Getting To Know: Wasioto Winds at Pine Mountain State Park
An Insightful Interview With Donnie Caldwell, PGA, Program Director
By Brian Weis
Whether you have played a course 20+ times a year or looking to play the course for the first time, insights from an insider can help enhance your golf experience. Below is an interview with Donnie Caldwell, PGA who shares some valuable tidbits about the course, memorable holes and must eats and treats at the 19th.
Give Our Readers An Overview of the Golf Course/Property
Wasioto Winds is championship golf with a picturesque mountain surrounding. Can you imagine a flat golf course with strategically placed lakes, ponds, and creeks meandering through lush fairways with towering colorful mountains? That is some of what you will remember given the chance to play this award winning venue. Every year we hear that our greens are the "best greens we have played all year" from numerous guests. Wasioto Winds (pronounced Wah-see-OH-tuh, means Valley of the Deer) was rated fourth among Best New Affordable Public Golf Courses in January 2003 issue of Golf Digest. The ten million dollar Michael Hurdzan-designed golf course is "a difficult course but friendly to the high handicapper."
In May, the native rhododendrons and hemlocks present a "Masterful" look along the 12th hole as they are in full bloom. This natural beauty is a display of God's wonderful creations along with a terrific design and a challenging test. The championship course offers multiple tees allowing our facility to accommodate tournament golf while at the same time catering to the "TEE it forward" initiatives of the PGA. The multiple teeing grounds, the variations of the five par 3s and five par 5s, give this mesmerizing stop plenty of character.
In late October, we often enjoy the fall foliage in full display as we continue our competition around this scenic track. The facility offers a large practice area with 20+ practice stations and a massive putting green. The expansive practice options are helpful with Wasioto Winds being the host of The First Tee Pine Mountain.
If Someone Was Looking To Golf In The Area, Why Should They Play Your Course?
Wasioto Winds is a terrific course because of the friendly staff, wonderful greens, picturesque surroundings, and the challenge of mastering a stellar test in golf. Don't worry if you are new to the game, our teeing grounds can be shortened by 3000 yards to accommodate all levels of play.
What Tips or Local Knowledge Would You Provide To Help Them Score Better At Your Course?
#1 Pick the right yardage for you. This course can accommodate a tour professional in difficulty. Enjoy the game and play the appropriate tee.
#2 There is plenty of work at the greens. Our greens contain L-93 bent grass and will be quick for the majority of the season. Our staff can help you read the grain at the practice area before you begin. Basically, play a bit more break than you see and our grain will follow the flow of water off of the surface. In addition to the grain, we have three color codes to help in flag locations: red = front, white = middle, and yellow = back.
#3 Keep it in play even if you don't hit your driver off of each tee. We have lots of water - trees sometimes bounce back, water doesn't. While some courses may be lined with trees along their fairways, we have water on several.
Recent Awards or What You Are Most Proud About The Course?
2008-09 4-Stars Golf Digest "Best Places to Play"
2007 #3 GolfWeek "Best in State"
2002 "Best New Affordable Public Courses", Ranked #4 Nationally by Golf Digest Magazine esigner, Michael Hurzdan
2002 "Best New Challenges" Golf Magizine #1 A Trailblazer in Kentucky Numerous "Best of the Best" and "Best places to play"
What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
#12 455 yard Par 4
It offers one of our only elevation changes on the course and the contrast of "Beauty and Beast" due to the natural picturesque towering hemlocks and blossoming rhododendrons coupled with the sounds of clear creek hugging the opposite side of the hole. This hole is a game-changer as well in competition.
What Is Your Favorite Hole? Any Tips to Play It?
My favorite hole is the par 4 #9 closing out the front nine. I love this hole because of the backdrop scenery. Personally, I like to play the hole from the 354 yardage to set up a wedge and take advantage of the undulation on the receptive green. From the 423 tee box it plays much longer and requires a solid tee shot. If you play from the back tee, favor the right side even if you play to the rough, the left side brings the water in play if the tee ball isn't struck well or into the wind. Keep the approach shot below the hole for you putt. Every putt is difficult on this hole due to the back to front slope.
Must Have Dish or Drink after the round at the 19th Hole?
Head to the Pine Mountain State Park Lodge for your fresh flame broiled Bacon Cheeseburger or the famous "Kentucky Hot Brown". The catfish is always a hit.
Who Holds Course Record and What Was Their Score?
We record competitive course records at Wasioto Winds since opening in 2001.
Matt Gann, Pineville holds the competitive course record of 62 (10-under par) during the 2012 Wasioto Winds Club Championship from Sunday's Round on August 26th, 2012
John Kartheiser, Lexington /Tony Brown, Ashland/ Matt Gann, Pineville all share the Competitive Course Record from the Championship Tees at 66 (6-under par) Kentucky Public Links Championship
Back Tee Stats
Wasioto Winds at Pine Mountain State Park
114 Highway 190
Pineville, Kentucky, 40977
Revised: 02/05/2014 - Article Viewed 31,316 Times
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About: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler