Cleveland, Ohio, is surprisingly replete with beautiful, excellent golf courses. Many of them are priced incredibly low and definitely merit multiple rounds of golf.
Designed by the Canadian golf pro Stanley Thompson and originally opened as a private country club, Sleepy Hollow, located at 9445 Brecksville Road in Brecksville, please the aesthetic dreams of golf fanatics everywhere and challenges their game, especially strategically. Sleepy Hollow is the premier course offered through the Cleveland Metropark system, ranking as the best municipal golf course in Ohio and 19th in the nation, according to Golfweek Magazine. A round of golf of Sleepy Hollow is between $16-33 and tee times can be reserve between 8:30 am and 5 pm with slightly shorter hours on weekends. Sleepy Hollow is a must play. My favorite hole is the first par-3 on the front nine, hole #2, which is well over 200 yards long, allowing for most to tee off with a wood or driver– a fun thing to do on a par-3.
Hawthorne Valley Country Club
Although Hawthorne Valley is a private course, located at 27840 Aurora Road in Solon, it offers public team times ranging from $40-$60. It is a beautiful course that seems hidden away in a world of its own and requires a lot strategically from those golfing its holes. It’s also a place that offers amenities and creature comforts that are refreshing after a long round of golf. My favorite hole is #11, a par-4 that dog-legs to the right and two separate bodies of water stand between the golfer and the hole. Hawthorne is worth the challenge and definitely provides a unique golf experience to it players.
Fowler’s Mill Golf Course
Located at 13095 Rockhaven Road Chesterland, Fowler’s Mill has been ranked the #2 best public golf course by Golf Digest and is easily deserving of that rank. I argue that it is the most scenic course in Ohio and provides a unique vacation experience just a half hour from Cleveland. Tee times must be made 10 days in advance and the typical cost of a round can vary from $20-$70, depending on when one chooses to play during their 6:30 am to 2 pm tee time availabilities. The price also depends on which course you choose to play because they offer a challenging and playful par-3 course apart from the main 18 holes, called Maple 9. My favorite hole is #4 because the majority of the hole is water rather than grass truly testing one’s accuracy while awing them with natural beauty, epitomizing the essence of Fowler’s Mill.
Little Mountain Country Club
Similar to Hawthorne Valley, Little Mountain Country Club, located at 7667 Hermitage Road in Concord, is a private club that has opened itself to the public, which is a true gift. The course is great! Rates span from $30-$65, depending on the age of players and the time of the tee time. Tee times can be schedule as early as 7:30 am and as late as 6 pm on most days of the week. Little Mountain is an exciting round of golf that require the utmost focus from players because of its narrow fairways, varied terrain, and innumerable sand traps. There is a great variety among the holes and there are a larger number of par-3 holes than most courses, which are truly rewarding to play.
Firestone Country Club
Firestone, located at 452 W. Warner Road in Akron, is the premier private course in the Cleveland area. Annually it is home to a professional tournament, the Bridgestone Invitational, that attracts the best players in the PGA, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, etc. There are actually three courses at firestone, which are all world-class but my favorite is the West Course because it is a little bit shorter, making it a little more fun for the non-scratch golfer. However all three of the course offer perfectly manicured bent-grass fairways and greens that will make you feel like you’re playing golf in your dreams. Firestone is a private club, but information about becoming a member is available at their site.
I am a Cleveland native, who has lived there my entire life and played golf since childhood.