Morgantown hugs the Pennsylvania border along the picturesque Monongahela River. Farther southeast, toward the Allegheny Mountains, Cheat River draws outdoor enthusiasts with its springtime whitewater rafting. Those interested in a more peaceful communion with nature can hike along Caperton Trail, which passes a vintage train depot and heads into historical downtown Morgantown.Home of West Virginia University, downtown Morgantown blends the dynamism of a university town with rustic, small-town charm. Along Main Street, antique shops, art galleries, and boutiques now occupy late 19th-century Victorian buildings. Decadent chocolates take center stage on April 14 for Chocolate Lovers' Day, when the downtown area teems with dessert samples and the Monongahela is drained and filled with liquefied chocolate.
Draped over the verdant Washington County countryside, Fort Cherry Golf Club's 18-hole course spans 6,205 yards of rolling, player-friendly terrain. The course's relatively open layout invites players to blast tee shots with their drivers or T-shirt cannons at nearly every non-par 3, as sparse tree lines offer little impediment to shots that find the rough, and the course's multiple sand bunkers loom by the greens—not the fairways. An adjacent driving range loosens up swings to perfection, and a practice green sharpens up putting strokes and helps players get a feel for how to read the course's subtle slopes and metaphorical flagsticks. With its own motel and a gourmet bar and restaurant, the club hosts all-day and overnight golf-outing packages for a restful pin-hunting vacation.
Course at a Glance:
Designed by Mark Ormison in 1897, the fairways of Bob O'Connor Golf Course at Schenley Park sprawl over 51 acres and invite linksmen to frolic among foliage that has been flourishing for more than a century, while also gazing out on metropolitan views. Players find themselves challenged right from the get-go with a second hole that is also the toughest, but can strive for birdies at holes 8 and 17 to recover. At the 11th hole, golfers encounter a quirky rectangular green, whose geometric origins are likely found in a house having occupied the space long ago. The course is managed by the local charity The First Tee Pittsburgh, which strives to encourage good character, values, and healthy life choices in children through the game of golf, and proceeds from the course benefit its programs.
Before hitting the course, players can hone their form at the course’s driving range in good weather, take lessons with a Class A PGA professional, or strengthen their swings at the Full Swing simulator, which tracks ball flight, speed, and distance in real time. The simulator offers high-definition projections of more than 35 notable courses, including Pebble Beach, Oakmont Country Club, Pinehurst Country Club, and Harbour Town Golf Links, and lets golfers sharpen their swings in the dead of winter without fear of losing a limb to frostbite or abominable ground squirrels.
Course at a Glance:
The Madison Club’s 18-hole, championship course develops over gently rolling hills and winds through trees for a layout engulfed in a spectacular setting that incorporates the natural landscape into course play. Multiple water hazards challenge the golfer, as highlighted on the interesting par 3 17th, a hole that forces golfers to carry a short-iron tee shot over open water and has been lauded as one of western Pennsylvania’s best public holes by both the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the fish that cheer on golfers from the green-protecting pond. Cut in to the rolling hills, holes are bordered with slopes and mounds that redirect errant shots back on to the carpet-like fairways. After a day at the links, guests can unwind with a light meal from the course restaurant or toast to the memory of broken golf tees with a drink from its full-service bar.
Set on the rolling wooded banks of the Youghiogheny River, Butler's Golf Course has been challenging golfers for more than 80 years with two 18-hole courses. The 6,314-yard Woodside course cushions golf shoes in a gently rolling terrain, and the 6,689-yard Lakeside course grants sweeping views of the adjacent valley and a few blind shots. Both par 72 courses can be enjoyed from the seat of a conveniently motorized golf cart, which transports golfers and their gear between holes, around scattered hillocks, and across the line in tense photo finishes.
Although conservation is important to the course managers at Cherry Creek Golf Club, it never comes at the expense of challenging play. Throughout the scenic 18-hole course, golfers will come face-to-grass with meticulously planned layouts that incorporate ponds, bunkers, and vistas bordered by gentle rolling hills. The first two holes epitomize the club’s course design; hole one's curving terrain and four sand bunkers require precise aim to avoid, and hole two's flowing stream adds an extra level of difficulty to an already nerve-testing approach. Course managers also take care to protect the natural setting and wildlife that inhabit the grounds, taking eco-friendly measures such as building blue bird nesting houses and improving water quality by reducing the use of harmful chemicals. Their efforts have earned the course Audubon International's Cooperative Sanctuary certification, an honor awarded to a select group of earth-minded golf courses around the country.
Course at a Glance:
Iron City Elite Strength and Conditioning helps clients and athletes achieve elite results by integrating the most current methods of strength training science utilizing kettlebells, suspension training, Olympic lifting and other movement based training methodology in a 6,000-sq.-ft. facility. The knowledgeable and supportive staff both possess graduate degrees in exercise science and also hold a variety of specialty certifications that provide them the tools and resources necessary to help clients torch body fat and sculpt muscles. For guests who wish to stomp calories with other like-minded individuals, group classes range from introductory cycling to Zumba dance-inspired workouts.