Olde Stonewall Golf Club - hole 6
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Olde Stonewall Golf Club - hole 6
This water feature is the highlight of the flatter front nine at Olde Stonewall Golf Club in Ellwood City, Pa. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Olde Stonewall Golf Club - clubhouse
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Olde Stonewall Golf Club - clubhouse
There's a castle clubhouse waiting to greet golfers at Olde Stonewall Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Olde Stonewall golf course - hole 1
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Olde Stonewall golf course - hole 1
Olde Stonewall Golf Club starts with a solid par 5. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Olde Stonewall golf course - hole 2
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Olde Stonewall golf course - hole 2
The second hole of Olde Stonewall Golf Club plays downhill. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Olde Stonewall Golf Club - stonework
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Olde Stonewall Golf Club - stonework
The stonework is what gives Olde Stonewall Golf Club its name. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Olde Stonewall golf course - 7th green
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Olde Stonewall golf course - 7th green
Olde Stonewall Golf Club was built on a nice rural setting north of Pittsburgh. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Olde Stonewall Golf Club - 11th hole
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Olde Stonewall Golf Club - 11th hole
This hazard creates a daunting approach to the 11th green at Olde Stonewall Golf Club in Ellwood City, Pa. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Olde Stonewall golf course - hole 13
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Olde Stonewall golf course - hole 13
Bunkers line the 13th hole at Olde Stonewall Golf Club in Ellwood City, Pa. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Olde Stonewall Golf Club - hole 14
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Olde Stonewall Golf Club - hole 14
The 14th hole at Olde Stonewall Golf Club drops over a pond fed by a man-made rock waterfall. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Olde Stonewall golf course - hole 16
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Olde Stonewall golf course - hole 16
Do yourself a favor and head to the back tee of the 16th hole at Olde Stonewall Golf Club in Ellwood City, Pa. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Olde Stonewall Golf Club - hole 18
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Olde Stonewall Golf Club - hole 18
The 481-yard 18th hole is the longest par 4 at Olde Stonewall Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
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Take on the Pittsburgh area's best: Olde Stonewall Golf Club in western Pennsylvania

ELLWOOD CITY, Pa. -- Golfers experience full Americana, driving up and down bucolic hills and touring the main streets of several small towns, to reach the remote Olde Stonewall Golf Club. So it comes as a shock when a giant castle clubhouse with 50-foot turrets comes into view once you pull in the parking lot. This dramatic first impression introduces a golf fantasy land north of Pittsburgh that might house the best public course in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry, of Ohio, designed Olde Stonewall. The gorgeous natural setting is accented by hundreds of limestone boulders imported from a nearby rock quarry. They decorate green sites and tee boxes. Often, the best view is to look backward from the green to admire the stacks.

Each nine provides a different dynamic. The front nine roams mostly flat land along Connoquenessing Creek. There are a handful of good holes featuring water, although the excitement builds significantly on the higher ground of the back nine, where the vistas are grander and the hazards more daunting. After a pair of pretty par 3s back to back at holes 14 and 15, the round comes to a climax at the 16th tee.

Everybody should head to the back tee for a swing. Whether you make the 240-yard carry to the fairway doesn't matter. It's the view that makes you appreciate such a place.

Back at the Olde Stonewall clubhouse, dinner or drinks at Shakespeare's Restaurant and Pub is a worthy end to a fine day.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 1,000 courses and golf destinations 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 @jasondeegangolfadvisor and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Take on the Pittsburgh area's best: Olde Stonewall Golf Club in western Pennsylvania