After the baseball game on Sunday, I got a head start on my drive home. I wanted to split up the 5.5 hour drive and decided to knock an hour off it and stayed in Morgantown on Sunday night. I was also hoping to use my VSGA card which offers some play in West Virginia.
It is slim pickings when it comes to public courses in the Morgantown area. Lakeview Golf Resort is at the top of the list because they have two courses. I don’t believe that they are too highly rated in the state, but I was interested in convenience more than anything else. If possible, I wanted to speed around the course early in the morning to get the rest of my day started as early as possible.
I stayed offsite so I cannot comment on the resort lodging, but I didn’t have any trouble getting to the course. It is easily accessible from I-68 and I-79, maybe 10 minutes from town. As mentioned there are two courses that are part of the resort, the Lakeview Course and the Mountainview Course. Lakeview seems to be the premier course, but they didn’t have spots around the time I wanted to play. However, Mountainview did so that is where I ended up playing.
I got to the course around 7:30am and ended up teeing off about 15 minutes later. I was the third car in the parking lot and the proshop told me that I shouldn’t bump into anyone while out there. I had the course to myself except for a twosome that I could see off in the distance behind me. I made it around in about 3 hours on a holiday which was outstanding. By the time I left, the parking lot had filled up and I could see foursomes going off the first tee. The course was running a special rate and I didn’t need to use my golf card. They charged me less than $30 to play so it turned out to be a great value and convenient. Score!
Considering the price, I was blown away by the maintenance. I bet the course gets some funds from the resort because I doubt that the green fees alone could generate enough revenue for the great conditions that I encountered. The greens were the second best rolling greens of the five courses that I played. They had some ball marks, but they rolled smoothly and had some pace. If I got a putt started on my line I never had to worry about it wiggling off it. The fairways just had a couple patchy spots, but I always had a nice lie in the full areas. Everything was cut short enough so I could try a checking shot if I wanted. If the conditions are always like this then the course is a great value. My only complaint is that the bunkers weren’t good. I saw lots that were muddy and the one I found had some large rocks in it and not much sand.
After playing a couple open courses earlier in the weekend, I ran into a tight, mountain track here. I guess the name “Mountainview” should have given me a clue, but I looked at the scorecard before and didn’t think it would be as tough as it was. The area is very hilly so I should have figured that one out beforehand! I played the blue tees which play 71.1/126/6447. It is a par 72 so neither the rating nor the slope are very high. For whatever reason, I expected a parkland style course with some nice views. I didn’t expect to play across and up and down a mountain!
It is hit or miss if I like a mountain course. There always seems to be a hole or two that are goofy because of the terrain. There is one ridiculous hole here if you ask me, but most of the course was consistent with what it required from one shot to the next. Unfortunately, achieving those consistent shots was a tall task because Mountainview is a tough course!
The course features plenty of elevation change but that didn’t bother me. I only had difficultly trying to club one shot. What frustrated me was all of the slope throughout the course. Starting on the 1st and ending on the 18th I had to be mindful of the high point on the hole. Any ball landing on the low side of the fairway didn’t have much chance to stay in it. I’m not good enough to work the ball both ways against the slope to keep it there. That made the fairways tiny targets. Someone could get some horrible bounces on this course so watch out.
It didn’t get any easier into the greens either. There were plenty of approaches where I couldn’t see the green’s surface so I guessed a lot. Edges of the greens sloped off into the rough and I had to guard against the bad bounce if missing a green on the low side. The course is a community course and while the homes are set back, yards could be in play. That means out of bounds is lurking and my score started adding up quickly. I don’t see the course as one where I would shoot my handicap too often.
The style of course wasn’t for me, but I wouldn’t let that keep you away. There are some great views and it was in A+ shape. Any course is this type of condition, especially for the price, is worth checking out! I’d be curious to play the Lakeview someday just to see how it compares.
#1 (387 yard par 4):
The 1st hole doesn’t seem like it would be too tough because it looks open. However, the fairway is skinny and slopes from left to right. The tee shot should be the toughest part of the hole and it is a birdie chance if finding the short grass. The green slopes from back to front and left to right.
#2 (380 yard par 4):
I thought the 2nd played very similar to the 1st. I hit the same clubs off the tee and into the green. Because of that it shouldn’t present too much trouble. Out of bounds is way right and the green isn’t very deep, but those should be the only spots of trouble.
#3 (514 yard par 5):
The 3rd is a pretty good par 5. The hillside creates some slope from right to left and there are some fairway bunkers in play. That means someone needs to flirt with the bunkers if they want to get as close to the green in two as possible. I had to lay it up and faced an uphill third shot from a hook lie in the fairway. The green is wide and there are some grass mounds short which I think is a nice feature. Out of bounds lurks right of the cart path.
