Over a hundred years ago, a tradition of generous hospitality was started at the summer estate of Earl W. Oglebay in Wheeling, West Virginia. Today, Oglebay Resort and Conference Center offers 1,700 acres of year-round recreational opportunities and excellent overnight accommodations.
Golfing facilities at Oglebay include 36 holes of championship golf at the Speidel Golf Club featuring courses designed by Arnold Palmer and Robert Trent Jones, Sr. The spectacular Jones Course opened in the early 1970s after five years of planning and construction. It was the first public course undertaken by the prestigious golf course architect, and he was enthusiastic about the challenge. On one of his visits to Oglebay, Jones described the proposed layout as “a fair test of golf, with no tricks, but an easy bogey, hard par course.” Although the front nine opened in 1970 and the back nine in late ’71, there would be several more years of development and landscaping at the beautiful “monster course” on the hill. The rolling terrain offers “natural gallery amphitheaters unsurpassed anywhere,” Jones said. It was inevitable that a tournament of major importance would follow. Amid excitement and anticipation, the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) paid an inaugural visit to Speidel in 1974 and the West Virginia Classic continued to draw a top LPGA field, thrilling spectators for 11 years.
The beauty and intriguing design of the Palmer Course at the Speidel Golf Club compliments the Jones Course. Opening in 2000 with multiple tees that allow the course to play from 4,500 to almost 6,800 yards, the Palmer Course is fun and challenging for golfers of all skill levels. “Because of the unique topography, it’s one of the most interesting golf courses we’ve ever designed,” said an official of the Palmer Design Company. Five holes are located adjacent to the Jones Course, and thirteen holes are on the east side of the two-lane road that winds through the resort.
The Hamm Clubhouse, complete with pro shop, locker facilities and grill room, serves both courses at the Speidel Golf Club. All golf cars at the golf club are equipped with state-of-the-art GPS.
Additional golf amenities at Oglebay include the historic, 18-hole regulation Crispin Golf Course, a sporty Par III course and a driving range. The Crispin Course’s front nine was dedicated July 4, 1930 and despite hard economic times the course thrived, paralleling the phenomenal growth of public golf in the United States during the 1920s and 30s, coinciding with and largely due to the immense popularity of the immortal Bobby Jones. The Crispin course has seen many special moments. Professional golfer Betsy Rawls drew the largest crowd to date when she presented a clinic and exhibition in 1952. Arnold Palmer, playing Crispin for the first time in 1963, equaled the course record of 9-under-par during an exhibition match. The Oglebay Men’s Golf Club hosted an amateur classic at Crispin for more than 50 years and the tournament consistently entertained a strong field of amateur golfers. Perhaps the best known is Tom Weiskopf, who went on to a prestigious pro career but did not win this tournament in two tries.
Overnight accommodations are available at Oglebay’s 271-room Wilson Lodge, featuring 59 premium guest rooms. The lodge has the Ihlenfeld Dining Room and the GlassWorks Grill so whether you want to savor a fine dining experience, dine in a more informal setting, or just enjoy a casual lunch while rehashing your recent game of golf, you will find the dining experience that’s right for you. The West Spa is also located at Wilson Lodge. Visit the spa after your round for relaxing and therapeutic services including massage therapy and healing therapy. The lodge features an indoor pool, business center, resort shop, Jacuzzi, fitness center, sauna, game room and wireless Internet.
For golf groups and large families, Oglebay has 54 cottages, including three eight-bedroom premium cottages. The Palmer Estate House and new Wheeler Estate House both overlook the golf club, and their deluxe furnishings and private settings provide the perfect location for executive retreats and golf outings.
Oglebay has eight specialty shops, a zoo, gardens, two museums, fishing, tennis, stables, skiing and miles of walking trails. The resort is also known for the internationally-acclaimed Winter Festival of Lights in November and December. Wheeling Island Racetrack and Casino, and Cabela’s retail showroom, are located just minutes away from Oglebay.
Oglebay is conveniently located 3 miles from I-70 exit 2A in West Virginia’s northern panhandle. For more information or to book your tee times and overnight package call 800-624-6988 or visit www.oglebay-resort.com. West Virginia, Wild & Wonderful!