Golf is an outdoor odyssey

As we find ourselves speeding into summer, warmer temperatures are appearing and we shed sweaters in favor of sleeveless attire. Those who like to soak up the sunrays will head for the pools, but competitive types may bask in the glory of golf.

As we celebrate the West Virginia Golf Association’s l00th year, we see their influence in almost every community. Small course development is evident, but our State Park System has some of our finest venues, including Canaan Valley, Stonewall Jackson, Tygart Lake, Pipestem and Cacapon. Not only can the game be played at these locations, but the family is promised great food and lodging with other activities to fill their time. Check out all the details by asking for the “West Virginia Official Golf Directory” at or call 1-800-CALL-WVA.

Private resorts, likewise, have wonderful courses, and many were developed by golf’s greatest players including Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Pete Dye and Bob Jones. These are open to the public for daily play, and all have superb hotel and eating amenities.

Pocahontas County’s Snowshoe boasts the Gary Player-designed Raven Golf Club, which is ranked as the second best public course in West Virginia. It also is on “GolfWeek’s” “Top 50 in America” list. Visitors are guaranteed breath-taking views at every vantage.

Lakeview, near Morgantown, is among the “Top 100” courses according to “GolfWeek” and offers watersports wildly enjoyed on Cheat Lake with many shopping possibilities nearby.

Another very special course lies south of us in Greenbrier County. “Golf Digest” ranks The Old White course at The Greenbrier eighth in North America Golf Resorts. The hospitality there is unmatched and horseback riding, trout fishing and movies are just a few of the other attractions. Tickets remain for their Greenbrier Classic to be held the first week of July where PGA TOUR competitors will demonstrate golf’s finest shots.

In West Virginia, golf is not just a game of aim and precision-putting excellence. It is an outdoor odyssey that allows one to hear the bubbling brooks, see the unusual bird species, watch the bursting forth of wild rhododendron and smell the honeysuckle’s sweet bloom. Absorbing the outdoor ambiance is as important as seeking the hole-in-one. It is a winning experience every time.

Those who play the game have a special satisfaction and find a way to make that early tee-off time. Whether it’s the gathering of kindred spirits, the beauty or the success, most golfers wear a special smile when they finish their day.

These moments should be shared with children so the next 100 years of golf affiliation can commence and be maintained as part of our heritage. Fun-filled days need to remain on our West Virginia landscape and interwoven into our valleys.

As the great golf pro Bobby Jones once pronounced, “The most important shot in golf is the next one.”

Keep golfing and keep enjoying the peace of God’s warmth at the many special spaces set aside that serve as important mountain playgrounds.