Few people that visit Steuben County deny its scenic beauty. Rolling green hills give way to crystal blue waters, lush woodlands intertwine with sandy beaches, winding roads lead to picturesque small towns that look like something out of quaint movies. With something for everyone it really is the ideal place to live or at the very least at least visit for a good long time!
Though water is one of the favorite ways guests to spend their time in our lovely county, there are some equally beautiful landlocked areas— such as our golf courses. They’re not just places to play, they also have their own pro-shops, driving ranges, and eateries. Even if the only club you’ve ever held is the ace from a Bicycle Deck, a visit to one of our courses is well worth the trip because they all have great stories behind them.
Glendarin Hills in Angola tops the list. Started by one of my Angola High School classmates, Glen Kelly, and his father in 1999, it’s the culmination of a lifelong dream. The resort style course named for Glen and his brother offers everything you would imagine at some of those exclusive swanky hide-a-ways, but without wiping out your bank account. The 18-hole, 450-acre course looks like something out of a fairytale. Naturally there are state-of-the-art rental carts with gps and all the goodies. If you’d rather hang at the clubhouse, you’ll be in for some great food and a wonderful bar selection and the view just might make you believe you’re in the Highlands!
Zollner Golf Course, 18-hole course combines the academia of Trine University while enjoying the beautiful outdoors. The championship course bills itself as “the thinking player’s course” due to the strategically placed bunkers and reconfigured fairways.
Lake James Golf Club in the middle of 101 Lakes Country capitalizes on the surrounding lakes with its unique 18-hole set up. The first 9 holes are open with flatter greens while the back 9 are on more rolling terrain. It offers 4 different tees: James to Otter tees at 5200 yards, Snow at 5500 yards, Jimmerson plays at 6300 yards and the James challenge at 6600. Mulligan’s, known for its great steaks serves as the clubhouse.
Tucked into the hills just a few miles down the road from Pokagon State Park and the Fremont Outlet Mall is Country Meadows Golf Resort. The 18-hole course is ideal for novices as well as seasoned veterans. The classic rolling hills of Steuben County pair nicely with the lightly wooded terrain and challenging water hazards. End the day (or perhaps begin it) with a trip to Briali Winery located in the lower level of the clubhouse. The delicious local wines are the perfect way to literally taste the richness of the area and unwind. On Fridays the winery often features live music.
Cold Springs Resort in Hamilton could be described as the granddaddy of the area. Newspaper articles from as far back as 1885 list this scenic spot, known back then as Watkin’s Grove, as being used for church picnics. Before the turn of the century it was a regular vacation destination complete with boat rentals and a bowling alley. Today the 18-hole course, hotel, two restaurants, beach and concert hall (in addition to golf course) still delivers the best of all worlds.
With so many great choices in 101 Lakes Country, not to mention all their additional attractions, there’s no excuse not to come play with us!
Erika Celeste is an award-winning journalist who has worked in radio, print, television, and marketing. She owns and operates New Moon Media Group where she’s written several documentaries and books