Ever wonder if you were up for the challenge of playing golf with the “big boys?” This May, I found out.
Before I left home, I knew the first full day of the golf media tour through the hills of West Virginia would be a real challenge for me. (Click here for map of all our travels.) I would be playing the Palmer Golf Course at Oglebay, in Wheeling West Virginia. Yikes!
I did my research and checked out the stats for the course. Yardage from the forward tees totaled 5,125, with a 69.6/117 rating and slope. My home course back on Cape Cod is very similar and is even a couple hundred yards longer, so I figured I could at least handle the distance. But this newest course at Oglebay is a championship layout with five—count ‘em 5! par-five holes, seven par-four holes and six par-three holes… and there’s water! There’s a reason the West Virginia LPGA Classic is played on this course!
But I was not to be intimidated. I had plenty of extra golf balls and an attitude focused on having a good time! And the golf course delivered. No question the fairways were fast, the greens faster and the sand bunkers seemed to be magnetic! (There are a lot of sand bunkers and I think my ball found most of them.) Even so, playing golf at Oglebay was a lot of fun. The weather was clear and cool the morning we played. Average temperatures for Wheeling in May are between 50 and 75 degrees. Perfect for golf. But no matter when you play you’ll find the temps in the hills of West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle seldom go above 85.
I was lucky! My golf cart partner was Alice Scott, one-half of America’s Golfing Couple. Her husband Danny Scott and she have been touring and writing about golf resorts all over the world. So she brought a special perspective to the game.
No question the course was challenging, but I find playing a course for the first time is never a piece of cake. I would love to have the chance to play the course again. Especially the Par-3, 13th Hole. It’s only 117 yards from the forward tees to the center of the green, but there is this nasty little body of water in the front and four very large bunkers on the far side. Takes a perfect shot to make it. I’d like a second try!
There are two additional golf courses at Oglebay: The 18 hole Crispin Course which is considered very playable and popular with regional golfers, and the 18 hole Par 3 course and driving range for practicing your short game and tuning up your drives!
We know that golf is always the priority in a golfing vacation, but there’s a lot more to do at Oglebay than just hitting the fairways. One of the resorts most popular features is The West Spa at Wilson Lodge. What better way to relax than with a massage, facial or healing therapy after you conquer the Palmer course!
Our media tour group stayed the night at Wilson Lodge, and although the night got a little chilly I was warmed with the comfort of my own fireplace, a king-sized bed, and a very plush bathrobe I discovered waiting for me in the closet.
Dinner was buffet style, the selection of food, elegant. Salmon, oysters, beef roast, chicken, a wide variety of salads, vegetables and to finish off the meal, a buffet table full of sweet treats. I tried to sample something of everything, but it was not possible. I relied on my fellow travelers for their opinion, and everything was delicious.
If you bring your family along, there are lots of adventures for the kids too.
- Riding lessons at the Oglebay stables
- Hiking through miles of walking trails
- Schenk Lake featuring pedal boating and fishing
- Outdoor Pool
- Miniature Golf
Just a few of the local attractions include the Glass Museum with glass blowing demonstrations, The Mansion Museum, and The Good Zoo. There are plenty of things to do to fill a month of vacations at Oglebay!
And while the kids are busy at whatever… you can be playing another round of golf at one of the three great courses at Oglebay! So here’s two thumbs up to Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, WV. A great place to visit and play.
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Click here for more information about Oglebay Resort.