Road Trip! Destination: W.Va. golf spots
Spectacular vistas abound at top golf spots in West Virginia, where lines of trees and lakes are not only beautiful in the distance but sometimes are worked into the courses themselves.
Much of the art of course design and architecture lies in taking advantage of the topography, so don't expect different courses designed by the same person, such as Arnold Palmer, to play the same way.
While West Virginia golf courses are close enough to Pittsburgh for a day trip, many golfers prefer to stay overnight or for a few days.
Check for what's considered proper attire when making your reservation. Just don't expect jeans or a T-shirt to cut it.
The Greenbrier resort has the longest history, stretching back to Revolutionary War days when the site's white sulphur springs were used for healthy mineral baths.
Golf courses at resorts are often open to the public. Semi-public courses may limit play to guests staying at the resort.
Private golf courses are open to members only, often with a steep membership fee. Pikewood National Golf Club in Morgantown, which made Golf Digest's Top 100 Courses in the United States in 2011, the first year it was eligible, is a private course. Serious inquiries are welcomed but membership is by invitation only.
Mark Kanny is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7877 or mkanny@tribweb.
Oglebay Resort and Conference Center
With four courses at its Speidel Golf Club, the Oglebay Resort in Wheeling offers plenty of variety in the challenges golfers enjoy. Its older championship course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr.; the newer one by Arnold Palmer. In addition, there's the Crispin 18-hole regulation course and a par 3 course and putting green.
The 271-room Wilson Lodge, which opened in 1957, has been remodeled and has 59 premium rooms. There are 54 cottages for groups and larger families. In addition to a conference center, amenities include a 5,000-square-foot spa with indoor pool, Jacuzzi and sauna, as well as casual- and fine-dining options.
Details: 800-624-6988 or www.oglebay-resort.com
The par 72 Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course at Stonewall, near Weston, ranked No. 3 in Links Magazine's 2011 rating of the top 10 Palmer golf courses. There are six tee placements for players of varying ability. The full course is 7,149 yards and includes uphill and downhill slopes and a variety of hazards and approaches to the greens.
The lakeside resort includes 208 guest rooms, along with cottages, a restaurant, fitness center, indoor and outdoor heated pools and a spa. The resort's 100-passenger excursion boat provides tours of Stonewall Jackson Lake. There also are nature trails for hiking and biking.
Details: 888-278-8150 or www.stonewallresort.com
Home to the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic, the resort's Old White TPC Course includes holes modeled after famous European courses and has been played by many legendary golfers — and a president or two. The Meadows Course was upgraded in 1999 and is used by many state and regional championships. It offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
The Greenbrier, in White Sulphur Springs, is a National Historic Landmark. Accommodations range from traditional and deluxe rooms to suites, cottages, estate houses — and the presidential suite and Windsor Club. The Greenbrier has 14 restaurants, cafes, bars and lounges and in-room dining. The spa takes advantage of the springs that have attracted people for more than two centuries and offers massages, facials, cleansing wraps and skin and nail care. It also is home to a casino.
Details: 855-453-4858 or www.greenbrier.com
The Resort at Glade Springs
Glade Springs in Daniels boasts three championship golf courses — two public — and is ranked among the best in the state. The 7,121-yard Cobb Course is semi-public and open to resort guests. It features 51 sand bunkers, more than 200 feet of elevation changes, eight lakes and subtle fairway slopes. Woodhaven Course was completed in 2010 and features two distinct nine-hole loops — one overlooks Glade Creek Gorge, the other moves through a steeper valley. The Stonehaven Course loops around 69-acre Chatham Lake and through a forest. It was ranked in second position among best courses in the state by Golf Digest.
Accommodations include an inn, manor houses, lodges and villas. Pet friendly lodging is available. The spa includes full-body massages, facial-skin treatments and a hair salon. Other activities include archery, equestrian trail rides, bike rentals, fitness classes and tennis. The resort is home to a grill, cafe, sports bar and full-service restaurant.
Details: 866-562-8054 or www.gladesprings.com
Lakeview Golf Resort and Spa
Located just 10 miles from the Pennsylvania border near Morgantown, Lakeview Golf Resort features two championship courses. The par 72 Lakeview Course is rated four stars by Golf Digest. The seventh hole features a 180-foot vertical drop from tee to green. The Mountainview Course winds through Allegheny forest and poses singular challenges.
Guest rooms and suites are recently renovated. The 40,000-square-foot Fitness and Sports Center includes basketball, racquetball and tennis courts, pool, Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna and personal training. The spa offers massage and body therapies, skin care and a complete salon with nail and hair care.
Details: 304-594-1111 or www.lakeviewresort.com