country Club is firmly established as one of the finest anywhere; in 1992 it was named one of the country's best new courses by Golf Digest. Highly regarded for its layout and scenery, it features five sets of tees - yellow (seniors) through gold (championship) - six holes that play along the lake, and stunning water views from 17 holes.
Designed by Robert F. Loving, Jr., the course dares golfers to hit with power and punishes them for lack of finesse. Its most famous hole is the par-3 seventh - an island green surrounded by water.
The Water's Edge is private, and members must be property owners. As host of select tournaments such as the Smith Mountain Lake Corporate Cup, open only to members of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce/ Partnership - The Water's Edge draws golfers from around the region and contributes mightily to fundraising efforts by local charities and organizations.
The first of Ron Willard's exquisite golf and country club communities, The Waterfront was also Smith Mountain Lake's inaugural 18 hole PGA championship golf course. Created in 1981 by golf architect George Dillion, formerly with George Fazio and Associates, The Waterfront continues to maintain its reputation as one of the region's most beautiful and challenging courses.
Another private course, The Waterfront is available to members and guests, and to those who rent one of the development's condominiums that includes golf privileges. For rental information contact Carolyn Pruett at 1-800-858-4655.
Designed by famous golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, four of Mariners Landing's 18 holes play along the water. The signature hole is the 156-yard par three, 5th hole, with water before and after. With recent updates - cart paths were paved in eight-foot wide asphalt in 1996, tee boxes were reshaped during 1997, a sparkling new clubhouse opened in 1998 - this course is hitting its stride as one of the best in the region.
A semiprivate course, Mariners Landing is open to the public but also sells memberships. Tee times are recommended 540-297-7888
The third in the trio of courses owned and operated by Smith Mountain Lake golf pioneer Ron Willard, The Westlake Golf and Country Club was founded as Chestnut Creek by its original developers.
Designed by golf architect Russell Breeden - known for his courses across Virginia and in the Myrtle Beach, S.C. area - The Westlake is a striking 18 - hole course centered around a restored farmhouse that has been converted into a clubhouse, restaurant, pro shop and banquet facility.
Under Willard's direction the Westlake has been modernized by a complete clubhouse renovation, the addition of bath houses, soda machines and amenities around the course, and bunker, drainage and teebox work.
The Westlake is semiprivate. Members may reserve tee times up to seven days in advance; the public may reserve up to three days in advance: 800-296-7277 or 540-721-44214.