PATASKALA, Ohio -- The greens steal the show at Cumberland Trail Golf Club.
Scott Bierly, a member who lives nearby, has played highly ranked courses in Myrtle Beach, S.C., during the World Amateur and in Nevada during golf trips to Las Vegas and Mesquite, but he's never found a more pleasurable place to putt than Cumberland Trail. The A4 bentgrass greens there run slick with more subtle breaks than monster slopes. The only other Columbus-area clubs featuring this grass are Muirfield Village Golf Club, site of The Memorial Tournament, and Scioto Country Club.
Not bad company, right?
"They are the best greens I've putted," Bierly said. "They stay that way year round."
Cumberland Trail, a Dr. Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry design, opened in 2000. The 7,205-yard playground roughly 22 miles east of Columbus features two distinct nines, a more forgiving and open front side and a tougher back nine cut through woods and 40 acres of wetland. A killer three-hole loop starts at the par-5 12th, where a hazard dissects the fairway. Wetlands on No. 13 and trees on No. 14 squeeze tight tee shots.
A monster finish -- the 227-yard par-3 17th hole and the 437-yard par-4 18th -- decide many matches.
"The front nine is more of a links," said Mike Pickett, the head professional at Cumberland Trail. "The back nine has more hazards and tight landing areas. I like the back a lot better."