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LOCAL GOLF

In addition to our GCO numeric rating system, our GCO golf alert system separates public courses into four colored tiers. Safely and quickly identify golf courses, examine the situation then go play golf.

18 country club style holes in way south  Ashand, Ohio, about 1 hour south of Cleveland.  Easy access from I-71. Once a private club first established in the 1923 now allowing public play. This Willie Park, Jr. course has a fair amount of elevations and the routing can be considered classic in nature. Yet there seems to be a fair amount of updating keeping the course looking fresh. Smallish greens and some tight fairways makes driving the ball in play a premium. Many holes lend themselves to shaping shots from the tee. No housing and plenty of mature trees with classic bunkering.  Still sporting fine conditions. Hole 15 is not a real long par 5 by the card but a big lake fronts the green and long is lost. Unless you are very long and hit this fairway, you are going to layup. So you might as well find the fairway with a play club, hit a medium iron to your preferred layoup and wedge in. A great bargain for those willing to make the trip. Range: grass • Total Tees: 4 • Total yardage: 6699

CLOSED AS OF 2017.  The course has been acquired by the Metroparks but not to keep it a golf course. It will be turned into a natural reserve. This is a sad event for the GCO as this was the course where it all began.  It is where the GCO golf league was born and a big part of the reason why you are able to read this webpage right now. 

18 championship holes in Warren, about 1 hour from the I-480 & I-77 interchange in Independence. Part of a large private association, it still allows public play. Host of LPGA events in the past, this outstanding course is always in excellent condition, even in the dead of summer. An old Pete Dye design, without the signature railroad ties. The classic but flat layout has undergone extensive re-contouring several year back to update the course and it remains deceivingly challenging as a dye course usually is.  As close to a PGA event type course in the area the public can play. This beautiful track feature guarded and elevated greens and lots of sand and water. Excellent fast and true greens with undulations. At least four of the par 4s require careful club selection from the tees due to hazards such as water and tight doglegs. Four sets of tees and well marked. Expensive and they don't care.  Range: grass • Total Tees: 5 • Total yardage: 7551

Par 72 (par 73 for women) located 8 miles east of I-271 on Mayfield Rd. in Chesterland. Perhaps appearing a bit on the short side by the scorecard but it plays longer and stronger than you think. The front side is a bit more open while the back can really challenge the driver with turning tight tree lined holes and narrowing landing areas. It is an old style course well laid out over wonderful terrain. We use to say the course was a bit tired and father time passed it by, but there has always be a lot of potential here. New management has brought the fun back to this Ben Zink design. An old adage says you can't build great courses anymore because all the good terrain is already spoken for. Some disagree, but having great terrain sure doesn't hurt. Berkshire Hills is blessed with mature trees, fine elevations and ample strategic hazards all in an environment free from residential crowding. It adds up to a fine round of golf that cannot be manufactured by a bulldozer. Credit has to be given to management for keeping the course in good shape without the property tax exemptions municipal courses enjoy or an income stream from a residential development. Green spaces like this are rare and locals should be thankful that it remains open and public. Management has shown dedication to improvements to the general conditions of the course. They roll the greens so you get a truer and faster putt. But the biggest improvement has been to the hole corridors. While the routing has remained the same, the lack of differentiation between fairways and rough is gone. Not only are the fairways in better shape, the rough is better and more penal as well. Not more bad-penal like in roots and ruts, but good-penal as in thicker and more plush. The improved contrast between rough and fairway not only aids in alignment but greatly improves the visual appeal of each hole against the curtain of trees. Pay close attention to landing areas from tees. They smartly give you the yardage on a placard to each hazard and failing to correctly process this information will likely lead to a dropped stroke or two. Good assortment of par 3s. Conditions are generally good but the cart paths need help. Can be walked but the elevations will take their toll. Range: grass • Total Tees: 6 • Total yardage: 6689

