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For more than 20 years, Hobbs Hole Golf Course has been providing an exceptional golf experience, with pristine wide-open spaces and a serene hometown atmosphere. The turf awaits; come out and play.


Richmond, Fredericksburg and southern Maryland. “They can drive here, play and be home in the time it takes to play a round somewhere else,” he said. “They’re driving past a lot of courses to get here.”


Filling a Need


Hobbs Hole is the “fondest dream and desire” of William W. “Billy” Cooke, a lifetime golf enthusiast who’s been deeply involved in every aspect of bringing his vision to a reality. “It was always on my wish list to build a golf course,” Cooke said. With years of experience in local real estate and community service, he bought the property in 1987 and later decided it was the perfect venue for his golf course. The company began construction in 1994. “I wanted to bring more people to Tappahannock, and to provide amenities to the people here,” he said. “He saw a need and he filled it,” added Betty Anne Cooke, Mr. Cooke’s wife of nearly 60 years. “He’s always busy with a project,” she said. With the help and support of his late friends James


Moore, Willie Cleaton and Curtis Harmon, “We got it done,” Cooke said. Richmond architect Jeffrey Timmons designed the facility and Cooke could not be happier with the final outcome. Jack Henry shaped the landscape for the course and lived in the Cookes’ guest house for nine months during construction. Harmon, a long-time friend and employee, installed the irrigation and elevations. The team consulted with engineers from Virginia Tech to formulate the ideal mixture of topsoil for the greens, after experimenting with various combinations of dirt, sand and sawdust to provide the perfect consistency and texture to stabilize the turf. “It was all a huge undertaking, but the outcome has been wonderful,” Cooke said. Mr. and Mrs. Cooke chose the name Hobbs Hole to pay


tribute to a seventeenth century village established as a port and customs town for river traffic and trade near the center of modern-day Tappahannock. “Hobbs His Hole” or “Hobbs


The House & Home Magazine


Keith, Billy and Kent Cooke


Hold” refers to the village and trading post run by Jacob Hobbs. “Mr. Hobbs,” the hand-carved mascot who resides in the


lobby of the clubhouse, was a Christmas gift to Mr. Cooke from Mrs. Cooke in 1996. She found the statue on a shopping trip to Martha’s Mixture Antiques in Richmond and had to enlist the help of her family in some complicated intrigue to pull off the surprise. Mr. Hobbs was the inspiration for the interior decor. Youngest son, Kent Cooke, president of The C Development


Corporation, the Cookes’ real estate company, oversees operations at Hobbs Hole, as well as watching over other real estate projects and handling multiple property issues every day. With a large inventory of state-of-the-art equipment, a $250,000 annual maintenance budget, a fully stocked and staffed pro shop, and a full-service restaurant, “We always strive to improve every year,” Kent Cooke said. A high-tech computer system, restaurant renovations, the addition of a clubhouse patio and awning, and an elegantly lighted fountain gracing the entrance to the property are but a few of the most recent improvements. In 2016, Hobbs Hole Golf Course marked its 20th


anniversary having hosted more than 400,000 rounds of play since opening. In a letter to Kent Cooke, one appreciative club member in Tappahannock wrote: “Thank you for continuing to provide the resources and management oversight necessary to keep Hobbs Hole Golf Course the best golfing value within a 100-mile radius.”


Inside and Outside


Thorne, the club pro with Hobbs Hole for 11 years, stays busy keeping track of golfers, lessons, leagues, marketing and the pro shop. “If the sun’s up, we’re here,” he said. Thorne teaches lessons to everyone from children to senior citizens. He manages the club’s PGA Junior League Golf teams on Tuesdays beginning in March. He compares junior league golf to little league baseball. Kids learn to play golf, practice and play intra-


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