Cleveland rocks as Ohio's best golf destination

SOLON, Ohio -- Cleveland as a golf destination? You bet. No city in Ohio boasts a better combination of good public courses and tourist attractions -- three pro sports teams and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- than Cleveland.

The region's public golf scene goes deep. Golf Magazine listed six area courses among the state's top 11 public courses in 2012. Golfweek countered with three of the top five in Ohio in 2013.

Two classic courses -- Stanley Thompson's Sleepy Hollow Golf Course in Brecksville and Donald Ross's Hawthorne Valley Golf Club in Solon -- were honored in each publication, as was Little Mountain Country Club in Concord.

Ross also designed the demanding Manakiki Golf Course, a Cleveland Metroparks course in Willoughby Hills. Two modern clubs worth playing are the Legacy Course at Sweetbriar Golf Club west of Cleveland in Avon Lake and Grey Hawk Golf Club in Lagrange. Pete Dye designed Fowler's Mill Golf Course in Chesterland, where the par 5s stand out.

Bobby Jones, 82, of Bay View, Ohio, calls greater Cleveland "golf heaven."

"You can't find any better golf than around here," he said.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.

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The eight golf courses of the Cleveland Metroparks aren't the best collection of municipal courses in the country, but they're probably a close second. While nobody can compete with Bethpage, none offer the variety and history of the courses of the Cleveland Metroparks. Jason Scott Deegan has more from Ohio.
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Cleveland rocks as Ohio's best golf destination