Longaberger Golf Club
Longaberger GC an Ohio Oh My!
By Glen Turk
Standing on the highest point of Longaberger Golf Club looking west I realized the meaning of the phrase 'Natural Progression." Off in the distance, some 10 miles from Ohio's #1 Public Golf Course was the reason it existed, The Longaberger Basket Company. It's an edifice that's as distinguished as the 10 year course itself, both lasting tributes to the vision of Dave Longaberger 35 years ago.
I first became aware of the Longaberger name not through a local craft fair, but where I receive all of my pertinent information - Golf Channel. It was on that network I saw Dottie Pepper take on Karrie Webb on the made-for-television Shell's Wonderful World of Golf. Even though the event was a decade ago, Longaberger's Chair of the Board and CEO Tami Longaberger remembers it like it was yesterday. "We were very happy that the event paired two of the top female golf professionals for an exciting match given that our business is connected to tens of thousands of female independent Home Consultants and customers nationwide. It was exciting golf, and we appreciated the opportunity to share a wonderful design and beautiful golf course with the players and the television audience," explained Tami Longaberger.
By only spending two hours with Tami it became extremely evident the property's style and grace is an extension of her personality. She's the type of person you feel just as comfortable talking about her beloved Ohio State Buckeyes with as how to run a successful business. Speaking of business, Longaberger Golf Course's business model is a marvel to behold. From day one, the golf course was built as an amenity of the basket company as it was designed to offer a diversion for the spouses of their consultants.
The Longaberger Company also operates a lodging establishment that provides stay-and-play options. The Place Off The Square, a 117-room hotel in nearby Newark, is only nine miles from Longaberger GC and is as classy as the course. (For more information on Longaberger Golf Club, its hotel or its stay-and-play packages visit their website at www.longabergergolfclub.com or call their pro shop at 740-763-1100.)
You may not have heard about Longaberger until now, primarily because the company doesn't feel the need to over promote themselves. Head Golf Professional Danny Ackerman believes in the less is more strategy that defines so many great properties from coast to coast. "We feel in this economy and geographically where we are located that we are a steal. I am proud to say that in Golf Digest magazine's August 2009 issue 'America's 100 Greatest Public Courses Re-ranked By Price' we were rated No. 19. I know for most of the general public that $99 is a high dollar to pay but, when you see our facilities, course, conditions and staff we feel that we're one of those places that you'll treat yourself to two or three times a year," stated Ackerman.
Plus, who needs to promote so heavily when Golfweek magazine does it for you. That publication rated Longaberger GC Ohio's No. 1 public course the last three years in a row. Remember, there can only be 50 courses in America that garner that lofty honor. Other number one luminaries include Pebble Beach, Cog Hill, and the TPC Sawgrass, so Longaberger is truly in heady company.
I dare you to find a better four-hole stretch in America than holes 8-11 at Longaberger GC. The 8th plays 420 yards from the Blue Tees and presents an ultimate risk-reward proposition. Option one is to play it safe and aim out to the right leaving a mid-iron from a potential downhill lie to a sunken green. Option two is to carry your drive 224 yards to a tight fairway directly inline with the putting surface. The resulting wedge into the green should grant you a realistic birdie chance to the isthmus green.
In conclusion, the two stars of Longaberger are the architect, Arthur Hills, and the land itself. One of the most underrated architects of our generation, Hills' designs are thoughtful, fair, yet challenging, and Longaberger GC is no different. If you'd like to see what the best of Ohio looks like, a trip to Longaberger via plane or automobile should be in your near future. And if you're in nearby Newark, Ohio make sure you check out the Natoma Café in the heart of their historic downtown. On their business card it says "the home of the Baby Beef Tenderlion Steak." Numerous members of our group indulged and they concur - the tenderloin is that good. Plus the owners are golf fanatics, which is always a good thing.
Revised: 12/03/2010 - Article Viewed 21,794 Times
About: Glen Turk
Glen Turk is a Wisconsin native and is the Senior Writer/Editor of Midwest Golfing Magazine. Midwest Golfing Magazine was formerly known as Pub-Links Golfer's Magazine and is a free publication distributed four times per year throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio.
His duties at MGM include writing course features, facilitating product testing, and overseeing the overall content and look of the magazine. But clearly his most important task is playing as much golf as his wife allows. Fortunately for him, she plays also and loves out-driving him even with a 60 yard head start.
Glen plays to a 6 handicap but once set a record by having his ball retriever regripped 15 times in one calendar year. It was a December trip to Guam that ultimately did him in. Finally, if you haven't caught on by now, the two most worthy weapons in Glen's writing arsenal are self-deprecating humor and pithy one-liners.
My signature line, "Be A Force on The Course" and now more recently, "Hit 'Em Where They Mow!" can be reused at no charge.
Contact Glen Turk:
Midwest Golfing Magazine - Senior Writer Editor