Pikewood National Golf Club

Pikewood National Golf Club – Played April 2017

  • Rankings: Golf Digest #45
  • Location: 3055 Kingwood Pike, Morgantown, West Virginia
  • Year: 2009
  • Architect: J. Robert Gwynne & John Raese
  • Course Access: Private
  • Walking Rules: Walking Only, Caddies Available

Score Card Information:

  • Championship: 7,585 yards, Par 72, 79.3 Rating/155 Slope
  • Men’s: 6,894 yards, Par 72, 75.6 Rating/151 Slope
  • Forward: 6,424 yards, Par 72, 75.6 Rating/151 Slope

I never cease to be amazed by the generosity of the golf community.  That extends to the golf community on social media.  I put out an Instagram post sometime early in 2017 with about 30 courses I was hoping to work out for the year.  I knew that number would probably not happen, but it was a stretch goal.  One of those courses was Pikewood National.  Lo and behold, I get a message on Instagram from a member saying I could come up whenever.  The Saturday after the tax deadline I was pulling into the parking lot.  This is the true meaning of #whyilovethisgame.

The story behind Pikewood is that is was designed by two businessmen who had never designed a course before.  You wouldn’t know it by playing it as it is a spectacular track.  John Raese and Bob Gwynne, two high-level executives at Greer Industries, created a walking-only course that they crafted to stick to golden age design adages that they enjoyed.  The course fits the land splendidly and as I mentioned you would never know this was the rookie course for these two men. The membership roll is small and you definitely feel like you are in a relaxing spot when you are on the course.  You can really leave the hustle of everyday life behind for a few hours.

The course is definitely for the members as this quote from the website lays out, “As for Pikewood National Golf Club, it is a member’s course in the truest sense of the word, meant to be played solely by the membership and their guests. The only tournaments which are played at Pikewood National are member tournaments.”

The wife and I headed up Friday night and stayed about 45 minutes from the course.  After the drive in the morning we got through the gate and there were only two cars in the parking lot.  It was threatening rain and the temperatures were low, but we had no complaints.  The rain held off for our entire round and walking the course made up for the low temps.  Me, my wife, my host, and our two caddies were the only people on the course the entire day.

After I checked out the clubhouse for a bit and met my host we headed out to the practice area.  The range is expansive and offers plenty of room to hit any shot. There is also an 80-100 yard long short game area with a green.  You can really hone your game in this area.

Hole 1 – 388 yards – Par 4 – Full Nelson

We played the Men’s tees for reference on the distances.  Check out the cool tee markers with the course logo below.  I always like a course that names its holes. Remember to check those out as you read along.

The first hole gives you a good warm up to the round.  It isn’t overly long, but it does play uphill to a blind landing area.

Depending on how far your drive goes your view of the green may be obscured.

The putting surface is pretty large.

Hole 2 – 485 yards – Par 4 – Brassie

This is a beast of a hole.  It plays slightly downhill, but it still quite long.  Rip it down the middle.

A closer look.

The second shot plays to a green that is open in front which helps for longer shots.

The green has a great view as it seems like it falls off the world behind.

Hole 3 – 222 yards – Par 3 – Finster

This tee shot is a bit difficult since there is nowhere to miss except short.  Luckily, it plays downhill and I got it on a day with a front pin.  It only played about 195 yards.

A view of the walk down.

The green is two-tiered.  Putts from the top level are very difficult with the speedy greens.

Hole 4 – 455 yards – Par 4 – Pott Hole

Sadly we had a cloudy day which kept the views from being perfect, but even with the weather the views were still pretty great.  This hole plays way downhill obviously so the distance is a little misleading.

Things flatten out for your second shot.  The main objective is to avoid the sand to score a chance at birdie.

Hole 5 – 164 yards – Par 3 – Mow Green

The fifth is one of the more relaxing holes here because of the waterfall just behind the green.  You will see it closer in the following pictures.

A rare couples photo!

Here is the view in the walk up to the green.  You don’t want to be long or right.

Here is an elevated view down to the green.

We had some good flow in the waterfall on this day.  It’s beautiful.

Hole 6 – 350 yards – Par 4 – On the Rocks

The tee shot here favors a draw.  The hole bends to the left and the fairway slopes that way as well.

The real fun/challenge comes into play on the approach shot.  It shouldn’t be overly long, but there is a big collection area in front of the green and deep bunkers on each side.

You can also see the slope of the green in the photo below.

Here is a closer look at the putting surface.

Hole 7 – 497 yards – Par 5 – Nadine

This hole marks the trek back up the hill we have been descending for a while.  This is where you need to be in shape to not tire out.  This hole played a lot longer than the yardage due to the grade of the land.  The fairway is plenty wide.

