Grade “A” Architecture
Devils Knob Golf Course at Wintergreen Resort, Wintergreen, VA
9th hole / 485 Yards* / Par-4
Architect: Ellis and Dan Maples (1976)
At more than 3,800 feet, Devils Knob is the highest course in Virginia and the views provided of the Blue Ridge Mountains, especially during the peak foliage months in the fall, is truly a spectacular vista.
The course opened in 1976 — the handiwork of Ellis and Dan Maples. Built on rolling terrain, Devils Knob weaves its way through wooded areas and requires awareness at all times on sound shotmaking.
The 9th hole, a 485-yard par-4, ends the outward nine in grand fashion — blending difficulty and design elements with equal vigor.
The hole plays noticeably uphill in stages — over 100 feet total. From the championship markers the carry alone to the fairway is 219 yards. There are several other tee boxes which provide a better opportunity for higher handicaps to handle the ascent. Architect John LaFoy added a forward tee area at the 9th hole in addition to other work carried out on several holes during his work on the course 13 years ago.
*Keep in mind, generally the max yardage played on a daily basis is 403 yards.
One of the other aspects of the 9th is the way the fairway turns in the drive zone. Players who can work a tee shot from left-to-right will be aided as the hole turns in that direction. However, any shot pushed too far to that side will be blocked by trees and pesky rough. Nonetheless, the fairway gives the impression when looking from the tee in being narrower than what it is.
The most fascinating aspect of the 9th is the putting surface. The 6,400 square foot green features a false front. It is imperative players take sufficient club — 1-2 extra is the norm — sometimes more if wind conditions intensify. The green also provides two distinct tiers — being able to successfully negotiate the vexing contours brings a climatic conclusion to such a superb hole.
Any player leaving the green in four total strokes will certainly be smiling as they make their way to the back nine.
Devils Knob went private starting in the spring of 2014 but access to the course is still possible as registered Wintergreen Resort guests. There is also a related 27-hole Stoney Creek Golf Course, designed by Rees Jones, just a short drive from the main entrance to the resort in the Rockfish Valley. One of the added benefits in playing Devils Knob is the distinct temperature difference — roughly anywhere from 10-15 degrees cooler given the aforementioned elevation. It’s a big time plus given the high humidity and heat found in the nearby valley areas during peak summer months.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?