Blogs > DSG's Affordabili-TEES

News-Herald Staff Writer David S. Glasier has been playing golf for over 50 years and writing about it for over 30. Always operating on a tight budget, Glasier is on a lifelong quest to find good courses to play at affordable prices.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

"Affordabili-TEES'' in West Virginia, Oglebay and Stonewall resorts

     Oglebay Resort and Conference Center
            Palmer Golf Course
            Route 88 North, Wheeling WV 26003
     Par, yardages: 72; 4,569 to 6,725
     Greens fees: Resort offers many stay-and-play packages
            Phone: (304) 243-4000; (800)624-6988

     Stonewall Resort
     The Palmer Course
     940 Resort Drive, Roanoke, WV 26434
     Par, yardages: 72; 5,038 to 7,149
     Greens fees: $55 (off season) to $99; Resort offers many stay-and-play packages.
     Phone: (304) 269-7400 (Resort direct); (304) 269-8885 (tee times).

     Eye-opening would be the apt description of my first golf trip to West Virginia.
     For years, I've passed through the Mountain State on my way to golf destinations in North Carolina, South Carolina and other points south.
     Now, I'm getting the chance to play some of West Virginia's better courses and kicking myself in the behind for taking so long to set down the clubs in a place so close to home.
     This journey began in Wheeling at Oglebay Resort and Conference Center.
     Located in the state's northwestern panhandle hard by the Ohio-West Virginia state line, Oglebay is easily reachable from all points in the Cleveland area.
     Mapquest puts it at 160 miles and three hours driving time from my front door.
     Oglebay is owned by the city of Wheeling and operated by the Wheeling Park Commission. Between the golf (five courses, 72 holes), main lodge, cottages, restaurants, zoo, museum, specialty shops and other amenities, the place teems with activity.
             Our group of golf-travel writers was placed on the championship-caliber course designed by legendary golfer and golf course architect Arnold Palmer.
             There wasn't time enough in the schedule to check out the Robert Trent Jones Sr. course at Oglebay. After having such a positive experience on the Palmer course, I'm eager to return and play the Jones course.
            Playing from the white tees (par 71, 6,065 yards), the Palmer Course is challenging, pleasing to the eye and user-friendly.
            The toughest hole is the first, a 444-yard par-4 that rightfully is accorded the No. 1 handicap.
             Every hole offers sweeping vistas of the state's hill country. You need to pay attention to hitting shots and managing your game, of course, but it would be foolish not to drink in the natural beauty of the surroundings.
      Palmer also designed the course at the second stop on our tour, Stonewall Resort in Roanoke.
              The Palmer Course at Stonewall offers all the natural beauty of the one at Oglebay and a higher degree of difficulty. Our foursome played from the white tees (par-72, 5,821 yards). It felt more like 6,200 yards.
      From first tee shot to final putt, there is no let-up on this superior track.
      Stonewall Resort is owned by the state and offers an impressive array of options for lodging, dining and indoor-outdoor activities beyond the golf course. Stonewall Jackson Lake is a gem, too.
      This traveler especially liked the outdoor/indoor pool and fitness area that featured a steam bath.
              Affordability is a major selling point at the Oglebay and Stonewall, which is about 140 miles due south of Oglebay via I-79. Check out the stay-and-play packages at both venues.
              Given their proximity and favorable price points, it's not surprising that many Northeast Ohioans are patrons at the Oglebay and Stonewall resorts.


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