18 holes in the Cleveland Metroparks built in 1926. The entire course was renovated in the spring of 1999 but not much changed design-wise. New cart paths and some new tees were added but the main focus was drainage and a retention lake. In 2006, a nice new clubhouse was opened. The course is located in the heart of west side Cleveland and the absence of any city life is refreshing. The course is teaming with deer, turkeys and all that the Metroparks has to offer. It is a pleasant walk, if, and that is a big if, it is not playing at a snail's pace. The greens have improved by being quicker and more consistent, hole to hole. But all in all, Big Met is an old style course from the days when not much thought was put into the design. Put a tee here and the green over there, cut the grass in between. When they did the renovation, they had a chance to update a lot of that but unfortunately, most of the design remains unchanged. There is some trouble with plenty of mature trees and a few bunkers but despite being surround on two sides by the Rocky River, the river never comes into play. The main resistance comes from the small greens with frequent fall offs on multiple sides. Precise approaches shots are required and for the errant shot, a solid chipping game. Stay away from being over the greens, it is almost always a very bad proposition. Big Met remains one of the most played courses in the county and at prime times they always seem to be a half hour behind on their tee sheet. Then they'll blare out your name over the loudspeaker as if you are the one late for the tee time. The course is usually green and it survives the hot weather better than most due to the fact it lies in a cool valley and collects dew. Its easy to walk with your longest walk being from your car to the clubhouse. Not very fair for women. No range and a single modest chipping/putting green. Range: None • Total Tees: 3 • Total yardage: 6481

18 holes owned by the City of Mentor. About 20 minutes east of the Rt.2 and I-90 interchange. Par 70 for men and par 73 for women. Much of the terrain is flat and the fairways plain. Fortunately, seven holes have some character where the elevations created by the small basin of Phil's Creek come into play. Notably on the fine par 5 eighteenth hole where the fairway unfolds downhill to the layup zone short of the creek. The small green is perched above the creek making it a risky proposition to go for in two. Two holes abut the massive marsh of Mentor which, unfortunately, is hidden from view. They should open up the view by trimming down some of the trees. Most holes run parallel to each other and it definitely tightens up on the back side where the old oaks crowd the fairways. It is a shortish course that seems to have been stretched out to its maximum but the tightness of several holes will take the driver out of many hands. Conditions are below average and some of the pushed up greens have mild mounding and little grassy depressions as part of the greens complexes. Four sets of tees but in reality just three since the fourth tee is for juniors and is just set out in the fairway. modest chipping/putting green. Range: Yes • Total Tees: 4 plus juniour tees • Total yardage: 6320

Par 72 championship course located in Streetsboro, 30 minutes southeast of the I-77 and I-480 interchange using I-480 and Rt. 14. Opening in 2002, this spectacular course lies in heavily wooded terrain with mature pines and oaks covering hills, marshes and deep lakes. No houses ! (cross your fingers) From the second you step onto the first tee, you know your in for something special. While bunkered conservatively, there are plenty of grassy hollows and bumps in addition to the challenging terrain of water, elevation changes and mature pines to keep you on your toes. There are no lulls in this gem. Starting with hole number one, this great par 5 requires a good tee shot so that you can carry a large hollow and set up your approach.  An interesting split fairway at hole number 6 and a beautiful waterfall accompanies the par 3 seventh. You can actually see the par 4 ninth hole from the Ohio Turnpike. A long and accurate tee shot is preferred there because your second shot must carry a large lake and bunkers to get home in regulation. The grand golf opera finale occurs at the beautiful island par three 17th hole where wind always tricks you into under-clubbing. Then the monster 600 yard par 5 eighteenth where you will be rewarded you if you can get to the fairway downslope. This course requires every shot in your bag. Sometimes you need to work the ball left to right, other times right to left. At times you need length, others times strategy and accuracy. The course may appears difficult, but the architect has tried to build in forgiveness to make it enjoyable by all. Heavy rough and uneven lies makes keeping the ball in the fairway very important. Super fast and challenging putting surfaces with interesting green complexes. This course has fantastic drainage. Even after torrential rains the day before, carts were still allowed on the fairways at 90 degrees. Everything about this place is turning out to be first rate and it has already earned high national accolades. It is reassuring to see the owner actively tweaking the course to make it all it can be. The addition of the new bunker in 2015 on hole 18 pinching in around the one hundred and fifty yard marker creates a quandary for your second shot. With tees over 7400, there is plenty room for even the longest of hitters. It has already become a premier destination in the Midwest. Great grass range. Five sets of tees. Range: grass • Total Tees: 5 • Total yardage: 7425

