Ohio, with its diverse landscapes and rich history, offers some of the most picturesque and challenging golf courses in the United States. From the rolling hills of the countryside to the serene lakeside views, the Buckeye State caters to golfers of all skill levels and preferences. Whether you’re a local looking to explore more of what Ohio has to offer or a visitor wanting to experience the state’s top golf destinations, this guide will introduce you to the best golf courses in Ohio.
Golf is a game that requires skill, technique, and precision. However, playing on a great golf course can enhance the overall experience and enjoyment of the game. So, what makes a golf course great? A combination of factors such as course design, condition, history, and amenities make a golf course stand out from the rest.
When choosing the best golf course for you, consider factors such as course design, condition, history, and amenities. Pay attention to signature holes and features, as well as the overall experience offered by the course. With these top 10 best golf courses in Ohio, you can’t go wrong with your choice.
- Experience the best golf courses in Ohio at Muirfield Village Golf Club, Firestone Country Club, and Inverness Club.
- From course design and conditions to history and amenities, these top golf courses offer a unique and memorable experience for every golfer.
- When choosing a golf course in Ohio, consider factors such as design, conditions, history, and amenities to find the perfect fit for your game and preferences.
Top 10 Best Golf Courses in Ohio
When it comes to golf, Ohio is home to some of the most prestigious and well-designed courses in the country. From challenging layouts to stunning views, these courses offer a top-notch golfing experience for players of all levels.
In this section, we will take a closer look at the top 10 best golf courses in Ohio and what makes them stand out. From the iconic Muirfield Village Golf Club to the picturesque Virtues Golf Club, each course offers its own unique charm and challenges for golfers to enjoy.
1. Muirfield Village Golf Club
Overview: Founded by Jack Nicklaus, Muirfield Village Golf Club is not only Ohio’s gem but also a beacon in the golfing world. It’s the site of the annual Memorial Tournament and offers a challenging yet rewarding experience.
- A 7,392-yard, par-72 course that blends seamlessly with its natural surroundings.
- Known for its meticulously maintained fairways and greens.
- Offers a strategic layout that challenges experienced golfers while still being enjoyable for beginners.
Best For: Golfers looking for a premium, PGA Tour-level experience.
Firestone Country Club: Where the only thing on fire is your scorecard.
2. Firestone Country Club
Overview: With a storied history and three top-notch courses (North, South, and West), Firestone Country Club is a haven for golf enthusiasts. The South Course, in particular, has hosted numerous PGA events.
- Each course offers its unique challenges, with the South Course being the most famous.
- Lush fairways and challenging greens set against the backdrop of Ohio’s natural beauty.
- A rich history that adds to the prestige and experience of playing here.
Best For: Golfers who enjoy a mix of history, challenge, and variety.
Firestone Country Club in Ohio is renowned as one of the premier golf courses in the state. With its rich history and esteemed reputation, Firestone offers an unparalleled golfing experience. The course is meticulously designed and laid out, featuring challenging holes and stunning vistas. The course is impeccably maintained, ensuring a top-quality playing surface. Firestone is famous for its signature holes and unique features, such as the renowned “Monster” par-5 16th hole. The club also provides exceptional amenities and services, including a clubhouse, pro shop, and various dining options. For avid golfers seeking an exceptional and unforgettable golfing experience, Firestone Country Club is a top choice.
The Inverness Club: where golfers compete for the title and groundskeepers compete for the greenest grass.
3. Inverness Club
Overview: Another course with a rich history, Inverness Club has hosted several major championships. Its challenging layout and impeccable condition make it a favorite among serious golfers.
- A traditional layout that has been updated to challenge today’s golfers.
- Known for its fast greens and strategic bunkering.
- A history of hosting major tournaments adds to the allure and challenge.
Best For: Players looking for a historically significant and challenging round of golf.
Inverness Club is a renowned golf course in Ohio, known for its rich history and exceptional facilities. Here are steps to experience the wonders of Inverness Club:
- Research: Learn about the club’s history, notable tournaments, and famous players who have graced its fairways.
- Membership: Explore membership options and benefits, considering factors like affordability and access to exclusive events.
- Course Tour: Take a virtual or physical tour of the Inverness Club to appreciate its design, challenging layout, and scenic beauty.
- Facilities: Explore the club’s amenities, such as practice areas, clubhouse, dining options, and pro shop.
- Events: Attend or participate in tournaments, member-exclusive events, and social gatherings for an immersive experience.
