Opened in 2002, the course at Twisted Gun Golf Club occupies the site of an old coal mine near Gilbert, in Mingo County. Recently transferred to the municipal authority, it’s one of the county’s most prized sporting assets.
Twisted Gun is located on a firmer coal mining site and the site is indeed an interesting one because the course is isolated and free of any invasive clutter.
The main issue is that the design is fairly ordinary. The design details that could have really helped are missing and far too often you have basic holes with the obligatory bunker or two in concert with fairly vanilla greensites.
For the average golfer the time at Twisted Gun will be enjoyable. But, if you are an architectural maven the sum total of the parts that cause your pulse to speed up is only present at few times.
The par-4 10th is quite attractive. From an elevated tee you must avoid the water penalty area that lines the right side with the green hugging the same water area on the approach.
The other design element of note is the double-green encountered at the 9th and 18th holes. Both holes play roughly the same yardage -- and a water penalty area comes into play on both holes by the mega-sized putting surface. The approach shot on both holes is truly tested because the available landing area for either hole is quite limited. It's too bad this type of design creativity could not have been carried out a number of other holes.
Of the two sides -- the inward half is a bit better and more diverse in terms of hole types. The short par-3 13th is a fine counterpoint to the much longer par-3 10th.
Getting to the course is no small feat and in my visit I was amazed at the beautiful scenery West Virginia provides. Twisted Gun clearly is a fine addition to the Mountaineer golf scene but in terms of ammo provided the net result is a layout that's shooting more blanks than real firepower.
M. James Ward