Westchester Golf Course in Canal Winchester: A good value in central Ohio
CANAL WINCHESTER, Ohio -- First impressions don't give a true indication of how good the Westchester Golf Course is.
The course, a Dr. Michael Hurdzan design dating to 1997, still doesn't have a permanent clubhouse, operating out of a mobile home in a small town 15 miles southeast of Columbus.
What Westchester lacks in facilities, it makes up for with what's outside, a good practice facility and a fine, 7,120-yard track that rates among the best bargains in central Ohio. Guests can really tell that Head Golf Professional Josh Boggs and Superintendent Mark Novotny take pride in the course.
"It's a fair challenge," Boggs said. "There is something for everybody."
Westchester is a great asset for the community with a handful of highlights and no real bad holes. Boggs said a lot of players walk off Westchester with their career round, even with six lakes and more than 75 bunkers as obstacles. That's a tribute to its playability and Hurdzan's straight-forward approach to design.
"There are no hidden shots," Boggs said. "What you see is what you get."
The first hole of the day eases players into the round. The par 5 is reachable in two from the blue tees, especially if the prevailing wind is at your back. It ranks as the No. 18 handicap.
Although water lurks on the perimeter of four of the final five holes on the front nine, the short par 4s at No. 8 and No. 9 are where players need to take advantage. The back nine ups the ante and moves into a more intimate natural setting away from the subdivision homes.
Surviving the gauntlet of the last three holes requires some serious ball-striking or scrambling. The par-4 16th plays more like a par 5 at 468 yards from the blue tees. A tricky green defends par at the 193-yard 17th hole. The drive from the blue tees of the 422-yard 18th must carry at least 185 yards to a narrow elevated fairway.
"The last three holes are solid," Boggs said.
Doug Long, of Grove City, recently played the course with friend Dan Gunner of Westerville. They said they enjoyed the day because Westchester challenges long hitters (like Long) but doesn't beat up shorter hitters (like Gunner).
"It's challenging but not too long," Long said. "Most of the holes are good."
Westchester Golf Course: The verdict
Westchester Golf Course probably isn't a destination course for outsiders, but if you live near Columbus and want to explore a new venue away from your usual golf haunts, it's worth a look. The bargain price will more than make up for the drive from the city.