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.
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.
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:
A tricky aspect of the game of golf – and one that amateurs are often slow to recognize – is the notion that all misses aren’t created equal. This becomes starkly apparent with shots into the green, from mid-iron approaches down to greenside chips. Often, beginners give in to the temptation to hit directly at the hole, thinking that it will leave them with the shortest possible putt. While there are certainly situations when going directly at the flagstick is the right decision, they’d be much better off remembering to take into account the other factors at play, such as the layout of the green, where the pin is positioned upon it, and whether or not a lemur’s head is sticking out of the cup. With a little forethought and execution, they should be able to set themselves up perfectly for the next shot – usually a short uphill putt. Versus a downhill putt, uphill putts can be struck harder with little risk, making them less susceptible to lateral movement, more forgiving, and less likely to fly past the hole and settle on the opposite fringe.
Golfers will find themselves embroiled in this decision-making process numerous times throughout a round at Green Valley Golf Club, a rolling course tucked into the hills of Tuscarawas County. On just about all of the 18 undulating greens, stopping the ball on the downhill side of the pin is the correct move. If they succeed and sink their putts, players give themselves a good shot of posting a good score against the par of 72. And if they don’t, they can always eat away their post-round regrets with a hamburger, coney dog, or smoked sausage at the 19th Hole.
Course at a Glance:
Morgantown hugs the Pennsylvania border along the picturesque Monongahela River. Farther southeast, toward the Allegheny Mountains, Cheat River draws outdoor enthusiasts with its springtime whitewater rafting. Those interested in a more peaceful communion with nature can hike along Caperton Trail, which passes a vintage train depot and heads into historical downtown Morgantown.Home of West Virginia University, downtown Morgantown blends the dynamism of a university town with rustic, small-town charm. Along Main Street, antique shops, art galleries, and boutiques now occupy late 19th-century Victorian buildings. Decadent chocolates take center stage on April 14 for Chocolate Lovers' Day, when the downtown area teems with dessert samples and the Monongahela is drained and filled with liquefied chocolate.
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: