Lester George hired to create masterplan for new course in Virginia


Lester George hired to create masterplan for new course in Virginia
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Golf course architect Lester George has been hired to design a new golf course in the US state of Virginia.

George will work with the Diatomite Corporation of America to create a master plan for Fones Cliffs – a new resort property in Richmond County. The resort will be built on land that forms part of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.

The zoning of a resort development at the site was approved in November 2015. Plans are now in place to create of a series of lodges, residential lots, and mixed-use commercial and retail space, as well as the new golf course.

The site lies at the top of cliffs on the above the Rappahannock River, where in 1608 a battle between Captain John Smith and his crew and Rappahannock Indians took place. The new resort will look to memorialise this encounter through a series of monuments, as well as an education centre.

“Having worked extensively in the environmentally-sensitive Chesapeake Bay Watershed for the past 25 years, we understand the requirements of projects like this,” said George. “Fones Cliffs is one of the most fascinating and beautiful sites I have ever seen, and I speak for the team when I say we will approach this property with a very soft hand. We will design the golf course with a goal of minimal land disturbance, earth moving, and impacts to the natural habitat in an effort to produce an environmentally sustainable resort.”

The Fones Cliffs site lies around 75 miles south of Washington and 60 miles east of the Virginian capital, Richmond.

“Lester George has a proven, award-winning record of creating challenging, playable, beautiful, and environmentally sustainable destination golf courses,” said Robert Coleman Smith, Richmond attorney and Fones Cliffs project coordinator for Diatomite Corporation of America. “You only have to look at Kinloch Golf Club and Ballyhack Golf Club here in his native state to see his broad, creative design palate.”