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:
Renowned course architect Pete Dye sculpted Little Turtle Golf Club's 18-hole course from 6,622 yards of Ohio countryside, artfully incorporating the waters of Big Walnut Creek into the par 72 layout. As golfers pass through the course's tree-lined fairways, they can imagine themselves walking in the footsteps and divotsteps of 1992 Masters champion Fred Couples, who holds the Little Turtle course record along with Champions Tour player Rod Spittle, the club's director emeritus of golf. Water hazards come into play on 10 holes throughout the round, often positioned close to greens to make approach shots a daunting task. The club complements its championship course with a practice facility that boasts a full-length driving range and a green with a practice bunker and designated areas for chipping.
Little Turtle Golf Club pairs its par-hunting pursuits with a lively social regimen, which includes holiday events, gatherings for sports fans, and poker nights. The epicenter for all friendly get-togethers, the Grille Room regales guests with a limestone fireplace, a copper bar, and outdoor seating that overlooks the placid waters and amphibious caddies of Lake Turtle.
Course at a Glance:
Oakhaven Golf Club sharpens swings with a pristine 50-acre driving range. With two buckets of 150 balls each, spheroid slingers can space out their sessions over multiple visits, or take out hundreds of deserving dimples in a furious marathon of club-wielding mayhem. The fully lit range is open year round, ensuring practice time regardless of winter chills or pesky total eclipses. Perfect the particulars of your swing on the 60 grass tees or flaunt parental admonishments against playing ball in the house at one of the 33 heated and covered tees.
Little Bear Golf Club challenges golfers to part with the traditional 9- or 18-hole course paradigm and try their hand at conquering a 10-hole, par 30 layout. With a front and back five that can each be completed in about 40 minutes, the course caters to those who would like to squeeze in a round during their lunch break or set the record for most rounds played during a solar eclipse. Though short in time commitment, the course doesn't scrimp on hazards, as it is strewn with 22 sand traps, more than 1,000 trees, three lakes, and a stone waterfall. Instead of natural turf, players take shots off hybrid grass, which looks and plays just like the real thing but needn't be watered, fertilized, or fine-tooth-combed like traditional grasses. As a bonus to the 10-hole loop, players may also take a shot at the island green of an 11th hole, an homage to the famous 17th hole at the TPC Sawgrass course in Florida. Course at a Glance: