Rolling over the naturally hilly landscape, the bright-green turf of Statler’s Fun Center’s miniature-golf course winds around the center’s 1,528-foot go-kart track. Engines roar as racers 10 or older zip through the over-and-under bridge’s tight turns or give their lead foot free rein on the straightaways.
The soundtrack of purring motors underscores high-stakes games of miniature golf as players putt their way through deviously landscaped greens, expertly maneuvering the cave with a hidden waterfall and defeating the final hole guarded by squatting gophers. An air-conditioned snack shop provides respite from summer heat with cool drinks and an arcade full of excuses to hang out indoors, such as the classic air-hockey table and skee-ball.
Named for the sunny yellow birdsfoot trefoil flowers strewn throughout the course—sprouted from seeds that fell off hay wagons rumbling through years ago on the fields of the former Buffalo Creek Farms—the championship golf course at Birdsfoot Golf Club enchants golfers with rolling hills and country charm. The links-style front nine give way to a back nine whose fairways open over hills, inviting golfers to pull out their drivers and whack dimpled orbs with the club-swinging gusto usually reserved for cracking eggs into an omelet pan. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette highlights the course’s 465-yard third hole as one of the 18 best public holes in western Pennsylvania, citing its mounded fairway, which doglegs left and challenges putts with a downhill, sloped green. As carts zoom from one hole to the next, they traverse a path where bogeyman faces carved by a local artist peer from tree trunks. When players finish their rounds, they can unwind in a clubhouse where ghosts from its former life as a farmhouse offer advice on covertly changing scorecard results.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course
Length of 7,034 yards
Course rating of 74.4
Slope rating of 137
See an interactive course tour
Totaling a little more than 2,500 yards laid end to end, the nine holes that constitute Maple Crest Golf Course's rolling hills challenge players to exhibit deft control in order to master its relatively short layout. Big hitters who can keep the ball in play enjoy wide, open fairways, but overzealous strokes may fly out of bounds or enter into orbit, forcing a difficult re-entry through the atmosphere and onto the 5,000-square-foot greens. The par 3 sixth hole forces players to hit their tee shot into a narrow opening above a ravine, and the par 5 ninth hole—the course’s longest at 464 yards—protects its multitiered green with trees and uphill lies.
Course at a Glance:
Eighteen-hole, par 68 course
Total length of more than 5,000 yards from the back tees
Bettering your golf game is what's at the center of the fun at Bumble Bee Hollow— and it all comes back to director of golf Lorraine Klippel, an LPGA Master and Hall of Famer. Starting with the facility's driving range, golfers come to launch practice shots from more than 50 upper and lower hitting stalls. That's a lot of space dedicated to the long game, yet Lorraine still made sure to carve out areas where players can work on their softer swings. You can encounter that action in Bumble Bee's pitching and putting areas, or on the 18-hole mini-golf course, where the putting tracts were designed to mimic the gentle contours of real greens.
Formerly a private course for more than 50 years, Oakview Golf Club now welcomes the public to take on its lengthy, 6,098-yard layout. The course nestled in Butler County features immaculate bentgrass fairways that veer through tree lines of a dense forest. The golf course demands that golfers not only demonstrate distance and control but also the ability to look both ways when crossing the street in search of a wayward tee shot or a pet headcover that has run away. The club's strong membership base keeps greens buzzing with local loyalists well into the season.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 70 course * Total length of 6,098 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 70.4 from the back tees * Course slope of 124 from the back tees
The course at Pheasant Ridge Golf Club is an 18-hole test of wills and skills marked by dense foliage and dramatic swings in elevation. While water doesn't play a major role throughout?a lake comes into play on just one hole?that doesn't mean players can recklessly swing for the proverbial fences. The slender fairways are wrapped in a tight sleeve of trees, ready to swallow up errant shots or possibly knock them into the fairway if the player has a reputation as a friend of the forest.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,578 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 70.2 from the back tees * Course slope of 129 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole * Scorecard