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Taking a step back in time at The Greenbrier’s 130-year-old Oakhurst Links



The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, home to the PGA Tour’s Greenbrier Classic, is no secret to golf enthusiasts the world over.

In addition to the Greenbrier Faldo Golf Center, the resort offers five challenging tracks including The Old White TPC (home to the Greenbrier Classic), The Greenbrier (site of the 1979 Ryder Cup and 1994 Solheim Cup), The Meadows, The Snead (exclusive to members of the Greenbrier Sporting Club) and Oakhurst Links.

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Oakhurst Links offers visitors a unique golf experience, in essence transporting players back in time.

First, a little history.

The original owner of the property, Russell Montague, arrived in the West Virginia area back in 1879 and relocated his family from Boston a few years later.

When one of Russell’s neighbor’s golf obsessed cousins came to visit from Scotland a group including Montague built a nine-hole course on his property for their own enjoyment.


Completed in 1884, the nine-hole course was used for more than a decade before the group of Scotsmen moved back to Scotland. Once they left, the course went unused and became overgrown with clover and wildflowers.

Years later in 1938, Sam Snead visited the site and for fun blasted a golf ball out over the Oakhurst’s overgrown fairways. Impressed with the property, Snead convinced friend Lewis Keller to purchase the property when it went up for sale in 1959. The Keller family restored the course in 1990 with the help of golf course architect Bob Cupp. In 2012, Greenbrier owner Jim Justice bought Oakhurst Links and it became part of the resort.

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Today, Oakhurst Links plays host to 300-to-500 rounds a year. A $75 greens fee includes use of clubs and two golf balls. That’s right, no need to lug your Callaways over to the course because you won’t need them. In fact, you can’t use them.

In keeping with the Scottish golf tradition the course was created for, players today choose from two types of clubs – smooth-faced irons (pre-1900) and irons with scoring lines (post 1900) all with hickory shafts. Woods are post-1900 with hickory shafts. No tees are permitted with players making their tees from sand. Golf bags are also not permitted. Players carry their clubs under their arm and period golf attire is encouraged, but not required.

“Players receive a wooden putter that would have been used back in the 1890’s, a Niblick which is like a modern day 9-iron, a mashie which is like a modern day 5-iron and a spoon which would be your driver,” said Burt Baine, Greenbrier golf club general manager. “Players also receive replica gutta-percha golf balls that are made the same way as they would in the 1900’s just with modern materials.”

By using the equipment, Baine says, players are given a real sense of where the game has come from and makes them better appreciate the modern equipment, golf balls, and course conditions they experience today.

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Oakhurst – which has been played by the likes of Snead, Tom Watson and Bubba Watson just to name a few – hosts several events each year including the National Hickory Championship held annually in June, the Fall Match Play Tournament, and numerous corporate and group events.

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Baine says a wide range of players come to experience Oakhurst, but overall the demographic falls in the 40’s to 50’s.

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“These people are the ones that might have started using some wooden shafted clubs and just want to try it out again,” Baine said. “We have also had a lot younger player who are curious as to how the game was played back then.”

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John Lahtinen is a Connecticut-based writer with nearly 20 years of experience involving news, media, communications, higher education, PR and marketing. He has been playing golf forever and is still finding unique ways to ruin a good round. Adding to his confusion, he plays both right- and left-handed.



  1. JIMMY

    Oct 9, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Every year 4 groups get together and we play a mini-tournament with Forged Blades and actual woods. Alot of fun.

  2. Keith

    Oct 9, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Google Jeremy Moe, he’s one of the top Hickory players in the country and the pro at nice little place in Ft. Smith AR called Hardscrabble CC. He won the Hickory World Match Play in July and won last year US Hickory Open by 11 shots. Two day score of 141. He has an extremely smooth swing and a flatter angle of attack. Hard for a digger to do well. He also very rarely hits woods, hits a driving iron and sacrifices some distance for accuracy.

    Our club plays his club every year in a Ryder Cup event and our pro and myself are always matched up against Jeremy and one of his members in AS and BB. He actually putted with his hickory putter and broke it off in us in BB to the tune of 5-4 (we squeezed by them in AS 2-1). Pretty sure he could take his hickory’s out and beat my a$$ around the course.

  3. ben

    Oct 9, 2014 at 10:29 am

    would love to do this, though not in the attire of the age.

    question, what would a 6 handicap expect to shoot with this old equipment? i wonder if i could break 90.

    • Ryan

      Oct 9, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      We did this same thing at Old Bandon golf Links. We had played 5 rounds over the prior 3 days at Bandon Dunes. All of us shot within a few strokes of our cap, and comfortably similar to how we played on the 7000 yard courses with modern equipment.

      We played with gutta percha balls which was an experience and took quite a bit of getting used to on the greens (they are very light and lose pace very quickly). After a bit of time warming up it was comfortable to see that I good stroke appears to be rewarding regardless of the era of the equipment.

  4. Kevin

    Oct 9, 2014 at 9:46 am

    We have a course and the equipment here in Fife at Hill of Tarvit just outside Cupar. Believe it’s called Kinggarroch

  5. bradford

    Oct 9, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Cool, and I agree-This goes on the golf bucket list.

    • dot dot

      Oct 9, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      75 bucks to play nine holes! This sounds like just another gimicky way to commercialize golf and grab a few bucks from your wallet.

