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.
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.
This is a beast of a hole. It plays slightly downhill, but it still quite long. Rip it down the middle.
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.
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.
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.
The tee shot here favors a draw. The hole bends to the left and the fairway slopes that way as well.
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.
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.
The last hole on the front features a blind tee shot. It is a longer hole so solid contact is a must.
This one is another great hole name. It doglegs slightly to the left. The carry over the water is not much of an issue.
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 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 photo below is not the tee shot, thankfully, but the mountain views just behind the tee box.
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.
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 hole is not overly long, but the landing area is blind. This can cause some concern for players. Straightaway works just fine here.
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.
Some spectators lurking in the woods.
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.
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!