Snugly resting against the scenic shores of Lake Erie and the borders of a 500-acre nature reserve, Sawmill Creek Resort houses a 240-room lodge and a slew of fun-inducing recreational activities. Before or after catching 40 winks during a one-night stay, use a $25 amenity credit to sample the resort's numerous entertainment bone ticklers. Obliterate dimpled orbs on the 18-hole par 71 golf course, or smooth out knots and sass-mouthed grapes with a one-hour massage or winery tour. The resort's marina hosts the Sawmill Explorer, which guests can board for a Saturday-evening sunset cruise on the lake ($12/person), as well as rentable jet skis, kayaks, and curmudgeonly sea captains. Although the amenity credit is not valid for entertaining bored stomachs, the resort boasts a diverse smattering of restaurants teeming with seafood, steaks, and casual fare.
Line drives sizzle and skid across the facilities at Staton Sports, where ballplayers polish their skills and veteran coaches prep athletes to compete in a variety of sports. Backed by stints with three MLB organizations, the center's president and CEO, T.J. Staton, heads a staff of coaches who bring a combined 20-plus years of professional playing experience to each practice, game, and training session. The center's field also plays host to traveling teams, and inside two party rooms, visitors gather to celebrate birthdays or exalt an adolescent bat's aversion to the peer pressures of cork.
Avondale Golf Club’s par 71 course immerses golfers in a lush landscape of verdant fairways, beguiling water hazards, and arboreal majesty. Unlike the pack animals relied upon by early golfers, golf carts tote clubs and other tackle without ever stopping to graze or braying during a backswing, allowing par pursuers to traverse the course’s 18 holes in expeditious comfort. Weekend and weekday tee times provide ample opportunity to trek across the classic course, home to a rich menagerie of birdies, bogeys, and mulligans since 1974.
From a bird's-eye view, the emerald expanse of All American Sports Center is unmistakably devoted to the sports of golf and baseball. No less than 20 heated tees and 40 seasonal grass tees line the driving range, allowing players to keep shooting for the horizon even after the sun sets and the towering lampposts light up the field. For short games, the center also features a 10,000-square-foot putting green as well as a chipping green complete with hazards such as sand bunkers and kiddie pools full of jury summons. The 18-hole miniature golf course encourages visitors to unwind as they putt past decorative waterfalls and rivers. At the dugout, guests can switch gears to baseball or softball, taking up bats to turn away the wrath of variable-speed pitching machines.
The seventh hole at Grey Hawk Golf Club could be the finishing hole at any PGA Tour host course. Water runs from the tee all the way to the green down the left side of the 578-yard par-five as it bends to the left, making any effort to cut the corner a daring proposition. A bunker on the right side of the fairway awaits any shots that fade right, and a stream runs across the front of the green, capping off the course's most difficult hole. The treacherous par-five is one of many memorable hole designs on the 18-hole, 7,079-yard course, which features water on 16 holes and a par-three with a true island green that tests golfers' confidence in their swing or their ability to skip a ball across the surface of the water. Mounded terrain and numerous sandtraps characterize the rest of the layout, which was designed by the venerable golf trio of von Hagge, Smelek, and Baril.
Course at a Glance: