Situated on the site of a Civil War winter encampment, this co-design with former PGA TOUR Commissioner, Deane Beman, rests on the beautiful banks of the Rappahannock River. Deep ravines and 200-acres of rolling countryside add spice to Cannon Ridge’s historic layout.
2003 Golf digest
Best New Public Course, Top 3
When designing Cannon Ridge for Silver Companies, Weed and Beman were tasked with artfully incorporating the 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg history into the new golf course.
“The Mud March” was a Union Army offensive by Major General Ambrose Burnside to overtake the Confederate capital of Richmond by crossing the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg. However, Burnside’s troops were soundly defeated.
Initially intended as a public resort facility, the practice area would require a large driving range and ample chipping and putting greens.
The course landscape offered a diverse mix of woodlands, bluffs and deep ravines. Scenic wetlands would also come into play. Extensive engineering partnerships and permits from the Department of Natural Resources were required.
Designed like a links course, the par-71, 18-hole open layout and long greens were unique to the area. Extensive uphill and downhill lies ask players to shape numerous shots. The back tees measured 6,907 yards and 4,616 yards from the forward tees.
Considered one of the toughest public courses in Virginia, Cannon Ridge offered short yet challenging par 3’s. Greens were well-guarded by bunkers, but open in the front to avoid forced carries. Memorable design attributes included:
Hole 3 | Par 5 | 535 yards: Players teed off over a cavernous ravine towards a large fairway. Reaching the green in two shots required a forced carry over a wetland. A conservative route offered ample room to the left.
Hole 5 | Par 4 | 423 yards: No. 1 handicap hole. A sneaky long uphill climb to an attractive green framed on high ground.
Hole 12 | Par 5 | 508: One of the Mid-Atlantic’s most picturesque holes. A wide fairway is offered, though players who cut the left corner may find themselves in tall rough near a large embankment. That’ll leave a difficult lay-up shot too. Staying center or just right gives players an opportunity to reach the green in two, but an elevated green does not reward shots that land short.
Opened in 2003, Cannon Ridge was named No. 3 in Golf Digest’s, “Best New Public Courses.” It also was considered one of the finest courses in the Mid-Atlantic region. Weed and Beman were celebrated for their creativity on this hallowed ground.
Part of the “Celebrate Virginia North” development, Cannon Ridge featured Civil War-era cannon embankments on the back nine, and several historic bronze plaques and placards along the course describing the 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg.
When this facility closed temporarily in 2012 in anticipation of the course’s reopening, Bobby Weed Golf Design was asked to renovate and manage Cannon Ridge to an austere level, in a closed condition but that it could be reopened within 90 days should an operator be identified. BWGD proudly lent its services in numerous capacities to protect this asset during Silver Companies’ restructuring period.
During this closure, BWGD converted fairways and tee boxes from L-93 bentgrass to Latitude bermudagrass (more compatible with Virginia’s variable weather conditions). Additionally, rough grasses were a combo of tall fescue and bluegrass.
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