A closer look at the split landing area.

The fairway leading up to the green is very closely mown.  You have a lot of options for shots here.

Once on the green there is a little slope, but nothing crazy around this particular pin.

Hole 8 – 533 yards – Par 5 – Audacity

Audacity is a good name for this hole.  It’s all about how much you want to bite off here.  Obviously the farther right you go the shorter approach you will have, but misses are dead.

A zoomed in look at the green from the tee.

Walking up to the corner.

The approach plays about a club longer due to the slope.  Any shot with a lot of spin is going to suck back quite a ways.

The green is not very large.  I believe the intent of the hole was for it to be played in three shots.

Hole 9 – 414 yards – Par 4 – Richard

The last hole on the front features a blind tee shot.  It is a longer hole so solid contact is a must.

Once you crest the hill the hole unfolds below.

The green is two-tiered, but not so much that putting from the wrong tier is difficult.

Hole 10 – 416 yards – Par 4 – Old Bastard

This one is another great hole name.  It doglegs slightly to the left.  The carry over the water is not much of an issue.

The second shot plays longer as it is uphill all the way.  A narrow opening between two bunkers presents challenges to low trajectory shots.

Below is a look at the green and the deep bunker on the right.

Hole 11 – 428 yards – Par 4 – Leven

This is one of my favorite holes on the property.  It doesn’t fit my eye, but I like it just the same.  A long, straight drive is required.

The view on the approach is spectacular.  The infinity green and mountains are a great visual.

Another shaved collection area gives you the option to putt from almost anywhere. That is the approach I am taking below.

Hole 12 – 180 yards – Par 3 – Hagge’s Knocker

The 12th is a beautiful hole.  This reminded me of some courses in New England with all the rock outcroppings.  Poorly struck shots won’t have much luck here.

The green is hourglass shaped and quite large as you can see below.

Hole 13 – 406 yards – Par 4 – Beaver

The photo below is not the tee shot, thankfully, but the mountain views just behind the tee box.

The real tee shot is can be played however you want, but favors a power fade.  There is a bunker on the right side, bit it is only in play for super long players.

Below is a look at the approach shot.

This green looks huge, but most of this is a collection area.  Where you see me on the left is pretty close to the front of the green.

Hole 14 – 152 yards – Par 3 – Cypress Pint

I loved the name of this hole as well.  It’s all or nothing for your tee ball here.  It’s not as long as it appears, the second photo is a better representation of the real feel when you’re standing on the tee.

The green is similar to the last par three.  While the greens are very similar the holes still felt different.  That is an accomplishment in my opinion.

Hole 15 – 513 yards – Par 5 – Shotgun

This one can be quite demanding.  The fairway runs out over the hill so choose wisely off the tee.  Overall the hole bends to the right.

The view of the second shows the rough that crosses the fairway.  The green is still a long way from here, but all shots will kick to the right.

Below is a closer look at the approach.

The bunkers next to the green have the heavy rough as an extra challenge.  You can see the severity in the second photo below.

The green has some mild slope, but it is the easiest part of the hole.

Hole 16 – 389 yards – Par 4 – Dino

The hole is not overly long, but the landing area is blind.  This can cause some concern for players.  Straightaway works just fine here.

The approach plays slightly uphill and the front bunker must be avoided.  A draw fits this shot well.

Below is a look at the relatively flat green.

Hole 17 – 496 yards – Par 5 – Coupe DeVille

This is a great hole and really fun.  You will see what I mean in the next photos.  The tee shot is more open than it looks.

Below is a look at the landing area and the shape of the hole.

Some spectators lurking in the woods.

If you go for it you better make the carry.  The approach is a beautiful looking shot.

Below is a view from the collection area right of the green.

Another look at the green slope.

I really enjoyed the view from 18 tee looking back at the green and up the fairway.

Hole 18 – 406 yards – Par 4 – Dyke

Pikewood is not going to let you off easy on the final hole.  The fairway is relatively narrow and the hole plays uphill all the way.  A solid drive is crucial.

The second plays to a shallow green over a creek that you cannot see.  Precision is important here as is using enough club.

Below is a look at the green.

I can’t say enough about Pikewood.  It is very difficult both from a golf standpoint and from walking the course.  The course features quite a variety of holes that are obviously difficult, but also quite fun. Honestly, I loved the course.  It was a laid back place with very welcoming staff.  I could feel the friendliness from the moment I stepped on the property.  This was a great way to celebrate the end of tax season 2017!

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3 thoughts on “Pikewood National Golf Club

  1. Jimmy,

    I wasn’t familiar with this course so I appreciate the course tour. What a piece of property! Looks like a stern stern track but the playing corridors also look pretty fair based on the photos.

    Cheers
    Josh

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