WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS -- You may be heading to White Sulphur Springs to visit the hot springs. Maybe you’re there for lunch or grabbing a beer at the brewery, but you’ll almost certainly stay for the golf.
“We’re doing what we can to bring the people in, but a lot of it is just driving by the highway and saying, ‘Oh look, a nice golf course.' They stop, whip in and next thing you know they’re out playing golf. And that’s what we want," Arrowhead Meadows head professional Bill Dodson said.
Arrowhead Meadows Golf Course was built in the 1980s, but not in the traditional way. The course is also not-for-profit and circulates the money right back into the golf course.
“In 1980, from what I understand, they started finding, getting money to build this golf course and started building it in ’81. It was built entirely by volunteers," Dodson said. "All volunteer help. From nothing to this, all by people donating time, equipment and money to build this golf course.”
Dodson has improved and added to the course over the years, including new Canadian choke cherry trees that will eventually define fairways and greens. The Par-4 9th hole is already tree-lined, making it a tough finishing hole heading back to the clubhouse.
“You almost have to play them backwards," Dodson said. "Where’s your best layup? Can I carry it? You have to take those things into consideration when you’re playing this little course. People love this little course.”
Much like the rest of the greens at Arrowhead Meadows, the 9th hole has a small target on your approach shot. Going long leaves you with an uphill pitch shot that runs away from the pin.
“If you can hit the ball and put a little spin on it, it can stick," Dodson said. "If you’ve got a little overspin on it, it’s gone. It also depends on the condition of the day. If those greens are dry, they’re going to bounce. You can’t run the ball into the green, because if you hit the slope it’s going to kill it. You almost have to make sure you pitch the ball on the green or you’re close enough to chip it up.”