Best golf courses in West Virginia, according to GOLF Magazine’s expert course raters

the greenbrier

The Greenbrier lives up to half of its name. When lush, the course is as green as anywhere.

Courtesy Photo

For every great course that made GOLF’s 2020-21 ranking of the Top 100 Courses in the U.S., dozens of more must-plays were left on the outside looking in — including at least a handful in your home state. Some of these designs just missed out on a Top 100 nomination, others finished deeper down the ranking, but all are worthy of your time. To shed light on the best courses in every state, we broke out the full results of our Top 100 Courses polling into state-by-state lists. Here’s a closer look at West Virginia.

West Virginia golf by the numbers:

Number of courses and U.S. rank: 102 (43)*
Number of golfers per capita rank: 42*
Average public-course greens fees: $ out of $$$*
Average daily temp and rank: 51.8 (23)
Annual precipitation and rank: 45.2 in. (17)

*Source: National Golf Foundation

Best West Virginia golf courses (2020/2021)

1. Pikewood National (Morgantown) [1]

Built by two mining executives with no previous design experience, Pikewood National is pure golf for serious players. Walking is required here, and a round covers nearly nine miles with major elevation changes. But the hike is more than worth it to experience one of game’s most scenic and best conditioned layouts. Highlights include the massive horseshoe 8th hole and the par-3 5th, backed by a natural waterfall. The relative paucity of bunkers adds to the design’s distinctiveness.

2. Pete Dye (Bridgeport)

3. Greenbrier – Old White TPC (White Sulphur Springs) [3, P]

Book a tee time at The Greenbrier.

4. Greenbrier Sporting Club – Snead (White Sulphur Springs)

5. Glade Springs (Daniels) [P]

Book a tee time at Glade Springs.


1 = GOLF Top 100 Course in the U.S.
2 = GOLF Top 100 Course in the World
3 = GOLF Top 100 Resort
P = Resort/public golf course

Ed. note: Some courses were omitted from our rankings because they did not receive enough votes.

Course spotlight: Greenbrier – The Old White TPC (White Sulphur Springs) ranked 3rd in West Virginia. This is the only C.B. Macdonald course that routinely hosts the professionals and it speaks volumes how his template holes still test the best well over a century later. Play commenced here in 1914 and along with the Pinehurst Resort, provided one of America’s earliest resort experiences to feature first-rate architecture. Macdonald emphasized strategy and solving puzzles over sheer length and difficulty and thus, the course itself served as a fine template for others to emulate. — GOLF Top 100 Course Rater

The 3rd hole at The Old White. Courtesy Photo

How we rank America’s best golf courses

For the newly released 2020-21 U.S. list, each panelist was provided a list of 489 courses. Beside that list of courses were 11 “buckets,” or groupings. If our panelists considered a course to be among the top three in the country, they ticked that box. If they believed the course to be among Nos. 4-10 in the U.S., they checked that box, followed by 11-25, 26-50, and so on.

Panelists were also free to write in courses that they felt should have been included on the ballot (we had fewer than a handful of such additions in the U.S. vote).

Points were assigned to each bucket; to arrive at an average score for each course, we divide its aggregate score by the number of votes. From those point tallies, the courses are then ranked accordingly. It is an intentionally simple and straightforward process. Why? Because it invariably produces results that are widely lauded. Like the game itself, there’s no need to unnecessarily overcomplicate things.

For much more on how we rate courses, click or tap here.

PIkewood National
Pikewood Natiional is ranked No. 60 in the United States. Courtesy Photo

Meet our course raters

We empower and hold accountable a group of 97 well-traveled — and well-connected — golfers/aficionados, each capable of expressing their own sense of design excellence at the highest level. The group is seasoned and experienced — we look for raters who know what’s out there, what’s changing and what’s coming down the pike. And from judging posts across four continents, our panelists are positioned to place courses from different regions around the globe into proper context, one of the main reasons GOLF’s Top 100 Courses rankings are the most esteemed in the game.

Other ranking outlets employ thousands of raters. Our less-is-more approach creates a more meaningful and thoughtful list. Think about it: When you plan a golf trip, do you call every golfer you know for their take? No. You contact a handful of people whose opinions you value most.

Meet our full crew of panelists here.

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