  6. Nevin

    Oct 9, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Wonderful place. I’ve played it several times. If you have haven’t been there it is worth considering. I found the clubs to be easier to hit than I thought they would be.

  7. Ken

    Oct 8, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Gotta love this event! I only wear kilts when I’m home alone sipping something Irish. This would be, yet, another use.

  8. Hellstorm

    Oct 8, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    I wanted to play there when I was at Greenbrier last year but didn’t make it out. The way I was playing, I would have needed more than two balls though.

  9. Philip

    Oct 8, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    That is cool. Have to put it on my golf todo list.

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SPOTTED: New Callaway Forged irons… Apex or Legacy?



Photos of a new Callaway Forged iron popped up in our GolfWRX Forums, and our members are trying to figure out whether they’re going to be replacements for Apex Pro irons, or whether they’re an update on the Legacy series. They could also be X-Forged irons, but since Callaway recently came out with new X-Forged irons, that would be unlikely.

Here’s what GolfWRX Members are saying:

  • elwhippy: A new Legacy iron? Looks a bit Japanese shaped. 
  • mattTHEkatt: Like an X-Forged/Legacy Black mashup. They look powerful. 
  • DTown3011: …gotta be the next Apex!
  • J13: Pics look like a newer legacy black.
  • mgholda: Pics look like a newer legacy black.
  • TheMoneyShot: I thought Cally was going to phase out the Apex name after they released the MBs?
  • john443: A larger cavity in these then the X- Forged… competitor to the 750 and AP3 maybe? …or Legacy Black finally brought to retail…hallelujah. CF16 replacement???!
  • Equipto: These look very sharp, and like thumpers. I don’t care if they are a Legacy Black or Apex replacement, call them whatever… i’ll try them 
  • mrmikeac: Next gen Callaway Apex Legacy? Hmmmm…..
  • Brizam: The Legacy Black might be the best players cavity back ever made.  If they were to become available they’d move straight to the top of the list of clubs to buy for me. 
  • Jourdan M: This is the Apex Pro 

Here are photos of the new Callaway irons we spotted

Previous Apex Pro irons

Previous Legacy irons

Which one do you think the new iron looks like? 

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Wilson’s new FG Tour V6 RAW irons (yes, they will rust)



Wilson came out with its FG Tour V6 irons in 2016, but these new Raw versions have a different look… and with time, they’ll have a VERY different look.

The new FG Tour V6 Raw irons have an unplated finish, and they’re designed to “develop a unique patina based on age, exposure and use over time,” according to Wilson. This gives each iron a unique look, and one that’s far from the clean cut original FG Tour release that had a chrome finish (which won’t rust).

In addition to the rusting effect, the irons are different because they have a copper badge in the cavity that will eventually match the color of the golf club over time. Here’s a graphic mock-up of how the Raw irons may look overtime.

Like the original releases, the irons have tungsten weights and mass behind the impact area for a “forged feel” and “improved feedback,” according to the company.

The FG Tour V6 Raw irons are a custom option on, and are available through Wilson’s premium partner accounts as of today, Tuesday, June 19. According to Wilson, the Raw irons “are a very limited production run,” so only a certain amount of sets will even be built.


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Chief Engineer Chris Voshall on Mizuno’s approach to the Tour and some of the most insightful pros



Mizuno’s Chief Engineer Chris Voshall chatted with Johnny Wunder on the latest episode of the Gear Dive.

Voshall offers innumerable interesting anecdotes–particularly interesting is the development of the JPX 900 iron for Brooks Koepka and Voshall’s discussion of his work with other Tour talents.

In the excerpt below, however, Voshall discusses Mizuno’s approach to Tour players and further, whose feedback has proven particularly valuable.

“We’re not making them something special. If they’re coming to us, it’s because the product is that good…They come to us instead of us having to go to them…that’s one of the really exciting things.”

Voshall indicated that players on Tour play essentially the same Mizuno products that are available at retail.

“If the Tour van is out of inventory, they can reach out to us…and we’ll get them more heads. There’s nothing unique about what they’re playing, which I think speaks to the customer…you can almost not trust marketing around the whole world these days, but for us to say ‘there’s nothing different’…that’s something we really hang our hat on.”

With respect to excellent testers on Tour, Voshall sang Luke Donald’s praises, as well as Jhonny Vegas and Brian Gay.

“I love working with Luke. Luke, especially when you’re talking irons…turf interaction, that’s the thing he’s looking for. So with Luke, you’ve really got to speak to him about how it feels, how it enter, how it exits [the turf] and how that’s causing the ball to launch. You could give him the exact same head with a slightly different sole grind, and he will love or hate one versus the other. He’s really cool to work with on that front.”

“Jhonny Vegas…he’s raw power. He goes at it. He wants to slam the club into the ground as hard as he can and see where it goes. He very much on the opposite end of the spectrum as Luke, who’s very much an artist out there, trying to work it, trying to do different things.”

“One of my favorite guys to work with, even though he’s not on staff anymore, is Brian Gay. He knows his game. He knows equipment. Speaking to the fact that he’s been out on Tour as long as he has and has the wins he has with the length he hits the ball, it shows that he does not miss a shot. And he knows everything…when he makes a comment on a club, that’s the one that I take most serious.”

For the rest of Voshall’s insights and perspective, give the full podcast a listen below.

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19th Hole