When the morning fog clears, a bridge fashioned out of five rustic corncribs appears to pay homage to EagleSticks Golf Club's roots. Originally used to feed the horses that grazed on the erstwhile farm, the wood from the corncribs now arches over a creek that splits the fairway on the 11th hole—a 591-yard par 5 dubbed the course's signature attraction for its bending fairway, elevated tee box, and visible ties to a bucolic past. Designed by renowned Ohio architect Dr. Michael Hurdzan, the 6,508-yard course challenges golfers with constant elevation changes—some of which exceed 100 feet—that demand accuracy, sound course management, and the ability to activate the cart's hang-gliding wings. Throughout the round, bentgrass fairways and greens present a much more hospitable landing place than the course's thick, bluegrass rough. At various hillcrests and elevated tees, players can take in a full view of the course's scenery, which includes several waterfalls and woodlands populated by oak, maple, ash, locust, and cherry trees ripe for the hugging.
After a day on the links, golfers can gather at Mac's Sports Bar to quiet rumbling bellies with a menu of classic American food such as burgers, sandwiches, and pizza. Guests can unwind in Mac's dining room—which features eight televisions, an open-beam ceiling, and other contemporary touches—or at the adjoining patio, which attracts summertime breezes and ghostly golf balls trying to reconnect with their long-lost owner.
Course at a Glance:
Designed by Dr. Michael Hurdzan
18-hole, par 70 course
Length of 6,508 yards from the farthest tees
Bentgrass fairways and greens, bluegrass rough
Any golfer who played a round at Vista Golf Course between 1973 and 2010 may not recognize the course's current vistas. In 2010 the course underwent a major overhaul that saw the replacement of many ponds and tee signage. Though still not an especially long golf course?care was taken to keep it manageable for beginners?several par 4s extend more than 400 yards, giving longer hitters the chance to gain an advantage. A driving range and putting green also give every visitor the chance to work toward improving their swing mechanics.
Located less than 20 miles from Columbus, Westchester Golf Course sprawls across more than 7,100 yards of bentgrass greens, tees, and fairways. Much like a billionaire's living room, the course's impressive layout features six different lakes. Beyond the water hazards, more than 50 bunkers lie in wait to decimate scores. The property's most notable component, though, might be its practice facilities, which include a 10,000-square-foot putting green and a driving range with bentgrass greens for more realistic practice sessions. In addition to those areas, professional instructors are also available for lessons and other programs.
The awards continue to pile up for Longaberger Golf Course, which in 2014 was named the top public course in Ohio by both Golfweek and Golf Digest. Located about 40 miles outside of downtown Columbus, this Arthur Hills-designed masterpiece meanders gracefully from ridge top to valley. The imaginative design incorporates the area's natural layout into its wide, rolling fairways, and panoramic views around every turn truly immerse golfers into the area's beauty.
Visitors can also appreciate stunning views of the course from inside the 60,000-square-foot clubhouse, where elegant furnishings, cathedral ceilings, and a dramatic stone fireplace wait to greet tired players or thirsty golf carts. Those luxurious details carry over into The Overlook restaurant, whose floor-to-ceiling bay windows and outdoor verandah overlook the 18th hole.
Tucked into the rolling hillsides of Johnstown, The Links at Echo Springs is equal parts pretty and challenging. Fairways lined with mature hardwood forests skirt streams and ponds. Off the course, there’s a fully stocked pro shop, a driving range with a PGA staff available for lessons, and a bar and grill waiting to serve up celebratory hamburgers. Click here to see a scorecard and read the course guidelines.
The course at High Lands Golf Club challenges visitors with 6,599 yards of tight lies, concealed obstacles, and fairway trees extending their unlucky limbs into players’ sightlines. Tree-lined fairways and immaculate greens yield some scenic vistas for players bashing orbs along the course’s serpentine length. The signature third hole starts players off from an elevated tee shot that must stay out of the out-of-bounds area on the left, but not drift too far right, where clearing the wooded ravine on the second shot would become impossible. The next shot onto the elevated green is made difficult by the black walnut tree guarding the green, making for an altogether difficult run at par. Toward the end of the round, players must face a gauntlet of obstacles on holes 16, 17, and 18 before heading in for the day. Named the “Bermuda Triangle” for the architect’s tendency to incorporate treacherous waterways and affinity for Bermuda shorts, hole 16 challenges golfers with difficult lies, slippery putts, and water hazards that loom large.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Four sets of tees per hole * Total length of 6,599 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 71.6 from the back tees * Course slope of 130 from the back tees