Greenbrier Shines for Golfing World to See


              Greenbrier Weather a Classic
The majestic voice of Reba McIntyre is reverberating thru the hills on this eve of the inaugural Greenbrier Classic as the eyes of the golfing world are on West Virginia and the Old White Course in White Sulphur Springs..
If you have ever visited the West Virginia mountains around the Greenbrier Valley, a few things stand out in your mind. First and foremost there is the beauty of the high country. You see the native hardwood trees undergo a metamorphism from bare in winter to lush green in spring-summer to rainbow colors in fall.
Then there is the climate change. From the river valleys of the Ohio, Big Sandy and Kanawha, the mountains rise more than 4,000 feet to their sartorial summit. That rise in elevation makes its presence felt as air temperatures fall as much as 20 degrees from the Ohio Valley floor to the Spruce Knob peak.
Nestled in between the two elevation extremes is the Greenbrier Valley at roughly 2500 feet above sea level. Here life is best described as idyllic in mid-summer with cattle farming king and the mountain meadows, drenched in morning dew, breathtaking. As PGA golf pro and Aussie native Stuart Appleby told me a few weeks ago at media day, “this is my first time in West Virginia. You feel like you have slipped back in time and are one with nature. Being a country boy, I miss that”!
If you are packing a knapsack and making the trip on the Turnpike and I-64 into the Greenbrier Valley this week, you will be happy to know the air will feel comfy compared to our summer long “love-affair” with tropical air and humidity.
Thursday’s temperature will feel sticky but hold near 80 thanks to a cloud cover. That’s a welcome relief from the nearly constant run of 85 to 90 degree days the Greenbrier Valley has felt this summer. When rains fall, a temperature closer to 72 will be felt.
Since off and on tropical showers are in the forecast on Thursday, rain gear is recommended as you follow your favorite stars. I heard Jim Furyk (#4 in the world) say he thought the course was already soft and receptive to low scores. So given the forecast for rain during the first round, it is a good bet the pros will take advantage of the slower greens and shoot in the mid 60s.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that Thursday’s rains shift south of the Fairlea fairgrounds by evening as Rascal Flats will be in concert.
By Friday the weather will turn absolutely stunning at the Old White with friendly white cumulus clouds painted on a strikingly cobalt blue canvas. Afternoon highs in the upper 70s will belie the fact that the sunburn index will be sky high.
Right now the weekend looks good for golf with plenty of sunshine and highs in the 80s. I will keep you posted.
P.S. Thanks to Green Thumb himself for the enclosed shot of the begonias, daiseys and black eyed Susan at the Old White.
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