Men's golf tees off at Nemacolin - The Behrend Beacon

Men's golf tees off at Nemacolin

Posted on Monday, October 15, 2012 at 7:36 PM

Author: Alec Italiano (senior editor)

It’s all about the little things at Nemacolin Woodlands Golf Resort.  Tucked in the Laurel Highlands, about an hour south of Pittsburgh, lies a majestic place, one with luxury and magic intertwined to create a truly lavish experience any golfer could ever dream of.

There are two courses on the property, both designed by the golf course architect legend Pete Dye.  Mystic Rock, the nicer of the two 18-hole courses is known for playing host to the 84 Lumber Classic, a PGA Tour stop that usually attracts such golfers as Vijay Singh, John Daly, and local golfer Rocco Mediate. 

This mountain course is cut right in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains and offers some of the most scenic golf in the tri-state area, especially as the leaves are changing. 

Aside from massive elevation change on the course, the wind that often whips through these hills makes a difficult course all the more challenging. Just surviving the opening three holes is an accomplishment, as hole one features a massive fairway bunker on the right, leading to a propped up green with false edges all the way around.  Hole two tests the nerve of the driver, as the shot calls for a baby fade over a lake and gulley. Multiple fairway bunkers speckle this fairway all the way to a tucked green protected by pot bunkers deep enough to make St. Andrews part of the conversation. Then, hole three requires a 211 (from the blue tees) shot to a hard green over water.  Needless to say, it is a combination of holes that will punish any golfer’s wit and skill right off the bat.

The ending three holes are just as brutal. 16 is a short par five, but very rarely do even the pros go for it.  A good tee shot leaves about 250 yards into a peninsula green with water all down the left side.  That same lake is on the left for 17 which plays all of the 181 yards listed on the card and is usually into the wind. Finally, 18 is a beast of a hole.  Coming in at 468 yards, this par four requires two excellent shots, as it plays uphill the entire way with a drop off to the left.  The approach plays into an undulating green surrounded by high hills and a permanent scoreboard, which

serves as a beautifully difficult finish to a magical course.

The Links Course is the other course at Nemacolin.  Being overshadowed by Mystic Rock has downplayed its beauty, but it is such an entertaining course.  Going through hills and valleys, the course offers every single shot in the book and tests the players’ skills tremendously.  The greens roll just as fast as Mystic Rock and are manicured to perfection, often nicer than Mystic Rock’s greens for the sheer fact that those are played on almost twice as often.

The courses intersect only at the driving range, as there are stations for either course on their respective ends and hit to a communal middle.  The range has a half dozen or so greens cut that serve as targets.  The ample sized golf academy building sits off to the side next to a massive putting and chipping area that could keep a dedicated golfer enticed for a lifetime.

Nemacolin is about more than just golf, though. They have artificial grass tennis courts, mountain biking, a shooting range, equestrian center, cross-country skiing; more than plenty to stay busy with for a lifetime.  Also, the resort has many animals on display as lions and emu’s can be seen from The Links Course.  For the shoppers, there are 14 specialty shops and the internationally acclaimed Woodlands Spa.  There is even a runway to accommodate private aircraft.

Luxury is defined by Nemacolin.  The Chateau is the main building on the resort. The name says it all, as it truly is a castle.  A cigar bar leads into the main lounge filled with plush chairs, a full bar and many leather bound books by a fireplace. The locker room was immaculate as well. Names from Hal Sutton to Davis Love III were posted on the lockers that opened up to a lounge featuring three big screen TVs, billiards, a chess set and another smaller bar.  Even the showers were beyond expectation; jets and a waterfall make the showering experience something to write about.

As for where to stay, there are six options: The Chateau, Falling Rock, The Lodge, a townhouse, luxury houses to rent (including two tree houses!) and the Maggie Valley RV Park.  Prices range from an RV spot for $155 per night to the presidential suite for a mere $2999.  All guests staying, regardless of where, are welcomed to all aspects of the resort including the numerous bars and restaurants throughout the resort.

Whether planning a gentleman’s golf trip or a romantic weekend, Nemacolin is the place.  It is the pinnacle of class.  After the initial awe has subdued, it really is the little things that make this resort a truly memorable experience.