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A Review of The Water’s Edge Country Club

In 1976, Ronald Willard founded the Waterfront.

It was the first country club community along the shoreline of Virginia’s Smith Mountain Lake.

The Waterfront encompassed 750 acres and eight and a half miles of shoreline.

Then in 1985, the Willard Companies purchased an additional 712 acres of land and created The Water’s Edge. And in 1986, work began on the lake’s second country club community.

This time, Willard hired Virginia native R.F. Loving Junior to design the 18-hole championship-style golf course.

And when it opened, the layout here at The Water’s Edge was named one of Golf Digest’s five best courses in America.

In 2008, Golf Course architect Richard Mendell was brought in to update and renovate Ludwig’s original design work.

Then in 2020, Raleigh, North Carolina-based McConnell Golf purchased the club.

As you start your round here at The Water’s Edge golf course, Architect Loving takes you on a journey inland through some incredible rolling terrain while challenging you with a couple of tough par fives in number one and number five.

A long par three in Hole #2 and two par fours that are not overly long yet can help set the tone for your round.

Then as you tee it up on hole #6 at The Water’s Edge, you’ll do so on a par four that plays straight downhill to the lake and normally into the wind.

The 7th hole, the course’s signature hole features an island green.

Regardless of what time of the year you do tee it up here with its Bermuda greens and fairways, you will always find superb playing conditions.

The Course

Year built: 1985
Architect(s): R.F. Loving/Richard Mandell (R)
Type: Private
Greens: Bermuda Grass
Fairways: Bermuda Grass
Golf Season: Year-round  


Par 72
Length Back Tees: 6943
Slope: 74.5
Rating: 133
Length Forward Tees: 5387
Slope: 71.1
Rating: 125 


The Water’s Edge Country Club
1825 Waters Edge Drive
Penhook, VA 24137
United States
P: 540- 576-1556

Whether you’re teeing off on the famed Island Green on Hole #7 The Water’s Edge, admiring the Peaks of Otter while teeing off on Hole #6, or chipping to the green on Hole #10, the absolute beauty of the course’s surroundings will take your breath away. Our Hole #18 was rated as one of the more challenging holes in the region and the pristine waters of Smith Mountain Lake that hug the majority of the course will wash away your troubles.

The Water's Edge Country Club
Alan Hunter

Alan Hunter is the Managing Director at Hunter Southwest Productions. Since 2004 the company has provided video production services to the golf industry. HSW also produces several nationally syndicated television programs, including Golf Southwest and Golf America.