Paw Paw, WV
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The Woodshed

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Wild and wonderful -- just like West Virginia!

1    8/17/2009   8/21/2009
Review By: jblough
Played: 85  Reviewed: 85  Exp: 5 Years
This review was updated on 7/3/2012
18 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Absolutely fantastic variety of holes ranging from rolling hills, long fairways, water hazards, tight wooded passages, and insane left and right doglegs. The reviews aren't kidding when they say that some of the wooded passages are only a few feet apart! A great challenge!

Service is great, as Gabby will greet you with a smile and a much-needed map. The course dog, Scout, will also follow you and be your best pal while you're playing.

The actual woodshed is a really neat clubhouse with which to relax before and after golfing. A great place to crack open a cold beer or two and enjoy the scenery outside.

Another pro is that the course is completely separated from human civilization. For some, this may be unnerving, but I love it! 18 holes of fun!

Did I already mention I really like the water hazards?
Cons: Unless you're from Cumberland MD, it's most likely going to be quite a drive to arrive here. Could also be very difficult to get here in the Winter because of the treacherous WV roads.

The tees and signs could use some improvements and care. They're there, but barely!

The rough behind the pond on hole #1 is a disc eater! At least 50 feet of nothing but the most formidable briers and thorns.

The numerous trees on some holes will not be kind to DX or Pro-D discs. Try and use higher quality plastic if you're prone to hitting trees like I was at The Woodshed.

The course is pay to play, but it's hardly a con. It's worth the $5 -- but it's a fee nevertheless.
Other Thoughts: I've visited many areas in West Virginia and this place is one of the most beautiful! Out of all the disc golf courses I've played at, this is one of the few that does not feel like a park or recreation area -- it's pure wild! As such, it's a great place to relax and enjoy the game.

On the other hand, it's very difficult to play here. I shot an 80 and I was happy with that. The feeling of elation is indescribable for birdies and even pars on some of these holes! Don't let the formidable challenge drive you away; embrace it!

18 of 19 people found this review helpful.

 I'm starting to understand the course better!

5+    2/7/2009   2/7/2009
Review By: Jimb
Played: 66  Reviewed: 43  Exp: 7.1 Years
26 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Variety, variety, variety. In the wonderfully scenic hills of WV lies this great course on a wonderful site for disc golf.

It has most everything you could want as far as course design. There are big bomb holes. There are super tight/technical holes... and don't think that just because they're tight that they're short. They're long and technical. Take a hike... literally! There are a pond and stream that both come into play. There are severe uphill and downhill shots. There are right turning and left turning shots. You name it and this course has it. I normally throw RHBH as much as possible. I only had to throw a couple tomahawks and a few forehands and felt very good about only having to use a few of my secondary shots today. Meaning, I stayed pretty close to the fairways today and didn't end up in the thicker woods. I was very fortunate. In the past I've had to use a lot more secondary shots.

And when I say thicker woods, unless you make a really-really bad shot, the woods you end up in is made up of trees of various sizes... lots of trees. But the underbrush is amazingly sparse.

The baskets don't look new any more, but all seem to be in excellent condition. There are signs pointing you in the direction of the next tee, but some of them are getting a little squirley.

And, of course, I have to mention the hosts. I've only spoken with Gabbie. But every time I'm there she walks out with a smile and a map for me.

This is definitely a pro caliber course and will challenge even the best players. Just ask the last two Champions from the WV Open... Mike Moser and Markus Kallstrom, both highly rated pros on team Innova. Beginners can play this course (I did two years ago) but it has the potential to really beat you up. Not a bad thing as it's awesome to see how much your game improves when you go back.
Cons: The gravel tees (a fine crushed gravel) are ok when dry. But when wet they're a muddy, slippery mess. And they can get rutty. They are a nice size, though.

And the signage isn't what it used to be. Since I know my way around it's no big deal. But for a first time with only a map, it can be quite a task to navigate the course easily. Some of the "next hole this way" signs are faded and fallen. Several of the hole markers are knocked over and faded.

