Totally Friggin' AWESOME!!!
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 18 Championship caliber holes (36 really) on a private course with some of the most ideal terrain and scenic quality you can imagine to play on. The variety of open and wooded holes combined with the distance and elevation really test a player's mastery of skill through the air and mental toughness. There is rolling on elevation on most holes which always makes shots more interesting. There are big downhill and uphill bombs, as well as some long holes through the tight woods, and shots over and around the pond. Baskets are well placed with high risk and reward in most cases. Some huge flags on the baskets where they are blind from the huge elevation change. There were some tee signs.
The Woodshed features some of the best open holes I've ever played with it's huge rolling elevation, pond, and few trees coming into play. The wooded holes are some of the tightest holes I've ever played and definitely push the boundary of luck and your sanity. I love the way course plays to extremes and mixes things up. The Woodshed consists of two loops of 9 holes back to the parking lot.
The course is typically groomed like a 5 star ball golf course when I've played on Holiday weekends. There is tall grass off the fairways on the open holes, but the fairways are really generous like 50' wide, and there was little underbrush off the tighter fairways in the woods, so losing a disc is fairly hard unless it's a really bad shot or really unlucky.
Camping is available on site, so you can spend the weekend. Two very clean portapotties by the shed.
Cons: There are cons to the course, but I don't really care about amenities when the golf is the best of the best. For the uninitiated first timer to the course, the number one issue is navigation. The signage is lacking here, but if you have a map it's not hard to figure out. The other issue people may have is with the natural/gravel tees, while not ideal, it's sufficient.
Don't know if it's con but this course maybe too much a beginner or intermediate player, it really wasn't designed as such. It was designed for the best of the best. With that in mind I know some local beginners that do play the course and do ok, but can get frustrated.
Other Thoughts: For anyone traveling through Berkley Springs the experience begins with the drive to the course. It is simply breathtaking overlooking the valley of the mountains with the Potomac river below. The roads do get a little scary as you get closer to the course, but it also adds some thrill and anticipation. In some cases you may have to pull off to the side to let vehicles pass from the other direction. I would not want to drive here in the snow, it's scary enough in the dark or even daylight. If you are arriving from the west side of Paw Paw the drive is even scarier and not as scenic.
Upon arriving I put $20 in the can in the shed where the money to play and camp goes. I was only here to play both courses one day, but just looking at the property and work that has gone into here I felt obligated to pay more, and have payed more for some dinky courses comparatively. Gabby came out almost immediately to greet me with a smile and give me course map. This map is better than the ones on the website here. She also gave some quick pointers about the course and warned to watch for copperheads as one of her dogs was recently bitten. I know there are also bears, bobcats, and coyotes in the area.
Come here prepared not only as far as your golf game goes, but with enough water and food for your stay. There is hardly anything locally, and you really don't want to venture away for a few good reasons.
Spencer Thurman created The Woodshed to pay homage to the Boylan Christmas Tree Farm DGC which was one of the first epic North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountain courses that had par 4 and 5 holes and everyone was throwing lids. Since the Woodshed was also created when lids were the drivers, the pars on the course are a little inflated and created some tweeners, but this is truly the best disc golf experience I know of, and if you consider yourself a disc golfer this is an absolute must play and totally worth the journey from wherever, and I will hopefully be back sooner rather than later! What more can I say other than Paw Paw or as some call it Wap Wap is totally friggin' AWESOME!!!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 11 Not
This course is a dream
Pros: Great big, privately run and groomed course. Plenty of challenge on this course, and beauty to match it. It's in the middle of nowhere but well worth the road trip.
Cons: Middle of nowhere... but wait, that's good!
Other Thoughts: Literally, this course is a dream. Put it on your wishlist.
1 of 12 people found this review helpful.
23 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The Paw Paw courses in rural West Virginia are without a doubt one of the top disc golf destinations in the US. Not only is the disc golf fantastic but beautiful scenery and wildlife abounds.
Both courses, Woodshed and Whippin' Post have extreme variety in the types of shots, both off the tee, and off the fairway. If you haven't thrown a sidearm, flick roller, tomahawk, etc. during your round, you probably weren't paying attention because you likely were in a position where 'X' shot could have saved you a stroke. This course will expose any weakness in your game, skillwise and especially mentally.
Do you have confidence in all of your shots? Can you make them under adverse conditions (footing, intimidating lines)?
How do you deal with a bad kick? Can you shake it, can you recover from it even under pressure?!?
