I know that a lot of bloggers provide hole by hole reviews of the courses that they play. Unfortunately, the courses that I am focusing on in this article are courses my husband and I played years ago and were recently reminiscing about. So, I don’t have a lot of stats like the slope, elevation changes, course layout and all that technical stuff. I will mention if a course is still open or not and if it was worth the money. I hope our reminiscing will be somewhat beneficial. If not, I apologize now.
- Wolf Creek Golf Course in Mesquite, Nevada has to be the most unique, challenging, picturesque golf course we have ever played. About an hour and a half from Las Vegas it is so worth the drive. Located in the desert surrounded by mountains, it has lakes, canyons and some of the most pristine sand traps and fairways we have ever seen. It has holes that you have to hit over canyons, has blind greens, undulating fairways and bunkers everywhere. We found out about this course when we were playing a Tiger Woods Wii golf game and didn’t believe it could be a real course. But guess what, it was. So, we just had to play it. It is well worth the $85 per round. If you play after 6pm, you can play as much as you want for only $60 and that includes the golf cart. This is a must for any golfer’s bucket list.
- The Stony Lick and Mountain View courses at the Woods in Hedgesville, WV accommodate golfers of all ages and abilities. Both are fun, fair and challenging. When my husband and I played at the Woods, our favorite course was Stony Lick. It was only 9 holes at the time but it was a mid-length course (only par 3’s and 4’s). It was nestled in the woods and very tight. The 1st hole was a Par 3 with an elevated tee about 110ft with a very small green. I think that was my favorite hole. We both really enjoyed the Woods. Very inexpensive. Great courses to play if you are making a trip to WV.
The Homestead Resort
- The Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, VA. I can remember when we checked in that my husband said that the resort was really out of our league and we don’t belong here. Very prestigious. We had purchased a Stay and Play Golf Package for 3 nights and 3 rounds of golf probably the only way we would have been able to afford it. It was definitely the wrong time of year to play as it was only about 37° and we of course had early morning tee times. The Cascades was closed for the winter so we played the Old Course. I remember that I felt I was definitely out of my league. The course is definitely designed for good golfers like my husband. Not for a beginner like me. It was a beautiful course with some holes that had quite the elevated green. I was intimidated the entire 18 holes. You have to be a guest at the Homestead Resort to play there and it is $100 per person. If you are going to the Homestead to golf, then buy a Stay and Play package. It is definitely more economical.
Cabo del Sol
- Cabo del Sol in Cabo San Lucas is an amazing course. 9 desert holes and 9 ocean view holes. My husband, sister and her husband and I all went in August. It is considered the off season for Mexico so we only paid a small fee of $137 per person. It is the most any of us had ever paid to play a round of golf. But this course is considered to the best course in Latin America and we just had to play it. Unfortunately, the desert holes were closed and so we played the ocean view holes twice. The ocean views were breathtaking, windy and challenging. We all enjoyed this course. Unfortunately, this course is going private. If you want to play this course, you need to make sure that it is still open to the public and definitely play it during the off season.
- Meadow Farms Golf Course in Locust Grove, VA. Meadow Farms has three 9-hole courses, the Island Green, the Waterfall and the Longest Hole. My husband and I were very fortunate to play all three courses. They are all distinct in their own way. The Island Green – the name alone tells you what to expect. An island green. The #2 hole has a beautiful island green and very challenging. Six of the nine holes have water. This is a very fun course to play. The Waterfall Course again the name tells you what to expect a beautiful waterfall. The 4th hole has the waterfall and it is a beautiful hole. On the 8th hole the green is shaped like a baseball diamond. This is a unique course and you shouldn’t miss playing it. The Longest Hole Course is named appropriately has it has the longest hole in the US. Hole #12 is a Par 6 and is 841 yards. This hole starts from a group of pines, has a dogleg to the right, then it goes down a hill, and then crosses a field that use to be used for cattle. The prices for all these courses are very reasonable. Meadow Farms is a must for any level of golfer.
- The Fred Enke Golf Course in Tucson, AZ. Now Fred Enke is quite the Wild West Course. The cart paths were all dirt if there was one. It is in the middle of a desert and very hilly. You really need a golf cart. What is unique about this course is that it is a semi-arid, limited turf course. You will only find grass on the tees, fairways and greens. The landscaping is undisturbed native plants. My husband and I looked up this course and it now has poured cart paths. It really needed to be done but it saddens me because the dirt cart paths that weren’t really defined made it unique and well the Wild Wild West. This is a fun course and reasonably priced. If you are in Tucson, make sure and book a tee time.
- Rancho Vistoso Golf Course was the first 18-hole golf course I played when I first started golfing. I thought the Old Course at the Homestead was tough. Imagine taking a 10-minute lesson from your older brother and then heading over to an executive course and the next day playing a 18-hole golf course that had washes a mile wide in the middle of the fairway (yes I am exaggerating a bit) but you get the idea. The course was the most immaculate golf course my husband had ever played on. It was like being at Augusta but in the desert. It was very challenging, breathtaking, scenic do I need go on. The golf carts had GPS and told you if you were behind or ahead of schedule and had it down to the minute. I was in absolute awe. I wish that I could tell you that this course is a must to play. But I can’t. This course closed. It is so sad that this amazing course has now been overcome by the desert.
- Echo Valley in Wellington, OH. My husband has relatives in Oberlin and Loraine, OH so we always make it a point to play at Echo Valley when we are visiting the area. This course has Lots of water, trees, and hills and is narrow and challenging. It will either break you or make you want to come back and beat it. The only downside of this course is that there is no driving range. So, bring your Orange Whip to warm up. The price is very reasonable and has senior rates. This is a must if you are in the area.
Royal New Kent
- Royal New Kent Golf Course in Providence Forge, VA. This course was designed by Mike Strantz, and is the only Irish Links style golf course in the United States. The golf course’s motto is “Invicta” which means “unconquered” and is the same motto of the County of Kent, England. You have to play the course to truly appreciate how well Mike Strantz designed this course in an Irish Links style. It is 7,440 yards, rugged, and from the green to the next tee box can take a couple of minutes to get to. You are not walking this course. If you play from the tips (“Invicta” Tees) it can be one of the most difficult courses in the country. The course strongly recommends that you play from the appropriate tee boxes. Meaning, you should play the tee box that best suits your ability. This recommendation helps the speed of play and makes the course more enjoyable. If you lose a ball in the tall windswept grass there is no need to waste time looking for it because you just won’t find it. This course has 105 bunkers that are large and can be deep. The greens may be hidden by rock walls, deep grass or mounds. This course takes about 5-6 hours to play but it is really worth the time. There is nothing like it in the US.
- Last but not least, Thundering Waters in Niagara Falls Ontario, Canada. Our daughter gave us a golf vacation for our birthdays in Niagara Falls Ontario. I know, we have an amazing daughter. She chose Thundering Waters, John Daly’s first signature golf course. We played this course in anticipation of seeing flowing water on the course. I mean it is called Thundering Waters. But we didn’t see any water that was flowing or thundering. The course was beautiful, tricky in some spots and very fun to play. When we finished the round, we went inside the Pro Shop and asked how the course got its name and were told that it was named for its proximity to the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. We really loved our trip to Canada. It is a beautiful country and the falls are just wonderous. I had to look up the price per round as she kept the cost of the trip secret. The rates for this course are very reasonable and although there aren’t any thundering waters, we would love to go back and play again.
Well, that is it as they say. We have many more courses that we have enjoyed but that will have to be another time. I hope you enjoyed this different kind of review of courses. If it was helpful that is wonderful. If not, hopefully it was a good read.