NEW ALBANY, Ohio -- With its top conditioning, fine clubhouse and strong course, New Albany Links prides itself on delivering a private club experience to public players 15 miles northeast of Columbus.
Local architect Barry Serafin, who cut his teeth under Jack Kidwell and Dr. Michael Hurdzan, designed the 7,004-yard course, which opened in 1999. Golf Digest named it one of the top new courses in the country in its "affordable" category in 2001. Golfstyles Ohio ranked it among the top 100 courses in the state in 2007.
Although the golf course is surrounded by a massive subdivision, it still has a scenic, natural feel. With firm and fast conditions and sloping greens, it can be a handful in the summer or when the wind is up.
"It plays different all the time," said Josh Jacobs, the head professional at New Albany Links. "It's in good condition. The wind, when it's up, it's really tight. The ball bounces into the fescue and trouble. When it's soft, it plays much longer than the yardage. It's really a good test of golf."
Meaty par 4s are the course's trademark, starting at the 449-yard first hole. The ninth is the round's toughest with water pinching the entire right side. The 428-yard 12th requires a 190-yard carry just to reach the fairway. Water shelters the green, too. The 430-yard 13th is no pushover. It all ends dramatically at the 433-yard 18th, where the fairway boomerangs right to reveal more water and a strategically placed tree guarding an elevated green.