#4 (183 yard par 3):
The 4th is a pretty, downhill par 3. It played about a club downhill for me into what looks like a receptive green. While the green is large, the front right section funnels shots over to the right. If someone wants to get at that left pin then they are going to have to challenge the bunkers.
#5 (332 yard par 4):
The 5th looks simple on paper. A long or even mid-iron to the fairway and a wedge onto the green. The green has two tiers so if the flag is on the front section then it could be just a short birdie putt. However, the fairway is blind and anything to the right of that bunker has a good chance of kicking out of bounds. I’d suggest taking a look at where the fairway is (off to the left) and making sure you find it!
#6 (161 yard par 3):
The 6th is a nice hole. It requires some thought and some good shots. The green is located over a pond so anything short should end up in the hazard. Therefore make sure to pick the right club and hit it solid. Long isn’t great because of the way the green slopes, but it is better than short. I hit the green, but had a putt that broke at least three feet. The green gets shallow towards the back left.
#7 (328 yard par 4):
Like most of the holes out here, the 7th is a position hole. There are some bunkers to the left around 215 yards where the fairway starts to narrow. I’d suggest laying up short of the bunkers which still just leaves a short iron into the green. The green is elevated so it is tough to gauge the distance on the approach.
#8 (367 yard par 4):
The 8th slides right around hillside. The best line off the tee is out over the cart path which should result in a kick to the left into the fairway. From there it is going to be a hook lie into the green. Because of the stance on the second shot, I think it is going to be difficult to hit it pin high and straight.
#9 (505 yard par 5):
The 9th offers a chance for a birdie, but it is a bit silly. The fairway slants hard from right to left so a shot needs to be down the right side to end up in the short grass. The second shot is blind but if you can get it far enough to the right it can hit the hill and release down towards the green. I don’t see a great spot to layup so if you can, just try to pick a line right of the green and blast one up there.
#10 (387 yard par 4):
The back nine starts out with a mid-length par 4. It plays downhill and the fairway runs out so I only hit a hybrid and 8 iron into the green. The ball could get a firm bounce when it lands in the fairway so that should be factored in. I had a downhill lie over a hazard and into the green.
#11 (310 yard par 4):
The 11th is a quirky little par 4. The tee shot plays into or over a valley in the fairway and then the second shot is uphill. I tried to play to the bottom of the valley in the fairway for the flattest lie, but someone can try to hit it farther if they want. I had a completely blind second shot that played about a club uphill. There were a couple greenside bunkers and a narrower back part of the green to deal with.
#12 (529 yard par 5):
The 12th is the #2 handicap and I can see that. There is a lot of slope from right to left (I’d say too much) which encourages the ball to go left where there is trouble. The hole moves right at the end so I’d suggest laying up shorter of the green than you think.
#13 (391 yard par 4):
The 13th played as the most difficult hole on the course for me. In fact, I hit hybrid and 4 iron just to keep the ball in play. The hole moves left, slopes right, and the fairway cannot be more than 20 yards wide. If you decide to layup you might have to hit a hook to get around the corner. There are some grass mounds short of the green so the approach could get lucky and run up onto the green. Anywhere around the green in two on this hole is well done.
#14 (149 yard par 3):
The 14th is a short par 3 that is a bit of a relief after the last few holes. There is some slope from right to left, but it is a chance to knock a mid or short iron close. Make sure not to fly it over the green because the ball will end up in the woods.
#15 (369 yard par 4):
The 15th is a severe dogleg right that is a weak design. Someone could possibly drive the green but it is going to require a moonshot to carry those trees on the right. The fairway doglegs close to the tee, so it is easy to run through it and into trouble. I’d say an iron off the tee is the prudent play. I don’t think the green is really designed to receive a mid iron though.
#16 (406 yard par 4):
The 16th is a strategic hole. The ideal tee shot should be down the left side which opens up a view of the green. I don’t think driver is necessary and a shot just short of the fairway bunkers should be in great position. I was in the right rough and completely blocked out by some trees.
#17 (200 yard par 3):
The 17th is the longest par 3 on the course and the best hole on the back nine, at least in my opinion. It played about two clubs downhill to a large, almost cloverleaf shaped green. There are bunkers all around which should help keep an offline shot from running too far once it lands.
#18 (549 yard par 5):
The 18th is very similar to the 9th, only longer. All the shots have to battle the right to left slope and the layup is blind. There is out of bounds to the right and the fairway runs out short of the green.