Clover Valley Golf Club

Have you ever driven past some rolling central Ohio farmland and wondered to yourself, “boy, that would make a great layout for a golf course.” Welcome to Clover Valley Golf Club in Johnstown, just northeast of New Albany. The four-year-old finishe product of Joe Cervi, Larry D’Eramo and Mario D’Eramo, avid golfers and former club members themselves, who took the 200 acres they’d owned for three decades and along with friend Larry Canini, finally put pencil-to-paper and bulldozer-to-earth, designing and shaping a little slice of golf heaven that should be enjoyed by generations to come.

Yet while Clover Valley has a truly mom-and-pop background, it has already become a well-respected challenge of 7,150 yards from the back tees with a solid course rating of 129. General Manager Larry Cervi says you’ll likely use all the clubs in your bag, and you’d better be particularly good with the short ones as generous landing areas off the tees taper off to smaller-than-normal greens with severe undulations. And even though the landing areas are wide and fairway bunkers are few, Cervi reminds golfers not to stray too far left or right on most holes, because the native heathers and grasses of central Ohio quickly become more difficult hazards than any water or sand your stray shots might find.


New “Senior” tees have been added (measuring about 6,000 yards) to four previous sets, giving golfers a variety of challenges, from the 7,150-yard tips to 5,500 from the forward tees. The two nines are not “front” and “back” but “Clover” and “Valley” to offer a different feel to your round depending on where you begin. Both nines begin with mid-range par-4’s but the Clover nine quickly gets quite serious, with three meaty par-4s at the fourth, fifth and sixth holes that are handicapped as 3 of the 7 toughest holes on the course. Go 4-4-4 through that stretch and you might be on your way to a magical round.

he right hand side of the green of the par-5 seventh hole on the Valley nine has to be seen to be believed, a true “signature” hole. Yet by the time you reach it, you’ll be well aware of the signature of this course, water on 14 of the 18 holes, though you’re really faced with forced-carries on fewer than a half-dozen of them. The other signature is solitude as no development is planned anywhere around the course.


The new clubhouse sits on the same spot as the old farm house, and you can’t miss the renovated silo that provides a landmark for seekers of Clover Valley. Banquet, wedding and outing facilities are available for groups up to 175 with a recommended caterer on- call. The complete practice facility featuring grass tees and mats, putting greens and practice bunkers is available for your use anytime.

But what will initially strike you, and will quite-possibly bring you back, are the conditions. The fairways and greens of G-2 Bentgrass (the same grass played at Pinehurst and only G-2 found in this part of Ohio) are extremely well-manicured for a reason. The guys who envisioned Clover Valley, designed it and built it are the same men you’re likely to see keeping it in pristine condition. It’s their home, their dream and, they hope, your next golf challenge. For more on Clover Valley, call them at (740) 966-5533, toll-free at (866) 966-5533 or log-on to www.clovervalleygolfclub.com.

 

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