18 regulation holes and a nine hole par three course located in Peninsula. A very interesting course that plays like a Jekyll and Hyde course. The first nine has mild rolling hills and trees. But the ninth hole gives you a taste of what's to come with a wonderfully high par 3 which drops off over a pond to the green. Then the back nine takes off into the woods, up and down steep fairways and valleys and is much tougher than the front. The back nine has the famous "Z hole" par 5 which is, of course, shaped like a Z. It lies in a deep valley so you have to make your shots and there are no short cuts. Range: Yes • Total Tees: 3 • Total yardage: 6240

18 hole par 70 course located in Grafton, about twenty minutes from Hopkins Airport using I-480 and Rt. 10. Even though it is only a par 70, it still has four par 5s. The yardage seem short but you must bear in mind that this course has six par 3s. Mostly flat with no sand traps, this uneventful course is not usually to crowded and fair in price. A sort of t-shirt and tennis shoes golf course if you know what we mean. Creeks, small pines and mature trees factor into the layout. The greens are relatively nice compared to the rest of the course. The best hole is the par 5 ninth, which has a nice, slightly downhill, tee shot around a large tree to a depression bordered on two sides by a creek. Your second shot it uphill, over the creek to a reachable green. Some of the holes here are really crowded in on each other and you often find balls from other fairways on your own. is often open in the off-season. Range: No • Total Tees: 3 • Total yardage: 5148

18 hole par 70 municipal golf in Euclid. Other than being conveniently located a half a mile from the I-90 and Babbit Rd. exit, this course does not offer much. Completely flat and very wide open. Only one hole, the par four 10th, is considered narrow. About 3 holes have some water to consider. Unfortunately, you get the feeling of playing in a prison with all the tall golf ball retention fences at this place. You got giant decaying fences protecting housing and you also have those giant eyesores around the range which is on the inside of the golf course. About the only redeeming feature here are the well kept, slightly elevated greens with solid bunkering, making approaches interesting and putting fairly true. Conditions are a slightly below average and the greens are traditional in shape. Range: Yes • Total Tees: 4 • Total yardage: 6058

18 holes located in Broadview Hts. Around 2002, the golf course underwent a big renovations as part of a new development master plan. The long and tight old style course that once hosted an exhibition featuring Jack Niclaus was bulldozered under and a shorter but more enjoyable modern style course appeared. You will be hard pressed to identify where they old hole were, not that you would want to. The renovated course is not very long but there are numerous design features that will keep you interested and make you think. Sure the course is part of an expansive housing development but they did a great job keeping the homes away from the course and preserving a lot of the tree and elevation features. Native grasses and marsh features give the course a fresh look and the conservative bunkering makes it playable for all. There are plenty of nicely designed holes with perhaps the only weakness being the drab 11 hole, even though it causes its share of boggies. But we can forgive that with all the overwhelming positives here. Conditions are good with just a few spots where maintenance is needed. The medium sized and modestly sloped greens roll nicely. Range: Small but nice • Total Tees: 3 • Total yardage: 6315

