Homestead (Cascades) - Virginia - USA

The Homestead,
Route 687,
Hot Springs,
Virginia (VA) 24445,
USA


  • +1 (0) 540 839 7995

  • Peter Faraone

  • William S. Flynn

  • Don Ryder


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Homestead (Cascades)

Perched amongst the trees at the foothills of Virginia's Allegheny Mountains lies the Homestead. It bills itself as America’s premier mountain resort and a haven for the sports enthusiast, so it seems wholly appropriate that the legendary William S. Flynn, who was a keen athlete in his youth, designed the Cascades, the Homestead's flagship course.

The mountain setting is truly delightful and the Cascades course looks totally natural with its ponds, streams and slopes. But the reality of the matter is that the Cascades required a great deal of manufacturing and Flynn used tons of dynamite to blast his fairways through the limestone. This was pioneering course architecture in the Roaring Twenties and eventually in 1923, after more than 12 months in the making, the Cascades opened for play.

If you use the naturally sloping terrain you can take advantage of the extra roll, so you may find that your score on the Cascades will improve the second or third time round. The Cascades certainly has magnetic appeal to golfers of all standards who return to this fabulous resort year after year to try and master the stern but totally unique Cascades. Sam Snead was born in Ashwood, near Hot Springs and he learnt his golf at the Homestead. We suspect few people will ever play the Cascades course better than Slammin' Sammy.

Robert Trent Jones redesigned the Cascades course in 1961 but to maintain the integrity of Flynn's original 1923 blueprint, the course was closed over winter in 2005 for an extensive face-lift that concentrated on restoring the bunkers. In 2017, the course was enhanced further following a tree removal programme, which exposed creeks running along several fairways, thus improving strategy and shot selection.

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Reviews for Homestead (Cascades)

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Description: The Homestead mountain setting is truly delightful and the Cascades golf course looks totally natural with its ponds, streams and slopes, but the fairways were blasted through the limestone using tons of dynamite. Rating: 5 out of 6 Reviews: 4

Easily one of the most underrated golf courses I’ve ever played. Designed by the renowned William Flynn, who’s also known for the #1 ranked golf course in New York - Shinnecock Hills, the Cascades has classic course elements like pothole bunkering coupled with bent grass turf from tee to green. It’s also walking friendly and boasts a strong caddie program. The Homestead (Cascades) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer course measures only 6,667 which is very short and probably the most crucial element contributing to its low ranking, but keep in mind the Cascades is only a par 70 and the rating is 72.8 meaning a pro would shoot almost 3 strokes over par on average.

Flynn does an outstanding job with routing and green presentation. The golf course starts with several blind tee shots, but nothing too severe that would push a first time player into unrecoverable trouble from an errant drive. The first few par 4’s are very short, but Flynn protects the holes with small targeted greens that tend to run between 11 – 13 on the Stimpmeter. I found myself with several 3 putts until finally getting a handle on the speed.

The course’s back nine is the crown jewel encompassing three par 3’s, two Homestead (Cascades) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer par fives and is probably the best collective nine holes I’ve played anywhere. Around the club house you’ll find holes 14 through 18 routed into and away from the historic building’s back patio until the final 18th places you at the entrance. Having played Mike Strantz’s Bulls Bay previously, the routing reminded me of Bull’s final stretch making me wonder if Mike derived inspiration from Flynn’s Cascades.

My final thought is that this golf course could be back in the top 100 if it received a few aesthetic makeovers. Many of the more classic layouts, such as the Cascades, have upgraded their bunkering with a more jagged edge design and made use of native grass placements to create a more dramatic eye popping style. I’d be very curious to see what Tom Doak or Coore & Crenshaw would do here. Either way, the course is immaculately conditioned and the classic Flynn design is special. With the Cascades being a resort open to the public, I urge all golf players and enthusiasts to take advantage.

6 / 6
Homestead (Cascades)
June 11, 2017


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It’s a challenge to get to the Homestead if you don’t live within driving distance of it. We flew to Roanoke and then drove an hour-and-a-half to get there. But it was well worth the time and effort, and I would recommend it to anyone, especially families. There’s plenty to do other than golf. The rooms were wonderful, the food delicious and abundant and if that was not enough, 18 United States Presidents – from George Washington to Bill Clinton – have stayed at the Homestead.

It’s amazing that Cascades stays on the Top 100 at only 6,679 yards with a rating of 73 and slope of 137. The first few holes are very plain. On the third tee we looked at each other and wondered how the course rated Top 100 status. We never asked ourselves that again, because the course just kept getting better and better. Tee-shot accuracy is essential. In addition to the overall elevation changes, there are many fairways with severe left and right elevation changes as well; a drive landing in the wrong spot could easily cause your ball to roll all the way across the fairway into the rough on the other side. You could spend a lot of time looking for a golf ball that you were sure was right under your feet. Cascades has five wonderful par 3s (including the closing hole, which is unusual) and only three pas 5s, but the par 5s are fantastic – especially 16 and 17, which have a creek running through them and spectacular mountain ridges on either side. The greens were in great condition for so early in the season. Larry Berle
3 / 6
Homestead (Cascades)
December 09, 2014


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Keith Baxter
December 09, 2014
The above review is an edited extract from A Golfer’s Dream, which has been reproduced with the author’s kind permission. A Golfer’s Dream, by Larry Berle, tells the story of how a regular guy conquered America’s Top 100 Golf Courses (following Golf Digest’s 2001/2002 list). Larry has exclusively rated for us every course in the hundred, using our golf ball rating system. However, Larry did not rate the 100 courses against every golf course he has played, but instead he rated them in relation to each other within the hundred. Consequently, in some cases, his rating may seem rather low. A Golfer’s Dream is available in Kindle format and also on Kindle Unlimited via Amazon... click the link for more. 
I traveled to the Homestead early in the spring and ran into some unfortunate weather. I had planned on playing 36 holes a day and on staying for three days. My first two days I slogged through rain (first day) and snow (second day) on the Lower Cascades Course and the Old Course. Both are nice layouts and fun courses. The Old Course in particular is a fun one to play, despite being short, because it has 6 threes, 6 fours and 6 fives. Anyhow, my last day the sun came out and they finally opened up the Cascades Course. What a spectacular place. The routing, green sites, and views are first rate, and each hole is a unique and memorable test. It is now one of my favorite courses, and is certainly my favorite moutain course.
5 / 6
Homestead (Cascades)
May 01, 2007


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One of my favorite golf courses in the world. This is a hilly, mountain style golf course that is a top-notch championship caliber layout. Every hole presents a unique challenge, from the 300 yard third to the 475 par 4 twelvth. The greens can be exteremely difficlut to read, which adds to the challenge of the course. This is not a long course, being around 6700 yards from the back tees. However with the elevation changes, soft fairwarys, and a par of 70, you never feel like you are on anything less than an outstanding layout. The best thing about this course, however, is that even if you don't come close to playing to your handicap, I believe you will still enjoy the experience of playing this beautiful course. When you add the first class service of the Homestead resort to the equation, this is one of my favorite golfing destinations.As an aside, the Lower Cascades and Old Course at the Homestead resort are fun, but not outstanding layouts. If you go to the Homestead, play the Cascades course as many times as you can.Richard SmithKnoxville, Tennessee
6 / 6
Homestead (Cascades)
July 17, 2006


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