Who We Are

Friends of Belmont Golf Course is a non-profit organization with three primary objectives:

 

1. Save historic Belmont Golf Course.

 

2. Restore A.W. Tillinghast’s design features that have eroded through the passage of time.

3. Re-imagine Belmont Park and and avocate for a golf-centric park serving traditional 18-hole golfers, as well as a broad segment of the community that finds an 18-hole round of golf to simply be too daunting or time consuming.

 

Belmont Park can be a shining example of what a public access, community-minded golf facility should be- a place where the game-of-a-lifetime is learned and enjoyed by all- men, women, youth, grandparents-&-grandkids, Wounded Warriors and others seeking a recreational outlet.

 

HISTORY

In the late 1890’s, a group of prominent business leaders formed Hermitage Golf Club.

On 58-acres of leased property near Broad Street and Hermitage Road in Richmond a small clubhouse was constructed while plans were drawn for a 9-hole golf course. (This property is the present site of the Science Museum of Virginia, which previously was RF&P Railroad’s Broad Street Station.)

 
 

THE ARCHITECT

  Albert Warren "Tillie" Tillinghast (May 7, 1876 – May 19, 1942) was an American golf course architect. Tillinghast was one of the most prolific architects in the history of golf; he worked on more than 265 different courses. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2015.

 

RE-IMAGINE

A golf-centric park

The three concept drawings below illustrate some of the changes that would facilitate a much more community oriented version of Belmont Golf Course.

FBGC-Rendering.jpg

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ADVISORS

BRUCE MATSON

Bruce has been active in golf, serving as President of the Virginia State Golf Association, rating golf courses for Golfweek's Top 100, and writing golf history and architecture articles in various magazines as well as a regular column, “Great Holes”, in the Virginia Golfer.

PHIL YOUNG 

Mr. Phil Young is considered by the golf architecture community as the premier historian of the life and work of AW Tillinghast.

BERT CLARK

Founder of Friends of Belmont Golf Course. An avid golfer and proponent for the preservation and restoration of historic Belmont Golf Course.

 
MELISSA KNABE

Great Granddaughter of AW Tillinghast

Ms. Knabe is a student of Tilly’s multifaceted career and life. She is a strong proponent for the preservation and restoration of Belmont golf course..

STUART WOLFFE

President, AW Tillinghast Association

Historian, Baltusrol Golf Club

The opportunity to save and restore any Tillinghast course is a rare opportunity, what makes Belmont extra-special is that it has also hosted the 1949 PGA Championship.

VINNY
GILES

He is best known for finishing second in the U.S. Amateur three straight years, 1967-69, before winning in 1972. 

He has played in 11 professional majors, making the cut in three-of-nine Masters appearances and made the cut in both US Open appearances.

 

ABOUT US

Friends of Belmont Golf Course is a non-profit organization with three primary objectives:

 

      I.    Save Belmont Golf Course! This property has been a golf course over 100-years and is an integral part of the Lakeside Neighborhood. Anything less than the preservation of this historic, championship, 18-hole golf course designed by AW Tillinghast would be a tragedy; good design and history are not disposable.

 

     II.    Advocate for a sympathetic restoration of the golf course. A lot has changed in golf since Tillinghast designed the course in1916. At that time, hickory-shafted clubs and rubber core Haskell balls were in use and a prodigious drive by an expert golfer was 220 yards.. Only an “expert golfer” was able to complete a hole with a score of “par”, the average golfer would strive to measure themselves against the “bogey” score. Here are some of the significant changes to the course:

 

        a.   In the 1920's, Donald Ross built the #1 green across North Run.

               i.   The new #1 green was built in conjunction with the converstion of all of the greens from sand to grass. This conversion required softening of some of the green contours because the grass greens were much faster than sand.

               ii.   From the 1952 photo, the Ross style of the green and bunkers is evident when compared to the other golf holes.  

        b.   In the late-1980’s, Hilliard Road was widened disturbing holes 1, 9, 10, 17 & 18

        c.   Sometime after the trolley line that crossed the #1 fairway ceased operations in the early 1950’s, high voltage lines voltage were installed on the former trolley easement, spoiling the view from the first tee and placing the lines directly in the line of play.

        d.   Golf equipment has dramatically changed in the past 100-years, in 1916 a prodigious drive by an expert golfer was 300+ yards. Now, expert golfers routinely hit a drive 325 yards.

Please note how few trees are on the course in 1952. The original 9th and 17th green are visable in this photo. Also, there is a tee near the 17th green that makes #10 play as a dogleg hole which explains why there are bunkers located in the trees between #10 and #17. Based on this photo, the trees between #10 and #17 were planted after 1952, along with other trees that have now matured and encroach upon the course.

2019 aerial view of Belmont GC front-9. Please note that the trailer park is gone from the property adjacent to the Dump Furniture Store and the #1 green is no longer on the east-side of North Run. Can this become a driving range where the game can be learned by any-and-all?

BELMONT IN THE NEWS

Henrico to explore options for Belmont Golf Course - Click here

Michael Schwartz , March 16, 2018

 

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CONTACT US

4840 Waller Road, Suite 103

Richmond, VA, 23230

Phone: 804 387-8566

 

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