Donald Ross is arguably the most prolific golf course designer. Ross emigrated to the United States in 1899 and is credited with designing over 400 golf courses in this country. By all accounts, one of his favorite designs was The Denison Golf Club in Granville, OH. Forty of his courses are in North Carolina with several in the Pinehurst area including the famous Pinehurst #2.
In 1924, local railroad and coal magnate John Sutphin Jones built the Granville Inn and was looking to make the Inn more attractive to guests. Because he wanted the best, he hired Donald Ross to design and build the golf course. Ross stuck to his philosophy that the best golf courses were developed using the natural topography of the land to create a challenging variety of shot angles and rolls. Granville’s naturally rolling and wooded terrain provided a natural canvas on which Ross could create his masterpiece. In 2015 Granville Township purchased the development rights to the land and the Village of Granville acquired the land where the clubhouse and other buildings sit as a means to control any development in that area. In 2016 – 2017, the course underwent a major renovation.
If you’re familiar with Donald Ross courses you know that it’s not the length that will get you, it’s the approach shots and green complexes. Four sets of tees create manageable distances for every level of golfer. This Donald Ross masterpiece plays 6,559 yards from the Black Tees with a course rating of 71.2 and a slope of 130. Move up to the Blue (6,210/66.7/124) or White 5,530/65.8/122) Tees and the course becomes a little friendlier. Ladies typically play from the Red Tees (5,157/69.6/125) while seniors will have a good time from the Gold (5,335/65.8/122) Tees. Yardage and statistics are provided for the Ladies from the White, Gold, and Red tees.
Denison Golf Club is all of that and then some. Sixty- three strategically placed bunkers, elevated and well-undulated greens, and significant elevation changes deliver a challenging and enjoyable round of golf. As a result, the Denison Golf Club has long been noted as one of the best public courses in the Midwest. Four sets of tees allow players of all skill levels the ability to find a suitable yardage.
Before or after your round, the Bistro at Denison Golf Club is a great place to relax and relive your round with a frosty cold beer The Bistro offers a variety of craft beer selections as well as several hot sandwiches, appetizers, and breakfast sandwiches!
Now you have the opportunity to join one of the finest golf courses in the area. Denison Golf Club offers a variety of membership options to suit every golfer’s needs, and all memberships include cart fees. Regular golf memberships (54 years of age and younger)are available for both singles and families as are senior (55+) memberships. Twilight (after 2 PM) and youth memberships are also available
From the White tees, the par 5 holes are reachable in two, setting up some good scoring opportunities.
Memorable Holes: Number 1, Par 4, 312 yards. This short par 4 has a wide fairway and offers a great way to get your round started on a good note. That will leave a short pitch shot into a small, elevated green that is fronted by four bunkers. A couple of them are about 30 yards short of the green so make sure you take enough club to get on the green. The green slopes back to front.
Number 4: Par 3, 130 yards. There’s a big difference between the blue and white tees on this par hole – over 100 yards! There’s quite a bit of trouble too: there’s out of bounds on the left side and behind the elevated green. Push your tee shot too far right and you’ll be on the #5 tee box. Two pot bunkers guard the front of the green. The fairway bunker adds a lot to the looks of the hole but really shouldn’t come into play for anyone.
Number 6: Par 5, 420 yards. This short par 5 is reachable with a good drive. The fairway slopes left to right so a drive down the right side will funnel down to the left, which is the side you want to approach the green from. Once again the green is elevated and guarded by bunkers on either side.
Number 16: Par 4, 305 yards. The 16th hole is far from the longest par 4 on the golf course but it’s one of the prettiest. Majestic pine trees on either side frame a fairway that meanders uphill to a green with a small bunker front right.
Number 18: Par 4, 340 yards: The 18th hole is clearly Denison’s signature hole. The scorecard says that from the White tees, Number 18 plays 340 yards, although since you’re playing downhill from an elevated tee box, it plays shorter. There are fairway bunkers on either side of the landing area to keep you honest off the tee. A good drive will leave a short chip shot into a large green that is crowned in the back and has a ridge running through the middle creating two distinct levels. It can be a tough two-putt if you’re in the back putting to a front pin.
Before your round, warm up on Denison’s full-length driving range where you can hit every club in your bag. There’s also a practice putting green where you can get an idea of what you can expect on the course.
Last Word: If you’re looking for a golf club that the whole family can enjoy and a place with a friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable staff then you’ve come to the right place! Denison Golf Club is a nostalgic Donald Ross course with a lot of character that can be enjoyed by golfers of all ages and abilities. Even stretched to its limits, the course won’t overpower you. Most of the greens are elevated and are true Donald Ross greens with crowns, false fronts, and fall off areas on several sides. General Manager Todd Bishop and his staff can assist with all of your needs if you’re looking to host an outing or event. Visit them online at www.denisongolfclub.com.