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 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
From its upstairs perch in the club house, Vito’s patio offers a panoramic view of the course’s 18th green so that you can witness impressive birdies and amusing putter-flinging meltdowns while sampling the Old Country–influenced menu. Tee off with appetizers such as the three-onion dip ($6.59), calamari parma ($7.99), and zucchini frito ($6.99), or munch one of 11 pre-determined, gourmet, Sicilian pizza pies. “Sangwiches” include the meataballa ($7.59) and grande hot Sicilian ($8.99), while paninis include chicken gorgonzola ($7.99) and roasted turkey ($7.99). For heartier fare, twirl a fork into pastas such as the blackened salmon with angel hair ($14.99) and penne al forno ($7.99, large $11.99), or drive one down the fairway with a house specialty such as the steak Vito ($12.99) or grilled salmon putanesca ($13.99).
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.
Floodlights replace the sun during nightfall at Four Seasons Golf and Ski Center, keeping the miniature golf courses and batting cages aglow for nighttime visitors. During the summer, guests can wind through miniature fairways that incorporate small-scale replicas of The Statue of Liberty, Niagara Falls, and the world's smallest caddies. During the winter, Four Seasons’ slopes welcome copious amounts of snow to facilitate skiing, snowboarding, and snowtubing. The newly renovated facility also hosts a game room and specialty ice cream shop.