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:
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.
Instructors Russ and Lynn Edgington hold the reins at Edgewood Equestrian. Along with instructor Stacy Boles, they specialize in classical dressage, cowboy dressage, and driving dressage. They take on all levels of riders, leading private, semiprivate, and group lessons for adults and kids. Their indoor and outdoor facilities allow them to conduct lessons in any type of weather, meaning students can bond with stallions even if it is raining, snowing, or so sunny that horses would instinctively go to the beach if not kept indoors.
Boat Boys’ experienced crew equips seafarers with pontoon and ski boats for sojourns on the serene waters of Buckeye Lake. Vessels launch from the Sayre Brothers Marine, a historic site along the lake that has been servicing the aquatic-adventuring community for more than a century. Take a few laps about lake in a relaxing pontoon boat or zip through the water in a high-horsepower ski boat toting skiers, tubers, or an aerial banner declaring your love for your ex-parole officer. Although smoking and alcohol are not allowed on the vessel, guests may bring pets and, depending on the boat, up to 12 passengers. Wake-makers born after January 1, 1982, are required to take a pre-floating boating education course or present a valid boating license. Rentals are by reservation only.
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.