Willow Oaks Country Club
2007 Golf Course Renovation Information
One day of River Cup matches are played each year at Willow Oaks Country Club. Established in 1957, Willow Oaks is located in Richmond, Virginia, on the south bank of the James River. The golf course has served as host to the Virginia State Open 14 times in the past. A comprehensive renovation of the course was undertaken in December 2007. Information on the renovation, including videos and course images is available by clicking above on "2007 Golf Course Renovation Information."
The property originally belonged to E. K. Vietor, an export leaf tobacco dealer and one time consul to Richmond for the Imperial German government. Mrs. Vietor planted numerous willow oaks trees on the property and they have now grown to full maturity and give the club its name.
The Vietor property was purchased in 1936 by Mr. E. Ross Milhiser, a Richmond businessman. Millhiser found two Colonial homes dating to 1740 near Rich Square, North Carolina, with well preserved pine paneling and flooring. The interior woodwork from the homes was taken apart and moved, piece by piece, to Richmond and Millhiser had a lovely colonial style residence built around it in Williamsburg brick.
Millhiser sold the property to the newly formed Willow Oaks Country Club in 1957 and the residence was adapted to use as a clubhouse. The former residence has seen several renovations and expansions and now houses the formal dining room, informal dining rooms and lounges, kitchen facilities, locker rooms, and the club's offices. In addition to its clubhouse facilities and golf course, there are sports facilities including a 25 meter outdoor pool, eight outdoor tennis courts, and an indoor tennis facility housing four Har Tru courts.
The original course design was done in 1957 by William F. Gordon and David W. Gordon. The course opened for play in 1958. The course is laid out in parkland fashion (each nine looping out and returning to the central clubhouse area) over 160 acres of heavily treed land. Nine of the course's holes are within the flood plain of the James River and it is not uncommon for flooding of the river to cause the course to be temporarily closed for play for brief periods of time during spring or fall months. The 2007 redesign by Lester George maintained the original routing but opened up playing corridors by selective but significant tree removal.