Maumee Bay is not an easy course. The course record of 4- under 68 was
set by Chris Smith, an Ohio State graduate and current PGA Tour player,
at a U.S. Open qualifier in 1991. From the gold tees, Maumee Bay
measures 6,941 yards — so it's not the longest course scratch golfers
Several factors make this course difficult. The first are the greens.
All are undulated, some more severely than others. They aren't easy to read,
a fact confirmed by club professional Donald Karns.
"The greens do putt true, but there are some funny subtleties to some of them,"
said Karns, a Cleveland native who attended Berea High School.
"Sometimes they break in an opposite direction. Two of the par-3 holes also
have long, narrow greens with not a lot of landing area."
Those are the 11th, a 150- yarder from the white tees (187 from the gold)
with water right of the green, and the 179-yard 15th (222 gold) with a lake
that runs the entire left side with tall fescue grass catching errant shots
to the right.
Wind is always a factor. Karns said some days it's hardly noticeable, but three years ago, when winds averaged 35 miles per hour at a U.S. Open qualifier, players were using drivers into the wind at the 15th and not reaching the green.
The hole is difficult enough with no wind because the left side of the narrowgreen tilts towards the water.
The fescue grass can also be intimidating, but on most holes, it takes a really bad shot to reach it. Golfers can see two kinds of birds — swallows and sandpipers — flying around the wild grass areas, which can also swallow golf balls in the thicker areas.
"This course can play tough," Karns said. "But this course is not an unfair course. Everything is in front of you … there are no hidden problems."
It's also a course of which venerable architect Donald Ross would have approved — where par is hard and bogey is easy. It has a rugged beauty and appeal that makes playing Maumee Bay well worth the trip.
Maumee Bay drains as well as any Ohio course. This writer and fellow Plain Dealer reporter Bob Migra got caught in a 15-minute downpour, but five minutes afterwards you could not tell it had rained.
Because Maumee Bay is a resort course, there is plenty to do for non-golfers — miles of hiking and biking trails, indoor and outdoor swimming pools (or swim in Lake Erie), camping, fishing, and boating.
US Open Local Qualifier
Monday, May 15
Local qualifiing for the US Open
Maumee Bay's unique 18-hole "Scottish Links" style golf course has low, rolling mounds, bent grass fairways, greens and tees, numerous sand bunkers and ponds. A golf pro-shop is in operation with a PGA certified professional on staff.
Not just sissy Canada Geese on this course. These are Ohio's endangered Trumpeter Swans.
Do you want to know if you have a golf game good enough to play Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis., or The Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland? Maumee Bay State Park is a gem, tough on your scorecard, and easy on your wallet.
What does the Cleveland Plain Dealer
think of the
Maumee Bay State Park course?
Golf Course Pro Shop (419) 836-9009 - PGA Pro Don Karns
- Host of local U.S. Open qualifier annually
- Host of AJGA invitational in 2000
- Recipient of “Best Places to Play” in Golf Digest 2002
- Recipient of Four Stars in Golf Digest 2004
- #6 in Maximum Golf Magazine for Best Bargain Courses in 2000