The course also demands that you 'learn it' rather than just play it. Many of the holes have subtle scoring differences that aren't immediatly apparent upon first glance. A hole that may appear to be a tight hyzer might in fact yield better scoring to a turnover sidearm. Some landing zones might be in unexpected places requiring several rounds to figure out or careful study of the hole. Some might say that this creates a bit of "home-boy" bias, but putting in a few rounds of work to figure out the course is well worth the time. I'd recommend to play with a player who knows it and you will get an idea of where to attack and where to be conservative. The usual knock on this course is that it is all "luck" because of the tight fairways but you will find players who can consistently shred this course. Luck? I would argue that they put in the work, developed the skills, and mindset to succeed where others lose patience.
While I prefer the consistency of Whippin' Post to the Woodshed, you'll find better variety of holes on Woodshed along with a few of the most creative ones such as "Circles".
One of the most dangerous holes in the course, Circles is a (relatively) short 319ft, tight turnover across a sidehill which drops to an OB road. Off the tee, you have a multitude of options, although none are easy or safe. The hyperaggressive turnover driver route may yield a birdie or easy par but shots that are off the mark are nearly always punished with a skip and drop OB. A little safer yet, players can toss a putter or short sidearm around the tight corner to assure the chance for a 3 or 4. After the pitch though, you'll still be looking at an intimidating approach through a tight window which absolutely cannot hyzer out (RHBH). Finally, if you are really sweating it off the tee or need to protect a good round you can go safari through the woods with a vertical tomahawk. This route pretty much concedes the 4 but avoids the pitfalls and stress of the fairway. Play for positive distance with this route, hitting the largest windows through dense trees and worry about approaching the basket on shot 3.
Certainly one of the most intimidating holes I've ever played - It is not uncommon to see two or three consecutive OB penalties on this hole and scores frequently range from the rare 2 to 10 and beyond!
Cons: With new disc technology, a couple of the field holes are beginning (only beginning) to show a little bit of give. The open par 4's, while still requiring great shots, are becoming more routine birdies.
Tee signs/tee pads also might be a cool improvement, but at the same time, might detract from some of the natural beauty of the course.
Other Thoughts: As other reviewers have stated, these courses really should be experienced at some point during a disc golfers career.
The owners are some of the best folks you'll ever meet, they have put and continue to devote a big piece of their lives to Paw Paw, so feel free to kick in an extra few $$$ if you appreciate the course!
23 of 24 people found this review helpful.
27 Helpful / 7 Not
Disc Golf MECCA
Pros: Water, elevation, distance, accuracy, the hosts, the property, the seclusion, the neighbors, the fishing, the river, the music, the house!
This course and it's sister (The Whippin Post) together make up one of the most formidable golf challenges you could ever hope to find in one place.
Occupying approx 26 acres, nestled in the mountains of WV about 15 miles NW of Berkely Springs - this was the first of the two Paw Paw DGC's.
Spencer Thurman bought the property and when he started cutting fairways in the woods - he basically walked what he saw as the best gap through the woods, and cut every tree he could reach while walking a straight line. Which made the woods holes about 8-10 feet wide. He knew of course - that it's easier to cut them down then to grow em back - and even the tightest holes have opened up a bit over the life of the course. The result however, is an amazing mix of giant open shots with both water and significant elevation in play, and tight technical, precision woods golf.
There is really only one filler hole on the course (hole 14) - but even that is so unique - I haven't seen it duplicated anywhere - so while it's funky - it'll still yield 2's and 6's.
The course comes at you in fits and starts. 1&2 require power and accuracy off the tee to have a chance at 3. Holes 3-6 are known as "The Gauntlet" - and collectively will humble the most swelled head on the planet at any given pass through. 7-13 are back out in the field and are some of the funnest bombs in the game. Back in the woods for 14-16 (coined the mini gauntlet), and then back to the barn for 17 and 18 and the chance for salvaging a less higher score than you hoped for.
Cons: It's 100 miles from my house. Tees signs and teepads need upgrading.
Other Thoughts: The Woodshed is one of the ultimate tests of your DG skills, and of your mental and physical fitness. The variety offered here is unlike any other of the 240 or so courses I have played. There are water holes (a pond), huge boomer holes, tight woods holes, big elevation changes. You name it, it's all here.
It's a big walk, and with another 18 holes on the other side of the property, this is a place that's hard to do just in one day. Go for the weekend and hang out, or go for the mid summer event or the WVO on Labor Day weekend. This DGC should be REQUIRED travel for anyone who calls themself a disc golfer. If you make the pilgrimage once, you'll find it hard not to make it over and over again.
