In the late 1890s, a group of local businessmen initiated the northward and westward expansion of Richmond via investment in trolley lines and believed a golf course was a method to increase use of their trolley line. Hermitage Country Club was formed by this group of businessmen in October 1900, and their efforts led to the construction of the first course in HCC history: a 9-hole course that played just under 3,000 yards to a par of 40. Railroad construction and development forced Hermitage to relocate from the original site, so club leaders purchased land at a site off Hilliard Road on the northside of Richmond. Hermitage paid then-young A.W. Tillinghast a handsome sum of $1,000 to design the club’s new course. By the end of the World War II, Hermitage had long established itself as a premier player’s club, which the club parlayed into hosting duties for the 1945 Richmond Open won by Ben Hogan and the 1949 PGA Championship won by Virginia’s own Sam Snead.

Seeking more land to secure Hermitage’s future, the club sold its course and related improvements to Henrico County in 1977 in conjunction with the acquisition of approximately 450 acres west of Richmond in Goochland County. Ed Ault was hired to design the first 27 holes at Hermitage’s new (and current) site – the three nine-hole routings were affectionately known as the Pine, Oak and Lake 9s. A composite of the Pine and Lake 9s served as the host for the Senior Tour’s Crestar Classic, which Hermitage hosted from 1983 to 1990. Arnold Palmer won his last Tour event at the 1988 Crestar Classic, and his incredible win is commemorated to this day on the back nine of the Sabot course (“The King’s March”). 

In the early 1990s, architect Arthur Hills added a “new” nine holes to the previous 27, and in 2000, Hills returned to renovate the Lake nine. This renovation ultimately combined the New 9 and the Lake 9, of which the resulting course was renamed the Sabot. The Pine and Oak 9s joined to be the Manakin course. In 2005, Keith Foster oversaw substantial updates to the Manakin, which included converting the common Bermuda turf to bent grass fairways and lush bluegrass rough. Under the watchful eye of current superintendent Chris Harriman and his team and Andrew Green, the Club’s current consulting architect, the Manakin was converted back to wall-to-wall Latitude Bermuda in 2019 and the Sabot greens were switched to Pure Eclipse, a new heat-tolerant strain of bentgrass during the winters of 2021/2022 and 2022/2023.

The Manakin and Sabot offer members and guests two very different and distinct challenges – the Manakin currently plays as a beautiful blend of North Carolina/Sandhill southern charm and Northern brawn with wide playing corridors framed by mature pines and deep, Tillinghast-style bunkers. Golf course architecture buffs would label the Sabot as an exciting, modern design that heavily features water hazards and half-par holes.  

Hermitage was a founding member of the Virginia State Golf League, which is now known as the Virginia State Golf Association (VSGA). In addition to the 1949 PGA Championship and annually hosting the Valentine Invitational since 1931, Hermitage is an avid supporter and host of numerous Richmond Golf Association, VSGA, MAPGA and USGA events and qualifiers. Future championships to be held at Hermitage Country Club include:

August 2024: MAPGA Section Championship
August 2025: VSGA Women’s State Team Matches
June 2029: VSGA Men’s State Amateur 
August 2030: MAPGA Section Championship
July 2031: VSGA State Junior Stroke Play Championship


Designer: Ed Ault (1977), Keith Foster (2005, r)
Par / Yardage: 72 / 6,982 yards
Tees / Fairways: Latitude 36 Bermuda
Greens: A1/A4 bentgrass blend


Designer: Ed Ault (1977), Arthur Hills (2000, r)
Par / Yardage: 72 / 7,138 yards
Tees / Fairways: Vamont Bermuda
Greens: Pure Eclipse bentgrass