A very pleasant and well maintained 18 hole par 71 Muny course in Cuyahoga Falls, about 40 minutes from Cleveland and only 24 minutes from the I-80 / I-77 interchange. Actually re-designed by renowned golf course architect Arthur Hills, but the re-design only hints at his genius. Nevertheless, this is a good example of how a dogtrack can be made into a fine public course. They used to have only three par 5s but in 2007, hole eleven was lengthened with a nice elevated tee box making for a nice improvement. The par 5 seventh is particularly notable for its slow dogleg right which culminates with a semi-blind, plateau green. All the par 3s are good with each becoming more daunting, culminating in the tough 14th hole which is 197 yard from the tips and with lots of trouble to look at. A good assortment of short dogleg par fours. A great beginning par five to start with provides your best opportunity for birdie. The closing par 4 hole is tough to gage since a big drive can reach the hazard. Most will layup with a fairway metal or hybrid, but you can gamble with your driver if the wind is against you. All in all, a surprisingly well conditioned course with a good layout and good greens. Some nice elevation changes and a little modern contouring. Most of the holes are separated from others by thin tree lines and some wild areas, but there is also a good bit of heavy woods on a few holes to deal with. In recent years, they have let more areas of tall wild grass grow in which tends to adds to the aesthetics and challenge to the course. Every time we play here, it seems to be better. It is also a decent value. Range: large grass • Total Tees: 4 • Total yardage: 6426

Par 72, 18 holes located in Medina, just about eight minutes from I-71. Some real great holes with big hills and water. Holes number 12 and 13 are newly remodeled and feel a little like Myrtle Beach holes. Other holes have been lengthened and improved. Lots of elevation changes. Great finishing holes from 15 on. A great drive can carry the entire lake and trees to the front of the dogleg par 4 fifteenth. Anything less might be a drop. 16 is an exciting and realistic drivable par four deep into the valley. Even if you miss, you can still get up and down for birdie. Both holes 9 and 18 give players fits. They run down into a tightly wooded landing area where the second and third shots have to carry creeks to elevated greens. The landing areas on  9 and 18 have been opened up recently so driver is not as risky a play. Just two or three average holes keep this course from being a real favorite. Course seems to be under constant improvement with a upgraded three story clubhouse. A mix of modern greens and turtle backs. Trouble with slow play on 9 and 18 can put a serious damper on an otherwise nice course. Range: none • Total Tees: 5 • Total yardage: 6711

18 holes par 71 on a decent layout with rolling terrain and some slight elevation changes. There really aren't any lakes here, just a few ponds and a lot of creeks. The fairways are relatively flat with little undulation but you will find a lot of dissecting creeks, plenty of trees and no housing. There is a good bit of bunkering here and a lot of great classic designed holes. They are a few holes that could use some updating but the overall experience here is pretty positive. From the back tees you will find several challenging tee shots through tight "Augusta like" tree alleys to fairways whose width is hidden from view. Conditions are a little above average, but the old style, heavily soil based fairways and greens can suffer from to much play and less than ideal drainage. These saucer shaped smallish greens feature a lot of tilt and roll where being below the cup is pretty good advice. Even with medium speed greens, putting is no picnic and things seem to break more than you expect. The par 4 sixth is a good wager hole featuring a tight snaking driving hole with a creek right and heavy tree cover left making double bogey easy. They claim the final three holes are as tough a stretch as you will find anywhere and they might be right. Sixteen is a long dogleg left par four where a sufficiently long tee shot is required to reach the corner just to get a long iron in to a heavily wooded and protected green. Many find themselves laying up. Eighteen is an extremely long beast of a par four where even solid drives could require a three metal just out reach the green. Range: yes • Total Tees: 4 • Total yardage: 6775

