COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Central Ohio might not be a true golf destination -- there are no golf resorts nearby -- but if you're in Buckeyeland for business or pleasure, it's wise to have the sticks along for the ride.
The home to Ohio State University is known for its private club scene, although there remains a glut of public choices around the city's perimeter. Longaberger Golf Club in Nashport (70 miles east of Columbus) wins all the awards, but there are other fine designs. The Players Club is the best of the two courses at Foxfire Golf Club in Lockbourne, 15 miles south of downtown.
Dr. Michael Hurdzan, a prolific architect based in Columbus, has done his share of work in the area. Hurdzan and partner Dana Fry built superb greens that roll true at Cumberland Trail Golf Club in Pataskala, 22 miles southeast of the city. Hurdzan also built Royal American Links, 23 miles northeast of Columbus in Galena; Cooks Creek Golf Club (along with Fry and pro John Cook) 18 miles south in Ashville; and Westchester Golf Course in Canal Winchester southeast of the city.
The strongest 1-2 punch for 36 holes in a day comes in New Albany, home to Winding Hollow, an Arthur Hills design that was once private, and New Albany Links, designed by Barry Serafin in 1999. Darby Creek Golf Course in Marysville, 35 miles northwest of Columbus, features two distinct nines on 204 acres of a former orchard. Glenross Golf Club, a 6,607-yard par-70 layout, was revamped by local architect Jodie Kinney in 2006.