And, as others have said, it's in the middle of nowhere. (But that is a pro at the same time because it's so peaceful.) Be prepared for an ultra-windy, part dirt-road, trip to get there. Don't even think about letting it keep you from going... just be prepared.
Other Thoughts: I don't easily give out such a high rating. And only because there is so much to love about the Woodshed can I give it this high a score regardless of the shortcomings.

If just the tees and signage were upgraded this would be a sure-fire 5! But being a privately owned property, this would be a very big undertaking since there are 18 more holes on the same property called the Whipping Post.

And of the two, the Woodshed is clearly my favorite. I believe that it's just a personal thing for me. I don't know why really. I just like it better.

I would highly recommend this course to anyone and everyone who plays the game regardless of the travel needed to get there. Come and stay as there's camping on site. Make a weekend of it as you'll want to play the courses over and over.

Check out they're website that's listed here on DGCR. And check out this Youtube clip... and several more from the 2007 WV Open. You'll really get a feel for the courses.

26 of 28 people found this review helpful.

 Disc Golf MECCA

5+    9/1/2008   1/27/2009
Review By: craigg
Played: 181  Reviewed: 37  Exp: 32.7 Years
This review was updated on 2/10/2009
27 Helpful / 7 Not
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.

God Plays Disc Golf

2-4    7/18/2009   12/21/2008
Review By: optidiscic
Played: 155  Reviewed: 149  Exp: 11.9 Years
This review was updated on 9/1/2012
27 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course itself is long, has intense wooded holes, fast greens, elevation, water, open bombs and a unique charm not found elsewhere. Every hole requires you to use your brain and your skill. Mental discipline is required here more so than anywhere else I've played. I found myself thinking of holes played miles away after I sadly left the course. What is very interesting is that every hole makes an impression. There are no filler holes. Also the course is balanced, once your getting fed up with trees your greeted with an open field with a huge precise drive needed. Once your ego is back to equilibrium, you are back in the woods being beaten again by Uncle Spencer. The splendid isolation of disc golf only countryside on top of a wild mountain. The rustic clubhouse with the sign in book with so many amazing anecdotes from so many pilgrims. The friendly hosts. I'm gushing.
Cons: Fairways cross one another at 8 & 9. Not many people on course so not really an issue. At times, if you listen real hard you can hear the trees whispering and laughing at you. The challenge may be too much for anyone with a fragile ego. Legendary Gauntlet Holes may beat up your discs. Playing here might ruin/spoil every experience you ever have playing DG for the rest of your life.
Other Thoughts: I recently went back to Paw after 5 years. I am a little bit better of a player now than I was back then. Unfortunately my opinion of this place has changed. Many of the tight gauntlet holes particularly 3,4,6,14,15 are just not really fair at all. I scored just as poorly on these as I did 5 yrs ago when I was a relative noob. This shows that luck is needed moreso than skill. If Spence would just swallow his pride and just thin out some of the trees, not an overall clearing just maybe thin it out a bit I would be able to in good conscience keep Paw Paw a 5 but I have to be honest as great as some of the holes are the abundance of trees in the fairway (not off the fairway) really spoil this place. The drive to this mecca is long and out of the way for anyone. The whole pilgrimmage and environment may have twisted my opinion. Nah, this course stands the test of time and technology. Play this course and it's twin sister and you won't regret the drive.

27 of 28 people found this review helpful.

 Worth the drive

2-4    9/1/2008   9/9/2008
Review By: jdawg24
Played: 91  Reviewed: 49  Exp: 15.9 Years
22 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Scenery - The course is located in the WV mountains on a beautiful tract of land with big views on many holes. The piece of land is gorgeous - rolling hills, steep ravines, thick woods & open areas. When I visited the grass was in two cuts: long & full of wildflowers and short around the fairways & greens

Challenge - The woodshed will test players of all abilities, especially those that can throw less than 500'. Mix of long bomber holes & super tight technical wooded holes

Upkeep - the land is in phenomenal condition and the hard work put into these courses is evident by the lack of underbrush & the great condition of the course

Character - this place is amazing - having two world class courses on the same tract, the barn/music venue, a pond to swim in/lose discs in, and killer camping spots

Not a par 3 course - there are legit par 4's and par 5's -- a score in the 60's is good and in the 50's is great

On private land!!!

