A friend invited me up to his place in Hedgesville, WV on Saturday and we played The Mountain View Course at the Woods Resort. I played there last year and not much has changed so I will not be re-reviewing it right now. I still think it is a very good mountain course! You can find that review here.
We also golfed together on Sunday morning here at Cacapon State Park, which has a course. Cacapon is one of five courses that are part of the West Virginia State Park System. I’ve played a total of four now and while I’d only call one (Stonewall) a “must play”, most offer an affordable golf experience for those traveling to the area. In fact, there is plenty for the whole family to do here! There are cabins to rent, horses to ride, and any other outdoor activity you can think of. I turned the wrong way trying to leave the course and ended up having to zigzag my way around 100+ cars that were parked in a lot for a Labor Day Weekend gathering! There is definitely more than one way to have fun at the park.
As the crow flies Cacapon isn’t far from my friend’s house, but you have to drive around and then over a small mountain range to get there. The park is located off US 522 and it took us about 40 minutes to get there. It was a crisp morning and perfect weather for most of the front nine before it started to warm up. Dare I say that it felt a bit like fall! This was my first time playing Cacapon so I was back to my picture and note taking.
Cacapon is a Robert Trent Jones Sr design that plays in a small valley. The park is named after nearby Cacapon Mountain. For the history buffs, “Cacapon” is a Native American word that means “medicine waters”! There is some minor elevation change on the front nine before much of the back nine plays across the hillside. There are a couple holes on the back where you will need at least a club more or less. Don’t get scared reading this and automatically think of Massanutten though! There is some slope in the fairways and you will need to favor the high side but you can still keep your drives in the short grass. Overall I thought RTJ Sr made good use of the land and I enjoyed the routing of the course.
I played the Blue tees which are 72.3/126/6827 and from there the biggest challenge is going to be the distance. The par 3’s are the biggest monsters because they are so long! The four par 3’s (the 4th, 8th, 15th, and 17th) play between 181 to 210 yards and all have small greens. The 4th and 8th actually share a large green that is shaped like an hour glass, but because of the narrow middle section it wasn’t an easy target on either hole. The 4th, with the shared green, and the downhill 15th were my favorite two holes on the course. There’s no doubt that I’d like to see the par 3 yardages vary more! I hit three 4 irons and a 5 iron.
I can say the same thing about the par 4 yardages not varying much too, which isn’t a big surprise after spending some time on the RTJ Golf Trail earlier this year. While playing the trail I noticed mostly mid-length par 4’s and there are plenty of those at Cacapon. In fact, all the par 4’s except one (the 431 yard 7th) play between 376 and 414 yards. Personally, I prefer more variety for my approach yardages.
If you are a longer than average hitter then you should have a good chance to score at Cacapon. I’m a mid-length hitter that was able to manage my misses this day and ended up with a handicap lowering round. Most of the fairways are wider than average, the par 5’s aren’t involved, and the brush under the trees has been cleaned out. In addition, besides some back tiers on the greens, they weren’t too difficult to read. If you are struggling with your game you’ll probably be able to find a lot of your shots, which at least allows you to go forwards! Besides the course’s distance, adjusting to the side hill lies will probably be the next biggest challenge.
When it comes to the conditions I’ll say that I was a bit disappointed. I can only be so disappointed because of what it cost to play and considering that my friend has played here multiple times and all the other times the course was in better shape. Based on that I’ll give the course a pass. As a whole, the course was soft. The fairways were beat up pretty bad in places and so were the tees. The greens were full and cut at a uniform height, but they were slow. That isn’t a surprise in the summer and not a bad thing with the play that I’m sure Cacapon gets from the casual golfer.
We teed off around 9:30am on what turned out to be a busy holiday weekend. We played in about 4 hours but it felt slower because we were a twosome sandwiched behind a threesome and in front of a single. Cacapon is one of the West Virginia courses on the VSGA card that I have so it was a good deal ($26), even if the conditions weren’t perfect. I enjoyed my morning even though the design was missing a few things that I like. Cacapon is playable for the average golfer and that is why I’d recommend it!
#1 (383 yard par 4):
#2 (395 yard par 4):
#3 (535 yard par 5):
#4 (194 yard par 3):
#5 (410 yard par 4):
#6 (379 yard par 4):
#7 (431 yard par 4):
#8 (197 yard par 3):
#9 (536 yard par 5):
#10 (378 yard par 4):
#11 (484 yard par 5):
#12 (381 yard par 4):
#13 (414 yard par 4):
#14 (376 yard par 4):
#15 (210 yard par 3):
#16 (396 yard par 4):
#17 (181 yard par 3):
#18 (547 yard par 5):