Inverness Club has a storied past, hosting major championships like the U.S. Open and PGA Championship. Its legendary battles, like Hogan’s comeback victory in 1957, have solidified its place in golf history.
4. The Golf Club
Overview: An exclusive, members-only course, The Golf Club in New Albany is revered for its classic design and serene setting. Pete Dye, the legendary golf architect, designed this masterpiece golf course architecture.
- A challenging course that requires precision and strategy over brute force.
- Known for its fast greens and beautiful, natural landscapes.
- Provides a secluded and peaceful golfing experience.
Best For: Serious golfers who appreciate a classic, strategic challenge.
The Golf Club, established in 1929, is one of the top golf courses in Ohio, renowned for its exceptional course design, well-maintained conditions, and rich history. The course offers a challenging layout with strategically placed hazards and breathtaking views. It has earned a prestigious reputation for hosting renowned tournaments and attracting elite golfers.
The course’s allure is enhanced by signature holes like the par-3 17th, featuring a stunning island green. The Golf Club also provides various amenities and services, including a pro shop, practice facilities, and fine dining options. Its combination of quality, tradition, and unforgettable experiences make it a standout destination for golf enthusiasts.
The Golf Club has a fascinating past, originally being a private estate owned by a wealthy industrialist who transformed it into a world-class golf course. Over the years, the club has hosted numerous championship events and welcomed golf legends, further solidifying its esteemed reputation. The Golf Club’s dedication to excellence and commitment to preserving the sport’s traditions have cemented its position as one of the finest golf courses in Ohio.
5. The Country Club at Muirfield Village
The Country Club at Muirfield Village is a renowned golf course in Ohio that is highly regarded for its exceptional course design, pristine course conditions, and rich history. With signature holes and features that both challenge and delight golfers, it provides an unforgettable playing experience.
The club also offers top-notch amenities and services, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable visit. If you’re searching for a premier golfing destination in Ohio, The Country Club at Muirfield Village should definitely be on your list. Other notable golf courses in Ohio include Muirfield Village Golf Club, Firestone Country Club, and Inverness Club.
If you can’t afford a trip to Canterbury, just imagine playing there while sipping tea and quoting Chaucer.
6. Canterbury Golf Club
Overview: Canterbury Golf Club is a classic course that has retained its charm and challenge over the years. It has hosted several major championships and is known for its tight fairways and undulating greens.
- A layout that rewards accuracy and strategy.
- Features beautiful, tree-lined fairways and complex greens.
- Offers a rich, historical golfing experience in a beautiful setting.
Best For: Golfers who enjoy a strategic game in a historic setting.
Canterbury Golf Club is a renowned golf course in Ohio, known for its exceptional course design, well-maintained conditions, and storied past. The layout boasts challenging holes, strategic bunkers, and picturesque views. The club takes pride in offering top-notch amenities and services to elevate the golfing experience. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice, Canterbury Golf Club has something for all skill levels.
Insider tip: Reserve your tee time in advance to guarantee your spot and fully enjoy your visit to this exceptional golf course.
The Double Eagle Club: where you can finally live out your dream of getting a hole-in-one on every hole, because you’ll need a second shot on every single one.
7. Double Eagle Club
The Double Eagle Club is a renowned golf course with a rich history and exceptional features. To fully enjoy your experience at the club, follow these steps:
- Make a reservation in advance to secure your tee time.
- Arrive early to warm up and familiarize yourself with the facilities.
- Take advantage of the practice areas to refine your skills.
- Admire the stunning course design and layout, which includes challenging holes and beautiful landscaping.
- Appreciate the well-maintained course conditions, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable game.
- Explore the history and prestige of the Double Eagle Club, learning about its notable tournaments and players.
- Experience the signature holes and features that make this golf course unique and memorable.
- Take advantage of the amenities and services offered, such as a pro shop, clubhouse, and dining options.
- Enjoy the camaraderie and friendly atmosphere among fellow golf enthusiasts.
One memorable moment at the Double Eagle Club was when it hosted the prestigious championship, attracting top professional golfers from around the world. The challenging course and breathtaking scenery provided an unforgettable experience for both players and spectators.
The Camargo Club: Where even the sand traps have a butler.
8. Camargo Club
The Camargo Club holds the 8th spot among the top 10 golf courses in Ohio, thanks to its exceptional qualities. Firstly, its course design and layout offer a challenging yet enjoyable experience for golfers of all levels. Secondly, the club maintains excellent course conditions through regular maintenance and attention to detail. Thirdly, its rich history and prestigious reputation make it a highly desired destination for golf enthusiasts.
