Ohio is the 7th most populous state in the country with over 11 million people calling the Buckeye state home. What is perhaps more impressive, is the number of golf courses found in Ohio. The Ohio Golf Association presides over 800…yes that’s right, 800 golf courses in the state.
The sheer number of courses, added to the fact that the state also has some of the premier venues in the world, makes Ohio the premier golfing destination in the midwest. It is simply on another level.
To begin your Ohio golfing journey, here are five Ohio golf courses you need to play.
Camargo Club (Best Private Course) in Cincinatti, OH
Camargo Club, the 1925 Seth Raynor gem located on the outskirts of Cincinnati, needs no introduction. It is the premier course in the state and is one of the top courses in the world. The course was redone by Tom Doak and the layout is in a word, stunning.
Trees line the meticulously maintained fairways at Camargo and massive, sloping greens provide the ultimate test. The course is bunker rich and has some of the best par threes the game has to offer.
The course isn’t altogether that long, measuring 6636 from the tips and is a par 70.
While it would be great to be able to play Camargo whenever you wanted, like so many of the great courses in Ohio, it is private and you can only tee up there with a member.
The Virtues Golf Club (Best Public Course) in Nashport, OH
Located south of Columbus, The Virtues is not only the best public golf course in Ohio, it is one of the best public golf courses in the country. The Virtues boasts pristine playing conditions with perfect greens and shapely, rolling fairways. The course also moves up and down with steep elevation changes on many holes.
The front nine begins with a dogleg right par 4. Trees straight ahead devour plenty of tee shots that would be great on another hole and a tree near the middle of the fairway makes those who think they are safe think again. If you cut it too far, a cadre of bunkers promises to make your second shot sandy.
From there the course continues with its beautiful layout of trees, bunkers, and protected greens.
The Virtues measures 7300 yards from the tips and is a par 72.
The cost to play The Virtues is just right for a course of its quality. Monday-Thursday you can play 18 walking for $56 but the price for the same goes up to $76 Friday-Sunday.
Little Mountain Golf Club (Most Scenic Course) in Concord, OH
While there are too many beautiful courses to list here (most of them private) Little Mountain Golf Club gets the nod for most scenic course in Ohio. The course isn’t nearly as famous as some of the other tracks in the state, but it is a course you can (and should) play.
What sets Little Mountain apart is the layout of the course and how everything is situated just right. The fairways are not too wide but not too narrow. The bunkers are plentiful and often clustered around the greens creating a challenging feel. And water is used on the course to great effect.
While the course is understated, the natural beauty of the course shines through on numerous occasions and really does offer a breathtaking experience.
Little Mountain is 6600 yards from the blacks and is a par 72.
When booked online, a round of 18 with a cart can be had for $45. Not bad for a really stunning course.
The Club at Tartan Fields (Most Challenging Course) in Dublin, OH
Again, with so many great courses to choose from, it is hard to pick one hardest course in Ohio. However, a course that should always be in that conversation is The Club at Tartan Fields.
This Arnold Palmer Signature course begins with a challenging par 4 featuring a valley on the right side of the fairway. A tiny dance floor on 2 makes reaching the green in regulation particularly difficult and is a common theme throughout the entirety of this demanding track.
The back nine starts off with water protecting another small green on 10 and a small forest on the left side of the fairway on 11. Anything short on the mid range par 3 17th and you’re swimming and the course finishes with a tough 18 that has a narrow corridor to a green surrounded by sand, trees, and water.
The Club at Tartan Fields is always in pristine shape and the greens can be slick. It is a 7119 yards long and is a par 72 with a rating of 74.4 and a slope rating of 151.
While the course is every bit as beautiful as it is difficult, it is also a private club and can only be played by members and their guests.
Denison Golf Course (Best Deal) in Granville, OH
Located in Granville, Denison Golf Course features sprawling fairways and hundreds of tall, majestic trees.
The first few holes are marked on the left by a small creek that demands accuracy. From there, reaching the small, protected greens is imperative but challenging.
Pines on the right of the fairway on the long par 5 10th hole are a menace. You need to steer clear in order to be able to take advantage of a hole that you should be able to birdie.
What makes the rest of this course so fantastic, in addition to the mature trees, and beautiful layout, is the price. Any day of the week after 2 pm you can play 18 holes walking for only $29.
If there is one state where you should start your midwest golfing adventures, it is Ohio. With so many courses to choose from at various level and various price ranges, there is enough golf in Ohio to keep you occupied for a lifetime. Happy golfing.
Did we miss a course? In the comments below, share your Ohio golf experience.