I took off Friday and was supposed to head to Tennessee to meet up with a friend for some golf but that trip had to be postponed. I kicked around a few other golf destinations before deciding to go to Central Kentucky. I stayed the night in Lexington last year after my rounds of golf in Ohio (on my move to the East Coast). I wished that I had stayed one more day and golfed at a couple places so that influenced my decision to go back to the Lexington area this weekend.
I thought about leaving on Thursday night but decided that I would get an early start and stop along the way to golf. I looked at the website for The Greenbrier, but was shocked to see that the greens fees at those courses were all at least $200. I have a problem paying more than $100 for a round of golf unless the course is really special. I looked at the website for The Resort at Glade Springs and they had a special for $77 which seemed like a good deal considering the normal green fee there is $130. However, I found a deep discount on Golfnow for $28 which would have made it a worthwhile play even for a day trip.
Many of the golf magazines rate the courses at Glade Springs among the top public courses in West Virginia so I was anxious to play one for the killer price. A front was blowing through so it was chilly, the wind was up a bit, and it looked like a light rain might fall. Apparently the weather ended up keeping everyone else off the course and there were not many cars in the parking lot when I got there. I love these kind of golf days even if the weather costs a few strokes because there is no one to bother me. I can play at my own pace to ride up to take a look to see where the holes go or look at putt from both sides and not worry about holding up anyone. The course had got quite a bit of rain in recent weeks so it was cart paths only, but it was in great shape considering all the recent rain. Like many courses within a few hours drive the course was heavily tree lined off the rough and had some very nice elevation changes. I opted for the Blue Tees at 72.6/140/6678 and thought it had a great mix of shorter layup holes, longer holes requiring an accurate drive and long iron approach, and some uphill and down shots. I did not find that the course had any really stupid holes as some mountain courses can tend to have. The 1st hole required an accurate short iron approach to a flag in the back tier of the green. The 2nd is pretty downhill par 3 before the course presents a few blind shots. Typically I don’t like blind shots, but there wasn’t much trouble over the rises in the fairways so it wasn’t a big deal to me. What I really don’t like is hitting a good shot down the fairway and it finding a hazard cutting across the fairway or something like that. The 6th, a 198 yard uphill par 3, is another stand out hole which was dominated by rock outcrops. The 8th and 9th are longer par 4’s and the 10th is a classic risk-reward par 5 (498 yards) with trouble all down the left side. The 11th is a mid-length par 3 that featured a green with three different tiers which offered the ability to get it close using the contour of the green. The 13th is a great short par 4 with a long, narrow green that has a 3 or 4 foot rise from the front tier to the back tier. Many greens offered a way to get the ball close without challenging the flag by using the slopes including the 15th where the pin was in a bowl. I played away from the flag trying to use a slope and it worked perfectly resulting in a short birdie putt. The 16th, a downhill par 5, is one of the signature holes on the course with a set of switchbacks on the cart path to get to the tee box. It reminded of going from #9 to #10 at Wente Vineyards in Northern California, just downhill instead of uphill.
The course was in fantastic shape and would have been worth the $77 green fee if booking direct through the course website. The greens were fast and rolled pure. I felt comfortable playing on the bent grass instead of the bermuda grass that most courses around Charlottesville have. The course had some wide fairways on the holes that required driver so it turned out to be a comfortable course to play in many respects. A noticeable challenge to me was that I had quite a few uneven stances around the greens when chipping. Many times I had to choke up on the club or ended up with one foot above the other. That might be a problem for some higher handicappers. Stonehaven was mentally involved, but fair to play as there were spots to miss. If passing through the area it is certainly worth a stop especially since it is close to the interstate. I have no idea how Golfnow got this time for $28 on a holiday weekend, but I cannot wait to get back to play the other two courses here.
#11 green looking back:
#15 green looking back:
#16 from the top of the switch backs: