Feeling Right at Home

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After spending a few days at the NCAA men's Fall Preview this past week, it was refreshing to see one of the classic golf courses play host to the best college players in the country.
 
The Cascades Golf Resort in Hot Springs, Va., will also invite the top 30 teams the first week of June in 2004 for the NCAA Division I Mens Championships.
 
Turn back the clock four months ago, and head to Stillwater, Okla., and the Karsten Creek layout. It was a magnificent course, but it fit the modern version of courses we see today -- very long, catering to the bombers off the tee. In my opinion that is not what we need to see every time the collegiate players tee it up.
 
The main reason I say this is very simple. A golf course does not have to be 7,200 yards to be challenging. This is where the Cascades course comes into play.
 
Open since 1923, this William Flynn design has hosted a handful of USGA events over the years, including the 1988 U.S. Amateur. Yep, thats right, the USGA. Arent they the group that loves those long U.S. Open venues, which among other things put a premium on par? Thats the group who has had no problem hosting some of their biggest events on a layout which plays just under 6,700 yards.
 
A par 70, the Cascades course puts value on accuracy and precision, while testing every facet of a golfer's game. This criterion is what matters most, and should prove to be a worthy challenge in June.
 
The final four holes also bring a different twist to the table. A par-3, followed by two par-5s, then ending with another par-3 should add drama if nothing else.
 
Annually ranked as the top course in the state of Virginia, native son Sam Snead summed it up best years ago when he was asked about the place where he served as the first head professional. Snead would say if you can play this golf course, you can play golf anywhere in the world.
 
I tend to agree with Slammin Sam, and expect all who head to the Cascades course next spring to feel right at home at The Homestead.