The Navy Academy Golf Course in Maryland.

The Naval Academy Golf Course in Annapolis, Md., underwent major changes over the last couple of years.

Mozell Photography

Our knowledgeable crew of course raters have played golf just about everywhere. Many of those courses you’ve probably heard of, but some are less renowned — at least for most golfers. In Best Course You’ve Never Heard Of, we celebrate those sneaky-good designs.

As a proud graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., I subscribe wholeheartedly to the mantra, “Go Army, Beat Navy.” Slightly further down my list of guiding principles is the saying, “Give Credit Where Credit is Due.” Therefore, as painful as it is for me to admit, the best course you may have never heard of is the William Flynn-designed Naval Academy Golf Course, in Annapolis, Md.

The history of the course is about as random as having a billy goat for a school mascot, but in the end it all worked out. In 1938, the U.S. Navy purchased land near the academy in order to expand its radio communications facility. On that land happened to be an abandoned 18 holes, once belonging to the Greenbury Point Yacht Club. In 1940, a new nine-hole course was established. Then, in 1942, Flynn, the famed architect behind such vaunted designs as Shinnecock Hills, Merion, The Country Club and Cherry Hills, was brought in to create a new 18-hole layout from the existing nine holes. The course opened (again!) in 1944 and proved to be Flynn’s swan song, as he passed away that same year of kidney disease, at 53.

The Naval Academy Golf Course restoration was finished in 2020.

Mozell Photography

Over the next half century, as the annual Star Match between Army and Navy golf toggled back and forth between the teams’ home venues, little was done to the Naval Academy Course. It wasn’t until 2018 that Andrew Green was tasked with restoring the original Flynn bones. Doing so involved expanding the fairways, reshaping the greens and adding 21 fairway bunkers. A major turf overhaul took place as well, headed by superintendent Eric David. The restoration was complete and ready for play in 2020.

The course is managed by the Naval Academy Golf Association and open to Midshipmen, active-duty and retired military, Academy faculty, staff and their guests. As is the case with many university-owned courses, it can be a bit tricky gaining access, but if you find yourself in the D.C./Mid-Atlantic area, it’s worth calling up an old Navy friend to play this classic. Just don’t let them fool you: the nation’s finest service academy was established in 1802, some 260 miles north!

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KINGWOOD — A jury could hear a former Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy cadet’s lawsuit against the Academy and the West Virginia National Guard later this year.

Jason Ryan Moorhead of Logan County filed a civil lawsuit against the West Virginia National Guard and Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy in 2018 in Preston County Circuit Court.

Moorhead said he suffered “severe injury” to his right and left femurs when jumping from a top bunk while at the academy in 2015. He alleges he didn’t receive adequate medical treatment and that his parents weren’t notified of the injuries.

Moorhead left the ChalleNGe Academy before completing the 22-week program. He is suing as an adult.

The academy and National Guard deny the allegations.

In a hearing Thursday in Preston County Circuit Court, attorneys for both sides said they were not able to reach a settlement agreement through out-of-court mediation.

On Thursday, Circuit Judge Steve Shaffer set an Aug. 27 date for the attorneys to complete discovery in the case. Discovery is the gathering and exchanging of evidence in a suit.

Thursday’s hearing was held virtually by Microsoft Teams. On Oct. 22, the lawyers and their clients are to appear in person before the judge to present pretrial motions.

Shaffer set the hearing for the afternoon to give them time to travel from the southern part of the state to Preston County.

Moorhead’s attorney, Wesley Queen of Beckley, estimated the trial will last four days. Shaffer said it is possible the trial could be held this year. A trial date will be set at the motions hearing.

Preston County Circuit Court has not had any civil jury trials since the pandemic hit, Shaffer noted. There have, however, been a number of criminal trials in the courtroom under COVID-19 restrictions.

When trials are held in the circuit court, the jury is seated, socially distanced, on one side of the courtroom, on benches previously used by spectators. Everyone in the courtroom must wear a mask unless he or she is speaking, and there are Plexiglas dividers between attorneys and others seated at the front of the courtroom.

Christopher Ross, who represents both the ChalleNGe Academy and West Virginia National Guard, said the two sides will likely engage in another mediation attempt before the trial date.

Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy is a free program at Camp Dawson, operated by the West Virginia National Guard. West Virginians ages 16-to-18 can attend the residential program. In additional to physical training, cadets spend time in the classroom and have the opportunity to earn their high school diploma and learn job and other skills to help them in life.