Additionally, the club features signature holes and unique elements that enhance the overall appeal of the course. Lastly, the Camargo Club offers top-notch amenities and services to ensure a memorable and fulfilling golfing experience.
9. The Golf Club at Stonelick Hills
The Golf Club at Stonelick Hills in Ohio stands out as one of the top golf courses in the state. With its well-designed and challenging course layout, meticulously maintained conditions, and rich history, it offers an exceptional golfing experience. The course also boasts signature holes and unique features, such as water hazards and scenic vistas, that add to its prestige. Additionally, the club provides excellent amenities and services, including a clubhouse, pro shop, and dining options.
When selecting the perfect golf course, it’s important to consider factors like:
- best golf courses in ohio – course design
- signature features
- available amenities
With a name like The Virtues, you can bet this golf course has some heavenly holes and divine amenities.
10. The Virtues Golf Club
The Virtues Golf Club in Ohio is highly acclaimed for its challenging and picturesque course, making it one of the top-rated golf courses in the state. With a stunning course design, well-maintained conditions, and a rich history, it offers a unique and enjoyable experience for golfers.
When selecting a golf course, be sure to consider factors such as the layout, course conditions, historical significance, unique features, and available services. The Virtues Golf Club stands out as one of the best golf courses in Ohio, providing enthusiasts with an exceptional golfing experience.
Fun Fact: In 2021, Golfweek ranked The Virtues Golf Club as one of the best public golf courses in Ohio.
11. Kirtland Country Club, Willoughby
Overview: Nestled in the serene landscapes of Willoughby, Kirtland Country Club offers an exclusive golfing experience that blends the traditional aspects of the game with the unique topography of Ohio. This private club prides itself on a course that is as beautiful as it is challenging.
- A meticulously maintained course that weaves through natural forests and rolling hills, offering stunning vistas at every turn.
- Renowned for its strategic layout, with a mix of long and short holes that challenge golfers to use every club in their bag.
- Impeccable greens and fairways, surrounded by the natural beauty of Ohio’s countryside.
Best For: Golfers seeking an exclusive and challenging golfing experience amidst the natural beauty of Ohio. Ideal for those who appreciate a course that tests both skill and strategy.
12. Ohio River Golf Haven
Overview: While not a specific golf course, the Ohio River region is home to a collection of hidden gems that offer diverse golfing experiences. From the rolling hills near Cincinnati to the picturesque landscapes near Marietta, this region is dotted with courses that cater to all preferences.
- A variety of courses ranging from challenging championship layouts to more leisurely, scenic designs perfect for a relaxing round.
- Many courses offer stunning views of the Ohio River, adding a unique backdrop to your golfing experience.
- The region is known for its affordability and accessibility, making it a great option for golfers on a budget or those looking to play multiple rounds in different settings.
Best For: Golfers looking to explore off-the-beaten-path courses with scenic beauty and affordable rates. Ideal for weekend getaways or golf road trips along the Ohio River.
What Sets These Golf Courses Apart?
Ohio is home to some of the best golf courses in the country, but what sets these courses apart from the rest? In this section, we will take a closer look at the factors that make these golf courses stand out.
From the design and layout of the courses to the amenities and services offered, we will explore the key elements that contribute to their acclaim. We’ll also uncover the rich history and prestige behind these courses, as well as the unique signature holes and features that make them a must-visit for any golfer.
1. Course Design and Layout
When considering the design and layout of a golf course, there are several factors to take into account:
- 1. Evaluate the overall course layout, including the arrangement and flow of holes.
- 2. Examine the variety and strategic placement of hazards, such as bunkers, water hazards, and trees.
- 3. Consider the level of difficulty and fair challenge presented by the course design.
- 4. Look for unique and memorable features, such as signature holes or breathtaking views.
- 5. Assess the course’s suitability for different skill levels, including both beginner and advanced players.
By considering these aspects of course design and layout, golfers can choose a course that offers an enjoyable and challenging playing experience.
2. Course Conditions and Maintenance
Maintaining excellent course conditions is crucial for a great golf course experience. Here are important steps in course conditions and maintenance:
- Regular Mowing: Consistent mowing keeps fairways and greens at optimal heights for playability.
- Irrigation Management: Proper watering ensures healthy turf, preventing dry or waterlogged areas.
- Fertilization: Applying the right balance of nutrients keeps the grass lush and resilient.
- Weed Control: Regular treatments control weeds and invasive species, maintaining a pristine appearance.
- Pest Management: Protecting against pests like grubs and fungi preserves the health and aesthetics of the course.
