Cincinnati area losing popular 36-hole Arthur Hills-designed golf course

A popular 36-hole public golf course in the Cincinnati area is set to close for good, reports local affiliate station WCPO.

Weatherwax Golf Course in Middletown, Ohio -- opened in 1972 -- will shutter its doors Nov. 9.

In 2014 the course was sold by the city of Middletown to auctioneers who, despite steady play, haven't been able to make the business work. Rated as high as no. 75 in the U.S. among public courses by Golf Digest in 1994, the property will be converted into a metropark.

From the WCPO report:

"I just gotta take it as it comes," [course professional and operator Jim] Kraft said. "When I called to tell my wife, she asked if I was crying. That sums up how I feel about this." Kraft has worked the last two years to save the course. He leased the course from Bowling to prove it is a viable business. "I thought maybe I could save it. I thought if I showed it could be a viable business, then maybe it would lead to a long-term lease." Kraft wanted to show the course could be a business opportunity opposed to an investment. "They thought it was best for them to go and sell it." Play has remained steady despite questions about the course's future the past two years. It has seen 50,000 rounds of play this year and 55,000 rounds last year, according to Kraft.

Weatherwax, designed by Arthur Hills, has been a steady four-star golf course on Golf Advisor. Our most recent review of the course, on Oct. 6, comes from a reviewer who had heard the sad news that one of their area favorites was closing:

I have always loved playing Weatherwax regardless of which 18 we were playing. Over the past 24 months rumors have been flying around about the course being sold, closing etc with the latest being this is the final year. We wanted to play it again while the weather was good and glad we did. Highlands played its usual tough self and was in pretty good condition then we moved on to Meadows. Meadows was in OK shape and no where near as good as the front 9. We decided to have a drink on the patio as it was such a beautiful evening and found out that the corse has 30 days left and will close on Nov 7th. We will be sad to see this gem of a course (4 9's), If you haven't played it or want to one last time do it now. To the staff at Weatherwax, thank you for the years of great golf.
Brandon Tucker is the Sr. Managing Editor for GolfPass and was the founding editor of Golf Advisor in 2014, he was the managing editor for Golf Channel Digital's Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and nearly 600 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at @btuck34.
1 Comments
Default User Avatar
Commented on

A handful of political appointees decided this without public discussion or local input. They are destroying a valuable community asset used by thousands for the benefit of a few horse enthusiasts. Tax dollars and grants will be used tokill a significant chunk of the local economy. 

Related Links
Home of Jack Nicklaus, we've found some of the top-rated public courses in Ohio, according to Golf Advisor reviews.
1 Min Read
Based on golfer ratings, these are the top 50 golf courses in the United States under $50.
3 Min Read
As a tribute to our fallen friends, we've gathered photographs of golf courses that Golf Advisor readers said they miss the most.
15 Images
More from the author
5 Min Read
December 7, 2021
It may be the private club capital of Florida, but golfers endorse these public-access courses.
4 Min Read
December 3, 2021
It's never been easier to design custom hats, golf balls, clubs, headcovers and more.
2 Min Read
November 30, 2021
It's possible this little ditty finds you scooping up the last bit of cranberry pie crumbs out of the tray. Thanksgiving may have passed but the effects of celebratory eating around the table, and also possibly social imbibing during all the various football games throughout the weekend, are sticking with us. To our bellies and elsewhere.
4 Min Read
November 23, 2021
We scoured the web of golf and found holiday savings up to 50% off.
12 Min Read
November 18, 2021
Golfers can choose from a wide variety of portable launch monitor price points and user experiences. Here is what's new and the best ones to consider to improve your golf.
7 Min Read
November 9, 2021
Our community loves the value and experience at these popular and affordable military facilities and even book online.
Popular
18 Min Read
January 10, 2022
We tallied more than 320,000 reviews in 2021. Here are the courses you and your fellow golfers loved best.
1 Min Read
January 10, 2022
More than 40,000 reviews have been tallied to determine California's best public golf courses based on our community of reviewers.
By Golfers' Choice
1 Min Read
January 10, 2022
Best public golf courses in the state based on our community of reviewers.
By Golfers' Choice
3 Min Read
January 10, 2022
Find great bang-for-your-buck at these courses.
Load More
Now Reading
Cincinnati area losing popular 36-hole Arthur Hills-designed golf course