Some awesome holes - #1, #10, #13 are all great
Cons: Far from anywhere, which becomes a pro once you've arrived

Not beginner friendly - as noted in the other reviews, this is a long & tough course & doesn't have shorter teepad options (on most holes)

Fairway trees: Holes 3 (gauntlet) & 6 have little/no fairway. The saying I heard several times was: "not saying it's fair, but there's a way"....this holds true for more holes on the whipping post, but definitely true on these holes. Get your forehand roller ready!

Other Thoughts: Woodshed is more open than the whipping post & caters more to big arms, with several two-able holes if you can throw 450'+.

Both courses are phenomenal & the setting just adds to the experience. These are definitely two of my favorites that I recommend to everyone. The courses are tough and can be mentally taxing - they can really beat you up - but at the end of the day when you wind down in a beautiful campsite & look up at the stars, the beauty of the place becomes more evident

22 of 24 people found this review helpful.

 Awesome Course in Every Way

5+    6/20/2008   7/18/2008
Review By: t i m
Played: 209  Reviewed: 41  Exp: 16.9 Years
This review was updated on 8/11/2008
24 Helpful / 1 Not
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.

 It's Just A Matter Of Preference

7/7/2003   3/12/2008
Review By: The Valkyrie Kid
Played: 591  Reviewed: 544  Exp: 35.9 Years
26 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Scenic West Virginia countryside.
A perfect piece of land for a course.
Awesome host and hostess-Spencer & Gabby.
On sight camping available.
Has hills and water hazards.
Three par 5's.
Six par 4's.
7675 total feet of disc golf course.
Will challenge top pros.
Combination of wooded versus open fields holes.

Cons: Paw Paw is a very long way from anywhere.
Tight wooded fairways are tough on the average player.
The ravines off the fairways are tougher on the average player.
The open field par 3's are long.
Three par 5's.
Six par 4's.
7675 total feet of disc golf course.

Other Thoughts: As the review title states, I have a very slight preference for the Whipping Post course. As mentioned in that review, I think the two courses here at Paw Paw are similiar in so many ways to the two Circle R courses in Texas. Both are privately owned by wonderful hosts. Both are ungodly long and difficult! Both will challenge the biggest arms. If you enjoyed Paw Paw, then by all means, make a road trip to the Texas hill country. LEGAL NOTICE: I received no financial consideration of any kind from the Circle R Ranch folks for these plugs.

26 of 28 people found this review helpful.

 I'm a Whipping Post kinda guy

8/11/2007   3/6/2008
Review By: John Merhi
Played: 40  Reviewed: 7  Exp: 25.9 Years
6 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: Your host and hostess. All the other pros I mentioned in my Whipping Post review.
Cons: The Gauntlet. Every time I play it, it's the same thing. Five guys step up to the tee, 5 guys throw a two finger roller. 5 guys walk to their lie, pick up, and throw another two finger roller. All 5 then walk to their lie again, and at least 4 of the 5 throw a two-finger roller. Sorry, but I rank this hole 36 out of 36.
Other Thoughts: You're in heaven here. My silliness about not liking the Gauntlet is MEANINGLESS in the overall picture that is Paw Paw. Welcome to Heaven. Look for me on the Whipping Post. I like it better than the Woodshed. Similar to liking a Lamborghini over a Ferrari.

6 of 18 people found this review helpful.

 God's Country

3/1/2008   3/2/2008
Review By: ddevine
Played: 111  Reviewed: 35  Exp: 35.1 Years
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.

 Paw Paw Rules

8/20/2006   2/11/2008
Review By: matt30556
Played: 65  Reviewed: 6  Exp: 17.9 Years
9 Helpful / 6 Not
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.

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