Par 70 located in Valley City, 5 miles west of I-71 on Rt. 303. Also known as Coppertop. This course is by no means a championship course but it can be fun to play. Unlike most course, they allow tank tops, gym shorts, cutoffs, blue jeans and so on, so you sort of get the idea who plays here. The expression is believed to be "Bruntucky." There are to few creative holes and too many run straight to the green separated by thin tree cover. There are some nice elevations here, primarily caused by the meandering creeks which have carved out deep valleys. The creeks have an unusual industrial look of being hemmed in with massive concrete retaining blocks. A few lakes add character to the layout but be warned that a slightly wayward driver can easily find water on holes thirteen and sixteen where the hazard is not visible from the tee. From the tips the course is barely 6300 and with just two par 5s. Most would consider the course a tad short by today's standards and driver-wedge driver-wedge is what the more accomplished golfer will face. The greens are the most deceiving part of the course. Most look simple enough, just sort of pushed up at the end of the fairway. But many have sneaky false fronts and the sides and backs fall off very quickly. And when the greens get firm, unfamiliar golfers will see balls annoyingly run off the greens. There are some solid holes and they seem to update a hole here and there every few years which is a good thing. The par 4 third hole was nicely remodeled into a high elevation tee that hits down over water into a tight doglegging fairway protected by a tree on the left and mounds on the right. A nice new green complex was added across a creek on hole ten which lengthened the hole by at least 80 yards and made it a second shot hole where formerly it was drivable. The favorite holes hole might be the par 5 fifteenth where a big drive allows the green to be reached in two. However, the fairway drops off steeply in the driving zone so a balanced attack is required. If you chose to play it safe, layup to the blind fairway short of the creek in the valley. The old barn-clubhouse was remodeled and expanded into the new signature copper roof facility. Conditions normally are less than ideal. Range: none • Total Tees: 4 • Total yardage: 6269

Par 71 18 hole course located in Doylestown, 25 minutes south of the I-80 / I-77 interchange, off of Rt. 21. With a name like Chippewa, you would expect a real dogtrack. However, this is a good course that is very well maintained, containing a fine assortment of holes with nice speedy greens. Usually their greens are quit good but in 2015 they suffered some mold or fungus issues and they are now as nice as they usually are. The course is mostly open, there are a few tight spots where club selection is critical. Particularly the beautiful par four 14th and 16th, where drivers may end up in ponds fronting these greens and 15 which is arguably the toughest tee shot on the course. This is the so-called "Bermuda Triangle" of holes where your ship can easily be sunk. Throughout the course, the greens are notoriously difficult to get up and down on when missing either left or right. Not so much bunkers but the nobs and hollows and closely mown fringe that makes precise chipping essential. There are powerlines and towers that come into play on two holes for wayward shots, but thankfully, under the rules of golf, you rehit if you strike the wires and get relief from the structure itself. Good elevations changes, especially on the back nine. The eighteenth hole will test the remainder of your strenght at about 400 yards, it seems to play longer than the yardage. Range: grass • Total Tees: 3 • Total yardage: 6756

Par 72 on Rt. 303, 5 minutes west of I-71. Formerly Brunswick Hills. The front nine is on the flat, open and boring side save hole 7 and 9 where water and small valleys come into play on your tee shots. The sparse tree lined holes provide little challenge to errant shots. The back is far more difficult where the holes are routed through tight wooded valleys with elevation changes, creeks and forced carries. It is easy to give up a few strokes on the back. The meandering creeks throughout the course always seem to affect your tee shots calculations. The course is poorly marked with no guidance from the tees. It is advisable to look a few holes ahead to figure how much club you can take on future tee shots. At least there is no housing on the course. The course usually is below average in conditioning with more than a few bare spots and it seems particularly prone to suffering in dry times. Small saucer shaped greens means your approach shots need to be particularly accurate. The par four 12th is the signature hole where a long and accurate drive is required to set up a middle iron down to a scenic green tucked into the valley and protected by a creek and bunker. It also happens to be the number one handicap hole and with O.B. down the right and trouble down the left. It is the only green which isn't a tiny saucer and actually has three distinct levels. Cheap to play. Range: none • Total Tees: 3 • Total yardage: 6615

