In 1976, Ronald L. Willard Sr. founded The Waterfront, Smith Mountain Lake’s first country club community. The Waterfront encompasses 750 acres and 8.5 miles of shoreline. The 18-hole, PGA Championship golf course was designed by George Dillon of the Fazio Group. The 22,000-square-foot clubhouse was planned by The Willard Companies in cooperation with Robert Bradley, AIA and Associates. Amenities include tennis and pickleball courts, swimming pool, fitness center, driving range, pro shop and fine dining. Willard developed and managed the club until its sale in December 2020 to The Waterfront Management LLC.
In 1985, The Willard Companies purchased an additional 712 acres on which to build a planned community called The Water’s Edge. The Willard Companies began development of the lake’s second country club community in 1986. With 13 miles of shoreline and more than 700 acres, this is one of Smith Mountain Lake’s most prestigious communities. The 18-hole, PGA Championship golf course was designed by R.F. Loving Jr., ASGC, a nationally renowned golf course architect. The course was named one of Golf Digest’s five best courses in the country. In 2008, The Water’s Edge completed a $5 million course renovation by Aspen Corporation and golf architect, Richard Mandell and Aspen Corporation. Amenities include clay tennis and pickleball courts, junior Olympic size pool, driving range, pro shop, fitness center, equestrian center and fine dining. Willard developed and managed the club until its sale in December 2020 to McConnell Golf.
In 1996, The Willard Companies purchased Chestnut Creek, a semi-private golf course, renamed it The Westlake, and later changed its status to public. The Westlake is cut out of the woods and a green that sits by one of Smith Mountain Lake’s many peaceful coves and inlets. The course carries the trademark touch of Russell Breeden, who designs courses with a mix of distance and accuracy making it challenging for all players. A restored farmhouse contains a pro shop and delightful restaurant. Banquet facilities are available for meetings, conferences and receptions. Other amenities include a driving range, an Olympic-size swimming pool. Willard developed and managed the course until its sale in December 2020 to McConnell Golf.