The Woods: Stony Lick Course (Hedgesville, WV on 10/08/16)

One of my friends has a place at The Woods Resort and has been inviting me up to play some courses in the area! This was my second time playing Stony Lick and I just hadn’t had a chance to get the review posted until now. It feels a bit unusual to post a review after playing a course more than once! I’ve enjoyed both my rounds here with my friends!

There are two courses at The Woods, one is a regulation course (Mountain View) and the other is an executive, par 62 course (Stony Lick). The Mountain View Course probably gets all the attention, but the Stony Lick Course is no slouch! Although, I’m partial to the Mountain View course as I can take more rips with the driver and find it more challenging to play, both mentally and physically. Sometimes I fall into the trap of thinking course is “too easy” if it isn’t 6300+ yards. However, don’t let the yardage fool you as there are a lot of things that Stony Lick does well! It is playable, offers a nice setting, and shouldn’t take too long to get around. I think this is the type of course that could be used to grow the game!

Stony Lick only plays 3700 yards with a rating of 59.9 (par 62) and slope of 97 from the white tees where I play. It can play as short as 3018 yards from the gold tees. In comparison, many modern courses seem to play at least 5000 yards from the forward tees and can still have a 120+ slope. The modern courses seem to be designed to look good and include design features to attract high level amateur play. That’s not necessarily bad, but these courses overlook what I’ll call the “enjoyment factor”! The first time I played here, I ended up with a much higher score than I anticipated because I couldn’t calculate the elevation change properly. Besides the relaxed feeling that Stony Lick offers, it has some nice scenery as the holes drop down to play alongside a creek. The routing reminds me a bit of Meadowcreek here in Charlottesville. Even for someone who doesn’t golf (ie: spouse or elderly parent), it would be a nice cart ride at Stony Lick for them!

Stony Lick is a great course to bring the family or a friend who is just starting the game! I wouldn’t say it is an easy course for a beginner because of the elevation change and some forced carries on the middle section of holes. But, there are enough easy holes so that a beginner shouldn’t feel completely overwhelmed. It is the type of course where someone starting out should be able to have a few encouraging holes without the yardage being the biggest challenge. There are quite a few bunkerless greens and if I recall correctly, the 18th is the only green with two bunkers. There are plenty of holes where a low runner can end up around the green so the course is a good fit to give someone a taste the good that the game of golf has to offer.

The course is comprised of ten par 3’s and eight par 4’s. The par 3’s range from 113 to 176 yards while the par 4’s play between 222 and 330 yards. The main challenge at Stony Lick is going to the be the small greens! One of the holes has a postage stamp sized green that is a nightmare to hit, even with a sand wedge! The design snob part of me wishes the par 3’s varied more than they do as I’ll typically the same club on half of them. Even though the yardages aren’t the same on these holes, the elevation change either adds or subtracts some distance, making the 1st, 4th, 5th, 15th, and 18th play a similar yardage. The 1st, which plays about 15 yards downhill, is my favorite par 3 on the course. It has the “The Woods” spelled out behind the green which adds a nice touch! The par 4’s are a bit more for my game as I can drive a couple of the greens and the 9th offers some risk/reward for those who can carry the ball just over 200 yards! A pond is short of the green and can catch a second shot, or a drive, if you try for the eagle putt!

The conditions on the Stony Lick have been good both times that I’ve played it. The greens are the best part of the maintenance as they rolled well and had some pace to them. The fairways and tees had some patchy spots, but I’m sure all the surrounding trees block the light getting to the ground. I’ve paid between $30 and $40 to play here (riding) and I think that is a fair price.

My preference is the Mountain View Course, but Stony Lick offers a slower paced alternative. I feel more relaxed playing Stony Lick and not as concerned about my game. It is almost like driving in the slow lane on the interstate! The thing I enjoyed the most about Stony Lick is the ability to play a round of golf in less than three hours!

#1 (176 yard par 3):

1-1

#2 (119 yard par 3):

2-1

#3 (281 yard par 4):

3-1

#4 (171 yard par 3):

4-1

#5 (168 yard par 3):

5-1

#6 (126 yard par 3):

6-1

#7 (265 yard par 4):

7-1 7-2

#8 (308 yard par 4):

8-1

#9 (222 yard par 4):

9-1

#10 (252 yard par 4):

10-1 10-2

#11 (131 yard par 3):

11-1

#12 (259 yard par 4):

12-1 12-2

#13 (330 yard par 4):

13-1

#14 (295 yard par 4):

14-1 14-2

#15 (164 yard par 3):

15-1

#16 (113 yard par 3):

16-1 16-2

#17 (170 yard par 3):

17-1

#18 (150 yard par 3):

18-1

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