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
Though it only opened its green runways in 2001, Clover Valley Golf Club's 18-hole course has the look of a timeless landmark. Massive weeping willow trees cast shadows throughout the grounds, and the 7,149-yard links snake through waterways that seem as if they've wrapped around bent-grass fairways and greens since the beginning of time. From the tips, the course tests even the longest drivers with four par-fives that exceed 530 yards in length. Five sets of tees make the course playable for golfers of all abilities, and bunkers and water hazards require most golfers to hit every club in their bags, though not at the same time.
The course is supplemented with a variety of practice areas, including a 3,500-square-foot chipping area, a 5,500-square-foot putting green, and a driving range with target greens. Between rounds, golfers can fill up at the clubhouse lounge or restock on golf gear in the pro shop.
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.
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
The telltale sounds of fun fill the air at either Magic Mountain Fun Center location, as friends and families careen around tracks in go-karts, compete on mind-bending mini-golf courses, or do battle in bumper cars. Piping-hot pizzas fuel days of rides and arcade games, and the park's varied birthday packages catapult parties into a fun-filled gamut of feasting, bumper boats, and laser tag. Open late, the parks afford guests the opportunity to while the night away or lure their night terrors in front of a speeding bumper car.