Cumberland Trail Golf Club - New Owners Bring 5-Star Experience

Cumberland Trail Golf Course - Pataskala, OH There is something very important to be said about “been there, done that,” especially when it comes to creating a great golf experience. The new owners of Cumberland Trail Golf Club in Pataskala bring the background of building the ONLY Golf Digest Places-to-Play 5-Star club in Ohio, Little Mountain up on Lake Erie, to the fabulous farmland setting just east of Columbus.

Cumberland Trail Golf Course and Little Mountain already share a past, created by the Columbus-based, but internationally recognized designers Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry. Now they share a future, under the umbrella of Little Mountain’s awardwinning management and as part of the growing Hurdzan/Fry Trail.

If you’ve been to Cumberland Trail before, the spectacular bentgrass greens that were kept at 10-1/2 on the Stimpmeter before they’re ever double-cut or rolled are still there, but are now joined by bunkers restored to the Hurdzan/Fry original specs, even though it involves much more maintenance. 

The mountain chalet-style clubhouse has been renovated with a patio on the back for the large number of special events, small group outings and fundraisers that receive the same elevated level of service that resulted in Little Mountain’s 5-Star rating (one of only 17 courses in the country given Golf Digest’s highest marks, in the company of Bandon Dunes, Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, Pinehurst #2, Bethpage Black, The Ocean Course at Kiawah, Whistling Straits and Arcadia Bluffs). How’s this for value? 5-Star service and management of a great Hurdzan/Fry layout, always for under $50?

Located a couple of miles north of exit 118 off I-70, Cumberland Trail gives you a heart-of-it-all welcome and your outing of four, or 144, will face two distinct challenges from the two unique nines.

Cumberland Trail Golf Course - Pataskala, OH

The front side is a pretty wide open drive through the countryside, but the first and ninth holes, a pair of excellent midrange par-4s, are the only ones without water in play. As soon as you reach the tee of the long par-5 second, you’ll get a look at one of 8 ponds that dot the course. On the scorecard, the two par-3s are the two easiest holes on the front side, but just try to convince anyone who’s played them before.

The back nine is much more heavily forested and contains 40 acres of wetlands to navigate, including Cumberland Trail’s own “Amen Corner, the 12th through 15th. Featuring a long par-5 followed by a trio of par-4s, the Corner’s finale is the only “dry” hole on the back side, the seemingly innocuous, barely over 300-yard 15th. But a well-bunkered landing area still demands precise placement off the tee and a great wedge to a severely undulating green.

Cumberland Trail Golf Course fits well into the Hurdzan/Fry philosophy of understated classic designs that don’t emphasize strength, skill or strategy above the other, and are environmentally friendly to play as well. Their design mantra is to “stir the spirit, exceed expectation and defy understanding” with courses that are “set in an environment of unquestioning beauty, yet subject to the irrepressible forces of nature.”

There’s always something “special” going on at Cumberland Trail’s Web site, or you can call for tee times and information at (740) 964-9336. 


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