Ranked 56th on Golf Magazine's 2010 Top 100 Courses You Can Play, Longaberger Golf Club's immaculate, Arthur Hills–designed course stretches across 7,243 yards of rolling hills and parkland-style terrain. Begin a day of orb-blasting bravado with a stint at the club's 25-acre natural grass driving range, where target greens stretch into the distance, beckoning seductively to practice balls and recently single 9-irons. The lengthy course challenges golfers early on at the par 5 fourth hole—the course's most difficult hole—where orbs must travel 563 yards from the back tees to reach the green while also contending with a treacherous 150-foot drop in elevation. A generous selection of five tee options helps players of all club-flailing fortitude tame the formidable grassy monolith and its unruly gang of cart-hating, motorcycle-riding ex-caddies.
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:
Westchester Golf Course's lush landscape and sophisticated design set the stage for an exciting game that’ll make you feel as if you’re in the Scottish highlands without the haggis. The par 72 course features six lakes, more than 75 bunkers, bentgrass tees, and a 10,000-square-foot putting green to challenge all skill levels and accommodate all practice needs. The course was designed by Dr. Michael Hurdzan, ASGCA, and boasts a rating of 73.6 and a slope rating of 128 from the championship tees. Because a golf cart will also be included in your game, you'll enjoy a relaxing roundabout while staying out of the sun and easily skirting ominous shadows. While at Westchester, you may also want to peruse the impressively stocked Pro Shop or recharge with a hot dog or sandwich from the on-site snack bar.
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.