Mystic Rock golf course - Nemacolin Woodlands - hole 11
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Mystic Rock golf course - Nemacolin Woodlands - hole 11
The par-5 11th hole is the most dramatic on the Mystic Rock golf course at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
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Mystic Rock golf course - Nemacolin Woodlands
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Mystic Rock golf course - Nemacolin Woodlands
The rocks are everywhere on the Mystic Rock golf course at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pa. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Mystic Rock golf course - Nemacolin Woodlands - hole 3
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Mystic Rock golf course - Nemacolin Woodlands - hole 3
Only a duff finds the rocks on the par-3 third hole on the Mystic Rock golf course at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Mystic Rock golf course - Nemacolin Woodlands - hole 10
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Mystic Rock golf course - Nemacolin Woodlands - hole 10
The approach shot kicks hard left to right on the 10th hole on Mystic Rock at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Mystic Rock golf course - Nemacolin Woodlands - hole 9
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Mystic Rock golf course - Nemacolin Woodlands - hole 9
Rocks and water make the par-4 ninth hole play so tough on the Mystic Rock golf course at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pennsylvania. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Mystic Rock golf course - Nemacolin Woodlands - hole 12
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Mystic Rock golf course - Nemacolin Woodlands - hole 12
Finding some interesting art is part of the experience at playing Mystic Rock at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Mystic Rock golf course - Nemacolin Woodlands - hole 14
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Mystic Rock golf course - Nemacolin Woodlands - hole 14
A large waste bunker guards the 14th green on the Mystic Rock golf course at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pa. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Mystic Rock golf course - Nemacolin Woodlands - hole 17
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Mystic Rock golf course - Nemacolin Woodlands - hole 17
It's hard to believe the par-3 17th hole is rated the easiest handicap hole on the Mystic Rock golf course at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pennsylvania. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor

Mystic Rock still a magical golf experience at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania

FARMINGTON, Pa. -- The 84 Lumber Classic might be a distant memory, but Mystic Rock at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is still every bit as good as the days it hosted the PGA Tour from 2003-06.

Its tournament champions are immortalized by trophy cases near the pro shop, which resides inside Falling Rock, one of two luxury hotels at the resort, located an hour south of Pittsburgh.

Mystic Rock -- recently named by Golf Advisor as one of the top 10 casino golf courses -- remains one of the most interesting and playable Pete Dye designs . Dye literally had to move portions of the mountain to get it built.

Despite a slope of 149, among the highest in the country, Mystic Rock feels resort friendly for every type of handicap. There are plenty or risk-reward lines tempting players to take on bunkers and water hazards, but Dye always allows for a bail-out, something you don't always get at his other famous tournament courses. Most of the giant rocks decorating the course are rarely in play unless you make a very poor swing.

The two most memorable holes are water-laced par 5s. The 598-yard fifth hole finishes near a pond with a statue of John Daly on an island in the water. Dye built two greens on the hole to create multiple angles of attack, a feature he incorporated on the par-3 12th hole as well. The 634-yard 11th hole is even more dramatic. The semi-blind tee shot must stay left between bunkers. The hole drops downhill as the fairway swings right to follow a rock-lined water hazard before climbing again to a tough green. The closing three-hole stretch is a gut-buster, too.

A bold Dye quote is printed on Mystic Rock's scorecard: "A very special course - it could be my best - time will tell."

His best? Tough to say. But one of his most fun to play? Most certainly.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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While it might be a stretch to call Pittsburgh a golf destination, there are few place better than the Steel City to live and play golf. The Steel City's bounty was not lost on Golf Digest, which in 2011 named Pittsburgh the second-best city in the nation for public golf.
Jason Scott Deegan's list of $200-plus tee times continues, with courses 65 through 120. You've got PGA Tour hosts and other big-name venues, but not all of the courses here are household names.
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Mystic Rock still a magical golf experience at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania
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