New Albany Links Golf Club Great Golf, Charming Social Atmosphere

New Albany Links Golf Club Great Golf, Charming Social AtmosphereMaybe you’ve stumbled upon a literal diamond in the rough you didn’t know existed by taking a wrong turn. Pleasantly surprised when you accepted an invitation to be the fourth in a weekend scramble? The simple truth is that there are some golf courses that are just too good to miss out on, and how we happen to discover them is inconsequential.

Nearly a decade after it was hailed as one of the top 10 “Best New Affordable Public Golf Courses,” in the country by Golf Digest magazine, there are still people, even a few in the nearby community, unaware that New Albany Links is open to the public.

Rated Four Stars by Golf Digest and listed among the top 20 golf courses, public or private, by GolfLink.com, upscale New Albany Links has a country club feel but does welcome daily-fee play. As a bonus, the club offers memberships and doubles as a lively gathering spot for a variety of social events.

The centerpiece of activities at New Albany Links is the par-72 golf course designed by Barry Serafin, a New Albany native who studied under Ohio icon Jack Kidwell and Dr. Michael Hurdzan. Measuring 7,004 yards from the tips, but shrinking to around 4,800 to accommodate all skill levels, New Albany Links is a “must play” less than 20 miles from golf-crazed Columbus.

As its name indicates, New Albany is a links-style design marked by gently rolling terrain, mounding, moguls, prevalent bunkering, a variety of fescue grasses and very fast sloping greens that tend to firm up and become even quicker in the depths of summer.

“The greens are quick, and with so much slope it starts to get pretty interesting,” said Head Professional Josh Jacobs. “I played nine holes last night and it’s getting firm. You hit pitches and chips and all of a sudden they’re 20 feet by. There are some places where it’s hard to know where to hit the ball. Then the fescue grows tall and thecourse firms up and that really makes things tight. It’s not brutally difficult, but it’s all the golf course you want. Even a very good player will be tested.”

New Albany Links Golf Club Great Golf, Charming Social Atmosphere

“There are some great shot values throughout the whole course,” said Serafin, whose work as a course architect is concentrated in Ohio. “It’s designed from the back tees to challenge the very good players, and it does every bit of that.

There are some areas on the shorter holes that have tight corridors, but the longer holes are pretty open. From tee to green it’s not as challenging, but coming into the green you’ll be tested on every single hole by the positioning of the greens and bunkering. You’ll probably hit every club in your bag and this course will challenge every part of your game.”

If New Albany has one standout signature hole, it has to be the 428-yard par-4 12th, which just happens to be the No. 1 handicap hole on the course. From the championship tees you’ll need a 250-yard carry to reach the fairway on this dogleg left that wraps around a water hazard. From there you’re left with a long iron to a green only 15-20 yards wide and 40 feet deep. Make birdie here and you’ll feel like you’ve stolen something.

It’s highly unlikely that New Albany Links will confront golfers with identical shots day after day. Depending on weather conditions and wind direction, you can find yourself hitting driver, 4-iron to reach the green of a par 5 one day, and driver, 3-wood, 5-iron a week later.

“The nice thing is that the golf course plays different pretty much every time you play it,” said Jacobs.

New Albany Links Golf Club Great Golf, Charming Social Atmosphere

In terms of pricing, New Albany upholds a country club level of playing conditions without charging budget busting fees. But it’s not bargain golf by any stretch. By offering great shot value, tremendous off-course amenities and an agreeable rate schedule, the course has positioned itself among the “must play” layouts in the region.

“Columbus is a tough market, and many great architects have worked here,” Serafin said. “To be able to rank among the top…it’s an honor for me to be a part of that. And with Columbus being such a golfing town, the golfers really recognize some of the true value when you do a nice course, and that brings them back. And that’s the goal…to have someone play it and want to return.”

In addition to the 18-hole championship golf course, New Albany Links features a charming clubhouse that can host any type of social function, a complete practice facility and fully-stocked golf shop. Golf lessons, clinics and camps are currently being offered.

Online, golfers can access eSpecials that guarantee the best rates, and book tee times 24 hours a day. For more information on everything available at New Albany Links Golf Club, please visit www.newalbanylinks.com.

 

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