Stonewall Golf CourseWest Virginia golf
offers elegance,
luxury and hospitality

The Allegheny Mountains in West Virginia are home to an abundance of wildlife, beautiful wooded valleys and mountain lakes. They are also home to some of America's finest golf getaways.

Other resorts may match this one for luxury, but few can equal The Greenbrier's style. The Greenbrier has been serving guests for more than 200 years, employing generations of staff members from the quiet town of White Sulphur Springs. Politeness and genuine hospitality seem to be inherited traits.

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Every U.S. president who plays golf has played at the Greenbrier, which has three world-class layouts. Most of the world's top golfers have been here, too, dating back to World War I, when Bobby Jones and his contemporaries played in Red Cross fund-raisers hosted by the resort.

There is so much more to the 6,500-acre resort -- 50 activities besides golf, including mountain biking, horseback riding, sporting clays, fly-fishing with Orvis experts, even a short course in the ancient art of falconry. There's a world-class spa and wonderful swimming pools indoors (largest in the world in 1912) and out.

While not nearly 200 years old, The Raven in Snowshoe has a more modern feel. The Raven winds along the wooded flank of Cheat Mountain, which towers over most other Eastern ski mountains at 4,848 feet. The summit is home to the tundra-loving Snowshoe rabbit and Snowshoe Mountain Resort, the Mid-Atlantic's largest ski area.

Course architect Gary Player made abundant use of the site's natural elements, arranging huge boulders as the underpinnings for greens and tees perched on the brink of dramatic overlooks. These structured features are balanced by the wildness of streams, lakes, ravines and rock outcroppings. Every hole has its own unique character and test of strategy.

Golfers from urban areas often return to the clubhouse wide-eyed, and spilling stories of close encounters with white-tailed deer and Canada geese, and sightings of black bear, red fox, beaver -- and even a resident pair of the trademark ravens. Wildflowers and blooming trees flourish on the fringes of the course, humbling the man-made swatches of green.

The Allegheny Mountain are home to another top-notch resort in Stonewall. The atmosphere is wonderful from the moment you step out of your car and enter the covered walkway to the main entrance at the Stonewall Resort. In the main hall, soaring ceilings are studded with massive wooden beams and decorated with chandeliers of twined deer antlers. There, and in the spacious common rooms, warmth emanates from natural stone fireplaces. The carpet is thick underfoot and the feeling is one of comfortable luxury.

The Palmer course at Stonewall is on a relatively small parcel of land - 120 acres - but good separation between holes was accomplished by Palmer's savvy use of the terrain, trees and vegetation. And it's just plain beautiful because of its natural features - the mix of hardwoods and evergreens, the vistas of knobby hills and mountains that characterize this part of West Virginia, and the lake itself, which frequently comes into play and can be seen from many holes. Adding to the natural feel are the tall grasses that line most fairways and rustle in the wind. If you can find your ball in there, it takes a heroic effort to get out.

Courses and resorts may be new and old, but these West Virginia golf resorts make elegance, luxury and hospitality a timeless art.

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