DIFFICULT, UNIQUE, FUN

Seven Hills Golf Club has long been the bane of my golfing existence. As a member of my high school golf team, every year our district tournament was held here, and I never played well.

It’s a pretty daunting course for a public track. At least it was in high school, and I didn’t have much success there in the subsequent times I played it years after graduating. Numerous rounds started off with initial anger that faded into sheer hopelessness as the shot tally grew larger and larger.

But with a renewed sense of vigor, I decided to give Seven Hills another try. The course itself is and always was in excellent shape. The staff always was courteous and friendly, and rates always fair ($34 for a riding weekday 18). So I had to see if my golfing woes were due more to my awful playing or to the difficulty of the course. Turns out it was a little of both.

PrintA recent trip to play the track again was far more enjoyable than previous experiences, but as I suspected, Seven Hills is as hard of a public course as I’ve ever played.

Water is in play on numerous holes, and often just a few yards off the landing area of tight, tree-lined fairways. The greens are lightning quick, and if you get out of position on any tee or approach shot, you’re usually in trouble. It’s target golf at its finest.

But here’s the thing. Despite all of that, I love the course. It’s a true test.

Many public courses in Ohio have gotten so watered down with their level of difficulty, it’s downright uninspiring to play them.

Tucked away in its little slice of Lake Township, Seven Hills is unique. The proprietors could start cutting down trees or slowing down the greens, but then it wouldn’t be Seven Hills anymore.

After my usual disastrous double bogey start on the par-5, opening hole, I made a nice par save on
No. 2. I missed the fairway but still found the green on my approach on No. 3. On No. 4, I hit the ball a mile right of the fairway, but hit it so badly in that direction, I had a shot at the hole where I managed another two-putt par. Suddenly the clouds started to lift.

The biggest rule for Seven Hills? Stay below the hole. Seven Hills often penalizes players for mis-clubbing long. The par-3 sixth hole is a prime example. Same with the par-5 eighth, the par-4 ninth and the par-5 10th.

The back nine is a touch easier than the front, and provides a few more scoring opportunities. But again, it’s very much a target-style golf course where players need to know their yardages and hit their marks. Luckily a string of decent holes improved my confidence to successfully attack the back nine, and I ended up playing the best round of golf I’ve ever played there, finishing with five-straight pars.

Seven Hills may be a course more suited for experienced golfers, but if improving concentration, club selection and your touch around the greens are among your goals, this is the course you should be playing.

About The Author

Writer

B.J. Lisko is a designer/writer for The Repository’s Ticket entertainment weekly. He resides in Youngstown, where he has fronted rock band Turbo Lovers for the past 11 years. When he’s not working or gigging in area dives, he usually can be found on a golf course somewhere, berating himself.

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