Augustine Golf Club's award-winning course was sculpted to reflect its natural beauty with its distinctive par 4s sculpted by course architect, Rick Jacobson. Although the greens at Augustine declined for a few years, recent renovations have restored the course to its former glory, once again luring golfers to its babbling streams and forest. Farther north, rivals Augustine's sister course, Raspberry Falls. Course architect Gary Player remarked that the Falls, once an 18th-century plantation, “was made for a golf course.” Inspired by this ideal setting, he dreamed up the links-style course at Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club, whose meandering brooks, stone walls, and stacked-sod bunkers evoke Scotland, while its vista of the Catoctin Mountains remind players they’re in Virginia.
These golf havens have more than picturesque views in common—they are two of six award-winning courses united by Raspberry Golf Management’s portfolio, which stretches from Virginia to Pennsylvania and skips over to Arizona. Gary Player’s design team for Raspberry Falls included Tim Freeland, who went on to design two of the firm’s other courses: Royal Manchester Golf Links, whose bentgrass fairways sidle up to the Susquehanna River, and Old Hickory Golf Club, a parkland-style course crisscrossed by Beaver Creek. The management company's other gems include The Legacy Golf Resort, where cowboys used to ride their rocking horses around a 7,500-acre ranch, and Bull Run Golf Club, which sprawls across more than 450 acres of meadows and woodlands at the foot of the Bull Run Mountains.
The vintners at Vint Hill Winery craft nuanced wines out of ripe fruit plucked from California, Washington, and Virginia. Tint your taste buds with two flights of wine per person while lounging on the balcony, which overlooks a barn that was used to intercept messages during WWII and shelter stray cats in 1991. Vint Hill sends sommeliers on their way with a bottle of french-oak barrel-fermented 2008 chardonnay and a 2008 merlot—an herbaceous red with harmonious notes of wild fruit, tobacco, and black pepper. Adopted quaffs may be sipped from the provided, decorative wine glasses or poured down the gullet of a timid schooner before its maiden voyage.
The Arnold Palmer signature designed course at the private Dominion Valley Country Club features 18 holes and fulfills Arnold Palmer's vision of integrating golf design into the surrounding terrain. The 7,000-yard golfing gauntlet (measured from the back tees) challenges both new swingers and skilled clubsmen on a course that incorporates natural elevation changes, fairways hugged by rows of trees, and a bevy of wetland hazards that will leave golf balls as wet as a puppy that fell into a dunk tank. Lunch on the day of play includes a deli sandwich or hot dog, a bag of chips, and a fountain soda. To play, golfers must garb up in golfing-specific gear instead of catcher's masks or pants made out of hockey pucks.
On the 250-acre campus of Great Meadow, about 40 local winemakers set up tents to show off a harvest that has been years in the making. At the entrance of the Virginia Wine Festival, you can pick up your souvenir glass, stop by one of the booths for a tasting, and then take home your favorite varietals by the bottle or case. Complimentary wine seminars are held throughout the day, featuring visits from renowned chefs, tutorials on judging wines, and tips for choosing the correct glass for a given wine, such as throwing two glasses against the wall and seeing which one doesn't break.
Area musicians including Jr. Cline and the Recliners, Johnny and the Headhunters, Inner Rhythm Quartet, and Glory on the Floor play folk, R&B, and jazz throughout the day, while artisans of handmade products show off their wares. At the Family Tent, Becki the Balloon Lady makes balloon animals for the kiddies.