One of golf’s two living legends, Jack Nicklaus, visited Prince William County May 21 to inaugurate the new Potomac Shores Golf Club. Potomac Shores is an 18-hole, par-72 Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course (see our review here), a designation that indicates his deep involvement in all design aspects of the course. Mr. Nicklaus made site visits during various phases of the course’s construction going back almost a decade.
Upon arrival at the course yesterday, Nicklaus visited each hole to inspect the work. At the following press conference, he indicated that work was 98% complete on the course, but there are a few tweaks that he still would like them to make over the next year or so in order to further improve play.
In discussing the 5,389 to 7,156 yard course itself, Nicklaus spoke about the property being hilly with more than 200 feet of elevation changes and the various environmental restrictions in place. Those challenges proved to be an opportunity that enabled them to create a course that Nicklaus described primarily as two things – “tough and fair.”
Nicklaus said that his definition of a good golf course is not one that the U.S. Open could be held on, but one that facilitates what the people using it want to do whether it be a community, a private club or a resort. He reflected on what it was like to return to a golf course that had never been finished and see that it had grass on it.
“My job was to create an aesthetically pleasing course with great shots and that is what we have done here. We’ve created a golf course of quality that people can enjoy and that serves the community,” said Jack Nicklaus. “The course has beautiful terrain. Beautiful vistas and a certain wow factor,” he added.
“As with golf itself, it took patience and perseverance to build this course. It took a long time to finish, but it was worth it.” said Nicklaus.
Earlier in the day, the 18-time major winner was on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC to celebrate National Golf Day and promote First Tee, the program that brings golf to youngsters from ethnically diverse backgrounds. Since its start in 1997, ten million kids have gone through the program.
Nicklaus spoke at length about First Tee during his press conference at Potomac Shores where he discussed how the program has helped disadvantaged kids by giving them the opportunity to learn the game of golf and through that the lessons of life. He gave a few examples of specific kids who have participated and gone on to become everything from congressional staffers to medical students. Following the press conference, Nicklaus was set to tee off with a young girl from the First Tee program on the Potomac Shores course.
The Potomac Shores Golf Club features a new 8,000-square-foot clubhouse where residents and visitors can relax and dine in the Tidewater Grill and purchase items from the pro-shop. The clubhouse features an outdoor brick patio complete with a fire pit overlooking the 18th green.
Residents of Potomac Shores and its neighboring sister community Southbridge enjoy a 15% discount off of the published green fee, seven days advance tee time bookings, use of the practice facility before their round of golf, and a 10% discount in the golf shop on non-sale merchandise and in the Tidewater Grill (food only). Potomac Shores and Southbridge residents also have the option to purchase an Annual Golf Pass at a reduced rate. The 2014 Annual Golf Pass includes unlimited golf (a cart fee of $20+tax is payable per round), 14 day advance tee times, discounted green fees for up to three accompanied guests, unlimited use of practice facility, USGA handicap service, and a 15% discount in the golf shop on non-sale merchandise plus special events.
Potomac Shores is the region’s first luxury resort master-planned community. It is situated on 1,920 acres and features nearly two miles of shoreline and a traditional Virginia Tidewater design. The transit-oriented community will offer a town center, marina and waterfront village, future on-site Virginia Railway Express station, corporate campus, private 10,000-square-foot recreation center, two public schools, more than 15 sports fields and courts, walkable neighborhoods, over 3,800 residences and 10 miles of trails.