Virginia might be for lovers, but the Commonwealth is shaping up nicely for golfers as well in 2019. Poplar Grove Golf Club, legendary Sam Snead’s final design collaboration before his passing in 2002, is being completely overhauled and updated by its new D.C.-area based owners. Virginia’s own Ed Carton, who worked with Snead on the original layout, is overseeing the restoration.
Have-clubs-will-travel types would be wise to put Poplar Grove on their collective hit list for next season. It is located just 20 minutes from hip and historic Lynchburg, 45 minutes from storied Charlottesville and around three hours from the D.C. area. Despite record precipitation throughout the East Coast, the new-look Poplar Grove is pacing nicely for completion just ahead of the upcoming golf season.
“Poplar Grove was one of the best courses in Virginia, if not the country, when it opened in 2005,” says Frank Murphy, CEO of Poplar Grove. “With Carton’s leadership, he will return the course to what he and Snead envisioned years ago.”
The $3 million renovation includes re-building bunkers, teeing grounds and green complexes, updating drainage, clearing trees, remodeling practice areas, and renovating cart paths with a new fleet of golf carts. The course will remain open for play during the project, with completion of Phase I projected for early spring 2019.
Phase I of the project is making swift progress as bunkers have been cleared and prepared for drainage replacements. Seven new tee boxes will add length to the course, returning it to a formidable test, designed to stand up to golf’s elite players while providing playability for the everyday amateur.
Select tree removal will provide golfers with more strategic options and better views. Snead, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, was inspired by courses he played during his career – a career that accumulated a record 82 PGA Tour wins, including seven majors. As a result, Poplar Grove will continue to feature elevated tee shots on 15 of its 18 holes.
The historic Manor House, the property’s storied centerpiece built in the 1700s, will also be restored and expanded to provide for larger groups and events. A 100-seat indoor-outdoor dining space, luxury member, several member-exclusive areas and overnight accommodations are among the planned additions for Phase II of the project.
The two also teamed up to design nearby Spring Creek in Charlottesville, one of Golf Digest’s “100 Greatest Public Courses in America.” Poplar Grove, a Golf Digest “Best New Upscale Public Course” in 2005, is poised to return to its heyday under the close watch of Carton, the man who initially brought Snead’s blueprint to life.
Located in Amherst, Virginia, Poplar Grove is 20 and 45 minutes from Lynchburg and Charlottesville, respectively. The surrounding Blue Ridge foothills are alive with breweries, distilleries and wineries, constituting the perfect getaway for couples and buddy groups.
For more information, visit http://www.poplargrovegolf.com.