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Forbes names Pikewood National 2nd-hardest course in U.S.

Forbes Magazine named Pikewood National Golf Courseat No. 2 among its list of the Five Hardest Golf Courses in the United States.

Other courses in the Forbes list include The International in Bolton, Mass., Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill., Oak Tree National in Edmond, Okla., and Kiawah Island Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, S.C.

Pikewood National is a par-72, 7,649-yard private course located near Morgantown.

“High atop a mesa in the mountains near Morgantown, West Virginia, is the breathtaking Pikewood National,” wrote Forbes contributor Erik Matuszewski. “Designed in the tradition of classic architects like Donald Ross and Alister MacKenzie, this challenging, picturesque and ultra-private course is a spectacular walk through mature forests and immense rock outcroppings.”

Last spring, Golf Digest ranked Pikewood National among “America’s Hardest Golf Courses.” Since opening in 2004, Pikewood National has been recognized by Golf Digest as the best new private course in America and listed among its “World’s Hundred Greatest Golf Courses.”

“Pikewood National is the most challenging, fair and beautiful course in the world”, says Dow Finsterwald, a former Ryder Cup captain and PGA champion who serves as pro emeritus at Pikewood National.

Pikewood National was designed by John Raese and Bob Gwynne, whose vision was to incorporate classical design with modern construction techniques. Raese is the owner of West Virginia Radio Corporation, the parent company of MetroNews.

“We are delighted to have been selected by Forbes for this honor,” Raese said. “Forbes Magazine is one of the most widely recognized and informative publications in the world. The ‘Five Hardest Golf Courses in the United States’ is a very impressive list, particularly when you consider that Oakmont, a course known for both hosting U.S. Opens and its difficulty, is not on the list.

Gwynne said Pikewood National was designed to be challenging and fair. “We wanted to test a player’s level of skill and have the course identify areas needed for improvement in a player’s game. It is exciting to see Forbes recognize Pikewood in this way.”

Forbes assembled its list by taking the USGA Course Rating System into consideration, along with both slope rating and bogey ratings. “So difficulty is gauged for your scratch golfers as well as your average amateur who tees it up once a week,” Forbes wrote.