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.
Members at Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, rotate around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and manage arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help to manage participants’ machine maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use your own body weight, fitness level, and aerodynamic water bottle to create resistance that matches abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lifting and lowering motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses pushing and pulling motions to develop toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
The awards continue to pile up for Longaberger Golf Course, which in 2014 was named the top public course in Ohio by both Golfweek and Golf Digest. Located about 40 miles outside of downtown Columbus, this Arthur Hills-designed masterpiece meanders gracefully from ridge top to valley. The imaginative design incorporates the area's natural layout into its wide, rolling fairways, and panoramic views around every turn truly immerse golfers into the area's beauty.
Visitors can also appreciate stunning views of the course from inside the 60,000-square-foot clubhouse, where elegant furnishings, cathedral ceilings, and a dramatic stone fireplace wait to greet tired players or thirsty golf carts. Those luxurious details carry over into The Overlook restaurant, whose floor-to-ceiling bay windows and outdoor verandah overlook the 18th hole.
With a temperature of 84 degrees every day, CoCo Key Water Resort creates a tropical atmosphere for year-round amphibious amusement. With 50,000 square feet of attractions, families and other social units are sure to find something to suit every swimsuit, from the adventurous Parrot's Perch armed with water cannons to soothing giant whirlpools in the Palm Grotto indoor spa. With its balmy climate control, swimmers can spite the weather and enjoy a tropical paradise that's far more relaxing than trying to cram a palm tree and a tube slide into their shower.
Like a museum of living landscape paintings, The Dawes Arboretum combines the delicate beauties of a Japanese garden, a cypress swamp, and an azalea glen, creating a colorful haven of native plants. But this 1,800-acre wonderland wasn’t always so expansive. In 1929, when nature lovers Beman and Bertie Dawes first transformed their woodland property into an arboretum, it was just a 293-acre swath of Licking County. This stretch, with its rolling hills and mature trees, was so calm that it drew visitors from across the state and instilled a love of nature in the Dawes’ children.
Today, many of the arboretum’s more than 16,000 labeled trees and shrubs are representative of types native to central Ohio, such as the 17 Ohio buckeyes planted to form the number 17. Elsewhere, more than 100 bonsai trees adorn the courtyard by the visitors’ center. Along with plants, the grounds entice explorers with more than 12 miles of hiking trails and a 4-mile auto tour. Antiques and memorabilia from the 19th and 20th centuries adorn the Daweswood House Museum, and the Discovery Center enthralls youngsters with bird watching, crafts, and fun facts about honeybees and frogs.