Because I got done so quickly with my first round I decided to take the scenic way to my eventual destination and check out another new course. It is slim pickings when it comes to golf courses in West Virginia! The few courses that exist are spread out all over the state and the terrain and state’s economy seem to have limited development over the years. But, I found another place to play! I knew Valley View was shorter course and that it had a Facebook page, but that’s it.
Valley View was about an hour away, on the south side of Moorefield, and when I pulled into the parking lot around 4pm the place was deserted. I suppose that is the case at most courses though on a Sunday afternoon as much of America heads back to work on Mondays, including myself! I walked into the proshop and the man running it smiled as he walked over and said that he thought he saw a new car in the parking lot!
Moorefield is a town of only a couple thousand people and seems like a place where everyone knows everyone! Sometimes these areas treat you as an outsider but I was welcomed at Valley View, even walking on as a single. The proshop told me that I could just drop the cart off in it’s parking stall and return the key in a drop box if I got done after he left. That was a nice gesture as I’ve run into courses that hassle you about returning the cart at a certain time.
I paid my $21 and put a peg in the ground at a new course, which is something that never seems to get old! I played the Blue tees which are 69.8/122/6154 (par 71) and as you can see, Valley View is an easier course. It is short with some reachable par 5s and I enjoyed plenty of short irons on the other holes. The fairways are wide and the smaller greens don’t have a whole bunch of slope. You don’t need to hit the fairways to score, but it would help to know how they slope. Some greens tilt from back to front so it is would be best to avoid the back edges of them. If you do then you can roll in a few putts! For those that are curious, Bill Ward designed Valley View! I played another one of his designs just hours before playing here.
I’ve been struggling with my game this year and Valley View was a confidence builder for me. I was able to freely swing, at least through thirteen holes and try some different swings out. I hit two wicked slices and made birdie on one of them so the course offers a chance to recover! For the most part I think someone who plays a few times a year could enjoy themselves here. It is the type of course that would be good to introduce someone to the game!
I had a good round going even though I wasn’t comfortable, but the last five holes exposed the cracks in my game! These holes are the highlight of the course and have some teeth with plenty of water in play and include three of the harder handicap holes. The 16th has trouble on both sides and the 17th is a 225 yard par 3. You’ll need to be careful about where to miss it on these closing holes! I had a good round going and lost three balls my last 4 holes!
The 4th hole is the only hole on the front where you could have a problem. It is a severe dogleg left with bunkers that you need to carry off the tee. The tee shot needs to end up in a small section of fairway for a clear shot at the green. What is odd is that it is a 392 yard par 5! I cannot recall the last time I played a par 5 that short! It is goofy, but at least you have an extra shot to work with.
There isn’t a whole bunch to talk about when it comes to the routing of the course. The course is in a valley with the South Branch Potomac River close by so the course was designed to fit into the space between the river and the main road through the area. I wouldn’t say the layout is cramped, but most of the holes run parallel to each other and are separated by domestic trees, mounds, or hazards. The course rings around the clubhouse which adds some separation. If it wasn’t 90+ degrees and my second round it is a course that I would have liked to walk as it doesn’t feature the severe elevation change that I normally think of when I think of West Virginia golf. Just about wherever you are you’ll enjoy great views of the nearby mountains!
The conditions were about what I expected for a course in such a rural area, except for the greens! It looks like the summer has taken its toll on much of the grass as the fairways were dry and a couple tees had patches of grass missing. The nice thing about the dry fairways is that I got some roll on my drives! The bunkers looked rocky and something to avoid if you don’t want to risk scuffing your wedges. On the other hand, the greens were fantastic and actually rolled better here than at Highlands Golf Club, where I played earlier in the day. The greens were smooth and had a bit of pace. I canned two 30 footers and they never moved off my intended line!
Valley View is a country course and there’s nothing wrong with that. As far as I can tell, it is the only course around for miles and was designed to serve the local golfer. And, I think it does that well! I enjoyed a nice, but warm, afternoon here as I played in two hours trying to minimize my time in the heat.
#1 (359 yard par 4):
#2 (377 yard par 4):
#3 (129 yard par 3):
#4 (392 yard par 5):
#5 (415 yard par 4):
#6 (172 yard par 3):
#7 (365 yard par 4):
#8 (422 yard par 4):
#9 (509 yard par 5):
#10 (387 yard par 4):
#11 (348 yard par 4):
#12 (307 yard par 4):
#13 (160 yard par 3):
#14 (388 yard par 4):
#15 (166 yard par 3):
#16 (541 yard par 5):
#17 (225 yard par 3):
#18 (492 yard par 5):