18 holes on a decent but flat course. As the name implies, creeks and woods come into play here. A couple of forced carries and some water. Very short with many wide open holes. The back nine has a few tight spots with narrow fairways and overhanging trees where club control is very important. It always seems that one green is under construction at this course. Recent drainage and sprinkler system additions have improved the course. Conditions are below average and the greens are average. Sixteen has been improved with the removal of the tree which blocked your tee shot. Many young trees have also been planted a few years ago on some of the wide open holes to make the course more challenging. Most greens follow the same blueprint, slightly pushed up smallish saucers leaning back to front. A few bunkers here and there but all in all, nothing all that noteworthy here. Creekwood is frequented by the higher handicaps and the kegger outings. The grill does makes some decent brats and burgers. Three sets of tees with an occasional 4th back tee. Range: grass • Total Tees: 3 • Total yardage: 6154

This par 72 championship course is located in the Mansfield area. This unique course is a haul from Cleveland, an hour and fifteen minutes from Hopkins Airport using I-71. But it's right off the highway at exit 165 and even visible on the east side of I-71. Despite the long drive, it's worth the ride, and very affordable. This is another gem by local golf architect Brian Huntley. Like his excellent work at Eagle Creek, this 1999 championship layout has championship conditions. His conservative modern design fits the land wonderfully without being too flashy or contrived. His well thought out holes utilize the land without much earth moving. This course, like Eagle Creek, is extracted from the land, not imposed upon it. Unlike Eagle Creek, this course has the most elevation changes of any course in all Northern Ohio. You will experience some breathtaking holes throughout this heavily wooded course. Visually, it is right up there with the Quarry. There is a slight reprieve on the back nine from the elevations, which then leads you to a fantastic finish. The spectacular par 5 16th requires a forced carry over a gorge. If your drive is long enough, you will be generously rewarded as your ball cascades down the shaved slope opening to the approach of the green allowing you to get home in two. Then there is very cool finish at 18 which is reminiscent of a Robert Trent Jones trademark uphill par 4. If the elevation changes don't add a few strokes to your score, the very tough and fast greens are likely too. Pay close attention to the grain of the greens here, not just when putting but aslso in chipping. Range: grass • Total Tees: 4 • Total yardage: 6584

18 mostly flat and unremarkable holes in Columbia Station. The course is rather long and straight. You feel more like your walking in a park instead of being on a golf course. Some water and sand. Very sparse trees line most fairways. Most of the water seems to lies just out of play unless you have some real bad shots. The course would have been more interesting if the water was just 30 yards closer to the fairways on most holes. The rough and fairways blend together. Course conditions are poor. Four sets of tees and the greens are average. Range: grass • Total Tees: 4 • Total yardage: 7191

Par 71-18 hole public course located on Rt. 58, just north of Oberlin, about 35 minutes east of Cleveland using I-90 and Rt. 2. Opening in 1989. While the course is dead flat, it has extensive mounding and about two dozen sand traps to create some definition. The mounding of the rough creates an image of grassy mounds rather than flowing terrain. But what else can you do when the routing is already done and the course has opened? Recently they have left some mounds un-mown and natural grasses now crown these features and it actually looks better. A few big lakes and ponds come into play on 8 holes. The water can sneak up on you since there is little eleveation to give you a view so check your score card. But it is the tight wooded holes which are the main obstacle to your score here. The longer hitter will need to shape the ball left or right if you want to find a fairway. Otherwise, you may be punching out all day. Sure there are a few fine holes here but they are offset by more than a few uninspiring ones. This place sort of reminds you of a cheap Myrtle Beach course. The fairways have a high clay content and suffer in the shoulder months. They seem to hold to much water in the offseason and are dry packed in the hot months. The greens are clearly the bright spot here. A bit on the firm side, but they roll nicely and sometimes have a pleasing shape. Not sure why seventeen green has some much undulation when nothing else remotely plays like it. Open year round and a good place to get in a fast round.. Four sets of tees although it really looks like only three.  Range: grass • Total Tees: 4 • Total yardage: 6352