Golf course green at Ashland Golf Club

Editor's Note

This story is sponsored by the Ashland Golf Club

This year Ashland Golf Club is celebrating a century of friendly competition and camaraderie that all began with a simple desire to bring something new to the Ashland community.

In 1921, five businessmen came together with one goal in mind: bring the game of golf to small town Ohio. Though the game had begun to take its roots, it was only just picking up in popularity, with several other clubs opening in the following years. 

When the-then Country Club of Ashland opened its first nine holes in 1923, it was not only the realization of this goal, but also the beginning of a hundred year legacy of commitment to quality and care. In 2023 Ashland Golf Club was voted in the Top 10 of Golfers’ Choice courses by GolfPass. 

Hosting roughly 20,000 rounds of golf a year, the Club is not only a social hub for Ashland locals, but for golfers all across the state. With almost 60% of day-to-day players coming from out of town, they are drawn in by the course’s unique elevation changes which tend to be somewhat uncommon in flat Ohio. That all stemmed from the Club holding true to the standards of design established by Willie Park Jr.’s original concept– with tree lined fairways and small greens. This world renowned course architect that designed Ashland’s first 9 holes in the ‘20s also designed the Sunningdale Old course which is often ranked as one of the world’s top courses. 

In its early days, “The Club” was the gathering place of the social elite, at one point touting some 450 members. Ashland’s own Everett DeVaul recalled the club’s popularity for its corporate parties and live music featuring artists like Jimmy Dorsey and Maynard Ferguson. 

“Back in the 50s and 60s it was the thing to do. The course has even hosted players like Arnold Palmer and Dave Marr,” DeVaul said. 

Then, in 2011, “The Club” developed an even deeper connection with the community when it was opened to the public under its current name, becoming a country club quality course available to golfers of all ranges. Ashland Golf Club has made it their mission to uphold that quality. Current Head Pro Dennis North attributes their continued success entirely to the hard work of the people involved. Not only the remarkable staff, but also the great players that have come out of Ashland. 

“There’s such a history of great golf and great golfers in such a small town, it’s crazy when you think about it. It’s pretty incredible the quality of golf that comes from this place,” North said.

Some of Ashland Golf Club’s own members, Ashland High School state champion Steve Paramore and Max Watson, have even won the Ohio Open. 

Ashland Golf Club has experienced tremendous growth over the last 10 years alone, going from just 6 teams in a Wednesday night league to 78 teams across Wednesday and Thursday night leagues. The club continues to be a central hub of connection and reconnection between family and friends across the whole of Ohio. 

“Usually, once a person comes here to play, they want to come back,” DeVaul said. “And we’re happy to give them that experience of not only good golf, but a nice place to sit on the patio, enjoy a beverage, and have a good time.”

The club is very proud of its longstanding history and invites the public to join them in their 100 days of celebration. Events are happening all the time this summer with Tee it Up Tuesdays and Parties on the Patio with live music and food trucks. On July 30, Ashland Golf Club is bringing Elvis back by popular demand. General Admission wristbands are being sold for $5.00 with access to the food trucks and the cash bar starting at 4:30 p.m. and Elvis taking the stage at 6 p.m.

If the history of golf in Ashland has caught your attention, on the 100th day of the centennial celebration, Sept. 3, Ashland Golf Club Members will get to participate in the Old Hickory Challenge where golfers can play the game like they did a hundred years ago with wooden clubs and help bury a time capsule for the 100 years to come. 

More information about memberships and events can be found on their website or by calling the Pro Shop at 419-289-3767.

The Life section is supported by Brethren Care Village in Ashland.