One of my friends hosted me and two other golf friends this weekend at his place near Martinsburg, WV. I’m always looking for new places to play, so we decided on 27 holes at two new courses on Saturday. First up was Polish Pines, a nine hole course in the middle of nowhere West Virginia!
Polish Pines is right across the Maryland state line, in the town of Keyser. Basically, you take I-68 west and go south 15 miles. Bonus points if you knew I-68 was even an interstate! The town of Keyser cannot have more than a couple thousand residents, but the city is on the North Branch Potomac River and wedged into the mountains. It is a nice looking area for sure!
Polish Pines is only nine holes, but like many nine hole courses the yardages get mixed up if you go around again. The first time around you play the white tees and if you play again you play the blue tees, or at least that is what the scorecard says. The whites are 2,692 yards and the blues are 2,812 yards. From the white tees the rating is 65.4 and the slope is 105. It plays as a par 36 with the traditional setup of five par 4’s, two par 3’s and two par 5’s. No matter which tees you play, the distance shouldn’t be overwhelming. We didn’t play the blues, but it didn’t seem that the angles changed much, just the distance.
The course is just off the main road through town and has homes on each side of the property. However, the setting is actually pretty good! The holes are tree lined and mountains can be seen throughout the course. The homes aren’t very visible and once you get away from the clubhouse, you climb up to a high point on the 6th tee. From there the views of the valley are great! Even if you don’t golf much, you can enjoy the outdoors here.
I found the design at Polish Pines both charming and engaging! Holes move both ways, there are ponds in play, you can hit some drivers, and the greens are tricky. Like many short courses, the greens are small and tough to chip and putt on. And, they have small tongues and plenty of slope! Most greens slope from back to front so missing short is best.
Many holes at Polish Pines have a great look to them! The 3rd, a 304 yard par 4, is one of those. It will be just a layup off the tee for most to a semi blind landing area. The approach is beautiful though, playing over water and through pine trees. The 5th, the first par 5, has some of the best views, as it plays into the mountainside. The 6th is a downhill par 4 that can be driven with a straight one. It was only 238 yards and I was able to chase my hybrid into the front bunker! It is a small gap to run one onto the green, but the layup area didn’t look much larger!
The conditions at Polish Pines were very nice. I expected less! The fairways were full and the course had that beautiful green look to it. It seems it is normally like that once you get north of Virginia, as all the grass grows so nice! The greens were smooth and slick, and our group had multiple putts get away from us.
Overall, I thought Polish Pines was a better than average nine hole course. It serves the community and while not the perfect design for new players, it allows anyone the opportunity to check out one of the best games on the planet! It was $16 to ride nine holes on a weekend morning, but I’m sure we could have had an enjoyable walk for less.
Oh, and if you ever play here my suggestion is that you hit your 140 club off the tee on the 4th hole, to keep the ball short of the water!
#1 (337 yard par 4):
#2 (131 yard par 3):
#3 (304 yard par 4):
#4 (260 yard par 4):
#5 (457 yard par 5):
#6 (238 yard par 4):
#7 (424 yard par 5):
#8 (175 yard par 3):
#9 (366 yard par 4):