Play great golf in West Virginia
I have just discovered some real golfing treasures in the hills of West Virginia. I mean real West Virginia Mountain State Golf Course Gems! Fabulous courses that are a challenge to golfers of every level. As a resident of the east coast, when I think of taking a golf vacation, my thoughts usually go south to Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, and Florida. I now realize how limiting this thinking is!
This past week I played at five different golf courses in West Virginia as part of a Golf Media Tour and I enjoyed each and every course. In the next few weeks I’ll share more about each golf course and what you can look forward to when you visit the mountain state. But for today, I just wanted to give you a few highlights from the trip…
First, my fellow writers were a great bunch of people. They came from Cleveland, Arizona, Georgia, Washington, Canada and California —talented, light hearted, and eager for great golf and an equally good time. We played, ate, drank and enjoyed the week together.
The week’s schedule was packed from morning till night. When I was first invited to join the media tour and I saw the list of great golf locations, —each one a resort with spas, swimming pools, great dining and all sorts of non-golf activities, I pictured myself lazily getting a manicure or pedicure as I soaked in a hot tub after a round of golf. No. Nada. Nothing like that. No time.
No time at all for more than a shower, change of clothes and an early night to bed. The schedule went something like this: Alarm at 5:30 a.m., shower, dress, pack your bags, get to breakfast, take the bus or a golf cart to the first tee and play 18 holes. Then a box lunch at the club house or if you played in the last foursome it was a box lunch on the bus. Then travel to the next resort, (one day the travel between resorts was almost 200 miles) get off the bus, find your room, shower, dress for dinner, followed by drinks and fabulous cuisine. Later, some went to the bar for a night cap, — but most nights I headed to bed. The next morning, it was rinse and repeat.
There was little time for exploring beyond the golf course, except at The Greenbrier Resort where we took two short tours:
- The Bunker Tour — which has nothing to do with sand bunkers or golf – what was I thinking?!? The Bunker Tour explores the secret underground chamber located under The Greenbrier Resort’s building. Built in absolute secrecy during the cold war by the Eisenhower administration, it was designed for members of Congress to live and from which they could govern the country if the U.S. was ever under a nuclear attack. Not a happy thought. But more about that in a later post.
- A second tour that focused on the history of the resort —it’s architecture and special features. Simply fabulous. If ultimate luxury is what you want on a golf vacation, think The Greenbrier.
This was a media tour that focused on golf—that and great food. We did not go hungry. No chance of that. Every resort brought out their very best cuisine. Whether ordering off the menu in the dining room, or enjoying a dinner or breakfast buffet, each resort presented a great variety of wonderful foods and supplied us with box lunches for our next day’s travel. I gained two pounds! Yikes! and that was after playing 18 holes of golf, every day for five days.
The weather was perfect. A little cold the first day (we started the round with the temps in the mid 40’s which is a little chilly for me) but ended the day in the high 50’s. The temps continued to rise and by the end of the week we played in temps that ranged between 65 and 75 degrees. May temps in West Virginia are really perfect for golf.
The views from many of the golf courses were spectacular, especially the views from the Tom Clark Stonehaven Course at Glade Springs. I’ve never seen a course with so much variety and beauty. Even the hazards were pretty to look at! (Although I never let myself see sand or water – the image gets into my mind and plunk! right in goes my golf ball.)
West Virginia Golf is worth traveling for. That’s the bottom line. Here is the link to the West Virginia Golf Tourism site. http://www.wvgolfing.com/default.aspx You can check out all the golf courses, rates, schedules etc. on that site.
If you are thinking about planning a golf trip this year, you should really consider West Virginia as a destination.
Ever played golf in West Virginia? Add your comments below.