Review: Woodbrier Golf Course

Course Name: Woodbrier Golf Course

Designer: Unknown (1982)

Location: Martinsburg, West Virginia

History: Woodbrier is a 9-hole family owned public course.

Conditions: 6/10, The greens and fairways were for the most part in nice shape in May here. Some of the tee boxes like the 4th were torn up.

Value: 7/10, for only $13 to walk, this course is much better than a range and well-worth it.

Scorecard:

Tee                                 Par         Yardage         Rating          Slope

White                            35/36       2705              34.1               114

Red                                 35/36      2442              N/A               N/A

Best Score: 39 (White Tees), 5/16/2016 by myself

Hole Descriptions: This course features a very strange design. The first two holes are pretty much wide open short par 4’s around 300 yards. The only danger on the 1st hole is a tiny creek that runs along the right side of the fairway. The 3rd hole is possibly the narrowest hole I’ve ever played. At only 251 yards, this par 4 only requires a short iron off the tee to make sure you stay in play. The 4th hole is a short, downhill par 3 at 138 yards that plays shorter than the scorecard indicates due to the elevation difference. The 5th hole is probably the best hole on the course – a medium length 339 yard par 4 with trees on the right and a creek about 250 yards on the left side of the fairway.

At 463 yards, the 6th hole was a strange par 5; It was very unclear what to aim for on this hole due to an unnecessary tree in the middle of the fairway. Multiple unmarked water hazards on the left side were also confusing. The 7th hole is a fairly challenging par 4 at 355 yards. Your tee shot must carry a good 200 yards to an uphill fairway. Trees line the left side while a major highway I-81 lines the right hand side. The 8th hole was another very strange and confusing hole. A downhill sharp dogleg left, this hole 337 yard number 1 handicap hole requires less than driver or you would run through the fairway. The 221 yard finishing hole was also confusing. Thinking it was an easy par 4 (as my phone said), I laid up. Much to my dismay, it was actually an extremely long par 3 that seemed out of place on the course on the otherwise short course. If you play the nine twice, it appears that the 9th hole is a short par 4 the second time around from the same teebox, which makes no sense.

Best Par 3: 4th hole, 138 yards, 5th handicap. The only true par 3 on the course, this fun short par 3 features a tree-covered elevated teebox and a tiny, sloping, circular green. Bunkers to the back right and short left of this green catch plenty of balls from golfers who misjudge the distance.

Best Par 4: 5th hole, 339 yards, 13th handicap. There is nothing overly impressive about this straightforward par 4, but it’s simplicity is to be appreciated on a course full of quirky par fours. This is a good driver hole, but this wide fairway is lined by woods to the right and a small creek on the left. This green is relatively flat and features bunkers on both sides.

Best Par 5: 6th hole, 463 yards, 3rd handicap. By virtue of being the only par 5 on the course, this hole wins by default but I was unimpressed by it’s overly complicated design. A tall tree on the left side of this fairway about 90 yards from the tree will knock down a lot of solid drives and frankly should be cut down. While this hole is certainly reachable, a creek meanders down the left side starting at 225 yards from the tee and will be hard for first time players to avoid because it isn’t marked well. This tiny green is guarded to the left by two small bunkers.

General Comments: There is no driving range at Woodbrier, and pace of play was brutal – 3 hours for 9 holes. Despite playing as a single and playing well, the people in front of me seemed to pay no attention and wouldn’t let me pass, even returning to the tee after looking for 5 minutes for a lost ball.

Verdict: A decent little track, pace of play issues and strange hole design make it unlikely I’d recommend Woodbrier to a friend.

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