27 of 34 people found this review helpful.
24 Helpful / 1 Not
Awesome Course in Every Way
Pros: PawPaw is a place that is much more than just the sum of its parts and is my favorite place in the country to spend a weekend playing disc golf.
Both The Woodshed and The Whipping Post are awesome, but what is even better is having both courses side by side. And having a hill from which you can sit, surrounded by WV mountains, looking down over some of the pivotal and most beautiful holes on both courses makes this an unparalleled place to both watch and play disc golf.
Spencer and Gabi are two of the most generous and welcoming people I know of, and it has been a labor of love on their part -- and on the part of many dedicated volunteers -- to make these courses what they are and to keep them maintained for play.
The Woodshed will eat you alive and challenge your mental game to the limit. It's a course with an SSA of 63-64 strokes, and you'll need every one of them. The course is a great mix of open holes and nasty woods holes, with many true par 4s and tons of great elevation changes.
And one of the perks of the course is that every hole has a name and every hole has a history. Play through with a local or someone who's been there since the beginning and they'll tell you more stories than your brain can hold.
The camping opportunities at PawPaw are awesome -- lots of barefoot grass and flat places to pitch a tent. A clean pond for swimming. Enclosed areas for fires.
And if you go out for a tournament weekend, expect a late night of live music in the barn and some of the most beautiful stars you'll see anywhere in the country. The Milky Way is blinding out there in those West Virginia mountains.
Cons: The only cons are that PawPaw is out of the way. But that's part of what makes is so wonderful -- the solitude and the true escape from urban/suburban life. So that's not really a con so much as it is the price you have to pay for solitude. Just make sure to bring everything you need with you for a weekend of camping, because you aren't going to want to leave and it's a bit of a drive even to the nearest convenience store.
The biggest con is having to leave the course after a weekend and return back to regular life. At a course like this, you wish you could stay forever.
Other Thoughts: I saw John's comments on the gauntlet and have to disagree with him about all the rollers. Yes, I've seen a lot of people throw the roller, but the best shots I've seen on the hole have consistently been from people throwing long, neutral drivers (usually TLs) off the box RHBH and lacing up the fairway. There is a fairway on the gauntlet -- it's just not a very big one. But I've played through the course with enough top players by this point to believe that the Gauntlet isn't just luck -- it just requires a great amount of precision and a couple of practice rounds to get a feel for the layout.
24 of 25 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: Every time I drive to this course I start smiling before I get there. Any top player who has not played Paw Paw should put it at the top of their playlist. Rolling hills, brutal woods, wickedly narrow fairways, thirsty ponds...Wap Wap has it all! Some complain about the lack of "fairways" or the elevated sense of luck, but I agree with Spencer...trees are easy to take out, but hard to put back.
Cons: It takes me a full day to get there from San Diego.
Other Thoughts: I had the privilege of playing DeLaveaga in the afternoon, catching a red-eye into Baltimore, then driving to Paw Paw to finish off my favorite 24 hours of golf ever.
5 of 14 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 6 Not
Paw Paw Rules
Pros: As the review title says, Paw Paw RULES!! The absolute best courses (The Woodshed and The Whipping Post) I have ever played. The holes are geared to big arm guys but once you get in the woods the controlled shots will take over evening up the competition.
Cons: The only con is the location, it's a climb up the mountain and will work out the best of the vehicles 4WD or not.....
Other Thoughts: Spence and Gabby are the best hosts ever, get out and enjoy the golf, the camping, the hospitality and the all around best disc golf experience you will ever have.... hands down.
9 of 15 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Doesn't Get Better Than This
Pros: An amazing course that will drop your jaw over and over again. On many of the holes, 4's, 5's, and 6's are solid accomplishments, and 2's are incredibly hard to come by (don't bother looking for aces on these courses).
The holes through the woods are long and narrow, several going over multiple hills, with long steep ravines threatening a couple hundred feet of uphill comeback on errant shots. The holes going out over the meadows are long (really long), uphill, downhill, and often both. The water holes are designed to tempt big arms into making the big shot, and the OB's are easy enough to stay out of (Circles excepted), but easy enough to cross into on big drives.
Cons: Paw Paw, WV is not the most convenient location to reach for most folks, but it is worth the trip. Also wanna watch out for bears and snakes, it is the mountains.
These courses are easily the most challenging I've ever played, rank as two of the prettiest, and inspire both deep love and frightening memories.
The Thurmans have also cleared some areas for tent camping, and are the bestest, hostiest folks you'd ever wanna meet.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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