For 50 years, linksmen have surveyed the ins and outs of the nine-hole, par-36 design of Hidden Oaks Golf Course. After getting in the groove on the practice grounds and new driving range, stick wielders venture through the course's 100 acres of wooded vistas, filling the cups of par 3, 4, and 5 holes.
The 6,490-yard course at Wicked Woods Golf Club challenges golfers of all types with rolling tree-lined fairways and ball-gobbling sand traps. Each elevated tee box proffers whimsical views of undulating greens and serene water hazards, and provides peace of mind to sensitive club heads that favor precise placement over crushing drives or explosive putts. A complimentary cart transports twosomes and their clubs to pins or shanked shots more easily than a piggyback ride from a caddy, and keeps muscles well rested for canoodling with the gallery after sinking holes-in-one. Resulting in the utmost of relaxation, weekend rounds cap off long workweeks, and weekday matches utilize fast-rolling greens to get golf balls home before curfew.
Since 1985, the Kent State University Museum has served as a time-traveling portal for fashion and design, allowing style-stalkers to admire some of the world’s most exquisite dresses, costumes, paintings, and furniture dating back to the 18th century. The museum came into being when two New York dress manufacturers, Jerry Silverman and Shannon Rodgers, donated 4,000 costumes and accessories, nearly 1,000 pieces of decorative art, and a 5,000-volume reference library. A year later the museum was fortified with 10,000 pieces of American glass, from Akron antique collectors Jabe Tarter and Paul Miller, which had been carefully guarded from errant baseball throws and juggle-hungry clowns. Today the eight galleries feature a revolving door of exhibits from world-famous artists and designers, highlighting the cultural and artistic significance of fashion.
Sling a quiver of nine-iron bows and dimpled, spherical arrows over your shoulder and hit the 18-hole New Castle Country Club Course for a game of golf (a $100 value). Designed by famed course designer A. W. Tillinghast and built in 1923, the 6,600-yard course, easily traversed by your included golf cart ($25), offers ample opportunity for both exhilarating eagles and disappointing duffs. Walter-Hagens-in-training will refuel with a boxed lunch of ham or turkey croissants with snacks and drink ($10), and rue that shank on the 14th hole at the locker room, driving range, or bag service area ($15 value for use of all three). If you care to sip on some alcoholic refreshment, those alongside other menu items are available for separate purchase. Put on your favorite tam o'shanter and hit the links at New Castle Country Club for a round of the thinking man's polo.
The 9-hole, par-three course at Mulligan Springs, situated in Portage County, challenges, but also subdues, golfers with reflective ponds and mini waterfalls that ripple across rocky structures. Here, the casual, uncrowded atmosphere is especially inviting to novice golfers, who can avoid the air of intimidation and ball washers filled with molasses that come with playing on more difficult courses. As abundant as they are out on the links, Mulligan Springs' modest vibes stretch to its clubhouse area, which features an outdoor patio for relaxing after rounds.
A towering dome dedicated to golf practice looms over The Golf Dome’s multifaceted grounds, serving as the gravitational center of a facility dedicated to recreational golf and baseball practice. Inside the vaulted white roof, golfers stroke drives from one of 34 hitting bays at the indoor, two-tiered driving range, where distance-reading software flashes instant readouts of shot trajectory and the pain inflicted on each practice ball. The dome further facilitates climate-controlled clubbing with a putting and chipping area and Full Swing golf simulators, which allow golfers to play digital recreations of more than 30 of the world’s top courses.
Outside, a scenic, 20-foot waterfall draws players to the 18-hole miniature golf course, where contoured greens run between rocky outcrops, interrupted by water that comes into play on 14 holes. The din of sharply struck line drives echoes throughout the grounds, sonic evidence of the six adjacent batting cages, where players swing at high-arching softballs, baseballs hurled at up to 75 miles per hour, and tiny meteors raining from the sky.
Sculpted into the Ohio countryside in 1928, Maplecrest Golf Club’s course spans 6,312 yards of immaculate fairways that arch over gentle hilltops for a par 71 round. The club’s intrepid greenskeepers work hard to keep the course in pristine condition, including maintaining an onsite greenhouse where they grow all the course’s plants, trees, flowers, and sand-trap rakes before incorporating them into the layout. Throughout the course, fairways tunnel through imposing tree lines, so players should consider making a preround stop at the club’s driving range or bribing the oldest oak in their neighborhood for favorable treatment from its fellow timbers.