- Bunker Maintenance: Regularly raking bunkers and ensuring proper sand levels enhances playability.
- Tree and Landscape Care: Pruning trees and maintaining landscaping enhances the course’s beauty and safety.
- Divot Repair: Promptly filling divots on fairways and tees promotes healthy turf growth.
- Green Maintenance: Maintaining smooth and true greens through regular mowing, aerating, and topdressing.
- Overall Course Inspection: Regular inspections identify and address any issues, ensuring a high-quality experience for golfers.
These golf courses have more history and prestige than my high school yearbook – and that’s saying something.
3. History and Prestige
History and prestige are key factors that set the top golf courses in Ohio apart. These courses have a rich history and are renowned for hosting prestigious golf events and championships. For instance, Muirfield Village Golf Club has been the venue for the Memorial Tournament since 1976, attracting top players from around the world. Firestone Country Club has a legacy of hosting professional tournaments such as the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. The Inverness Club has a storied past, having hosted multiple major championships including the U.S. Open and PGA Championship. The historical significance and prestigious events held at these golf courses only add to their reputation and appeal to golf enthusiasts.
4. Signature Holes and Features
Signature holes and features are defining characteristics that make golf courses memorable and unique. When evaluating signature holes and features, there are several factors to consider:
- Scenic beauty: Look for holes that offer breathtaking views, such as elevated tee boxes overlooking water or mountainous landscapes.
- Challenging layouts: Consider holes that require strategic shot placement, like narrow fairways, doglegs, or well-guarded greens.
- Iconic landmarks: Look for holes that incorporate famous landmarks or natural features, such as historic buildings, lakes, or unique rock formations.
- Risk-reward opportunities: Consider holes that offer the chance to take calculated risks in order to gain an advantage, such as enticing long drives over water hazards or challenging bunkers.
- Memorable design elements: Look for holes with distinctive design elements, such as island greens, double-tiered greens, or dramatic undulations in the fairways.
5. Amenities and Services
When selecting a golf course, the amenities and services offered play a crucial role in elevating the overall experience. Here are some essential factors to consider:
- Clubhouse facilities: Look for well-equipped clubhouses with locker rooms, dining options, and pro shops.
- Practice facilities: Check if the course provides driving ranges, putting greens, and chipping areas for warm-up and practice sessions.
- Rental equipment: If you do not have your own equipment, ensure that the course offers high-quality rental clubs and golf carts.
- Professional staff: Friendly and knowledgeable staff can enhance your visit, providing excellent customer service and assistance.
- Additional services: Some courses provide amenities such as golf lessons, caddies, and spa services to further enhance your experience.
The Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia is renowned for its exceptional amenities and services. The club’s iconic Masters Tournament has been known for its world-class hospitality since its establishment in 1934, offering exclusive access to luxurious hospitality suites, fine dining, and impeccable service, making it a top choice among golf enthusiasts worldwide.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the top private golf courses in Ohio according to Golfweek’s panel of raters and golf enthusiasts?
The top five private golf courses in Ohio, as judged by Golfweek’s panel, are Muirfield Village in Dublin, Camargo Club in Indian Hill, The Golf Club in New Albany, Inverness Club in Toledo, and Scioto in Columbus.
2. What criteria are used to evaluate and rank the best golf courses in Ohio?
Golf courses in Ohio are evaluated based on 10 criteria, including design variety, natural setting, conditioning, variety of par 3s, par 4s, and par 5s, memorability, and overall experience.
3. Who are the expert panelists responsible for ranking the best golf courses in Ohio?
The expert panelists include golf enthusiasts and raters from around the world who have extensive knowledge and experience in evaluating and ranking golf courses. Their opinions and ratings are used to determine the top courses in Ohio.
4. Can non-members play at the top private golf courses in Ohio?
Most of the top private golf courses in Ohio do not accept daily-fee or resort play, but there are separate lists for top public-access layouts in Ohio, where non-members can play.
5. What is the top-ranked course in Ohio according to GOLF’s expert panelists?
Inverness Club in Toledo is currently the top-ranked golf course in Ohio according to GOLF’s expert panelists. It boasts a recent renovation by Andrew Green and a strong set of two-shotters, including the 18th hole under 400 yards.
6. Are there any bonus features or experiences on the list of the best golf courses in Ohio?
Some of the courses on the list offer bonus course photography, drone footage, or are known for their flawless conditioning. There are also some courses that are designed by famous architects, such as Seth Raynor and Jack Nicklaus, adding to the premium experience.