Tucked into the rolling hills of the rural and agricultural Ohio countryside is a pretty neat golf course called Sebastian Hills. I ran across this course somewhere on the worldwide web and decided that I would give it a try sometime this summer. Since the good outweighs the bad (and it’s not really "bad") and by a landslide, I’ll give you the scoop on the bad stuff first. This course does not sport smooth, bent grass fairways. After a few holes you’ll begin to overlook this.
That being said, everything else was awesome and contributed to a very nice golfing experience. This par 72 course is somewhat unusual, with a par 35 front nine, that features three par 3’s, and a par 37 back nine, with three par 5’s. We played the tips here since it maxes out at approximately 6650 yards. This place really doesn’t need length to protect it, especially on the front nine. There is a ton of trouble to be reckoned with here. Trees, water, and more trees. Survive the front nine holes and you can score on the much more open and forgiving back nine holes, sans number 18, which is a beast. 18 offers all risk and very little reward, walk off with a bogey and you might be satisfied here. It is the number one handicap hole for good reason, play it and see why. The front nine is a parkland style layout and the back nine is much more open, almost a links venue of sorts.
Not much of a landing area for your tee shot on number 18 at Sebastian Hills.
Your second shot on this hole is narrow and challenging as well. Good Luck.
From the blue tees the slope is 131 with a rating of 71.4. Not a cakewalk in any way, shape or form. The course felt as if it played shorter, but the front nine is set up to steal as many golf balls out of your bag as possible. In fact, we came close to running out prior to making the turn.
There are quite a few dauting tee shots here at Sebastian Hills.
Number 10 dares you with a minimum 200 yard forced carry off the tee for this dogleg right hole.
According to the Sebastianhills website, “the course was the brainchild of Gene Sebastian and his wife June when they purchased the property in 1988 and called it the Knoll Haven Farm. The original farm consisted of the farmhouse and only 65 acres. Gene had a dream of building a golf course one day, so he kept adding a few acres along the way until the acreage was up to 235. The Federal style farm house (about 200 years old) has been transformed into the present day clubhouse and snack bar.” The stately Knoll Haven farmhouse is easily seen from the tee box on the ninth hole.
The old Knoll Haven farmhouse is off to the left and very uphill on number 9.
Make it through the chute off the tee on #17 and a possible birdie opportunity awaits you.
Steve Burns, a former design associate of Tom Fazio, was the course designer. He did a very nice job, this is a great piece of land here. There are a few “house holes” on the back nine where the owners appear to be having a tough time selling the lots. When all of the houses eventually settle in on the course, the back nine will surely lose some of it’s linksy feel.
The more difficult of the par thress on the back nine. You can hit this green with either a fade, or a draw.
I’ve always been a fan of short par fours with trees in the way.
I only saw a handful of newer homes built here, this area is not really thriving, it is just pure country living at it’s best. We had the course almost to ourselves as a huge thunderstorm had passed through early in the morning just prior to our 7:30 am tee time. Many people were obviously scared it would rain a lot more, luckily for us, it did not and we got all 18 holes in a lot less than 4 hours start to finish.
You’ll need almost a 190 yard carry on this beautiful par three (#7).
If you have the chance to stop in and play here, please do so, as I think that you’ll be pleasantly surprised, even without any bent grass fairways, this place is a hidden gem at $32, with cart. Enjoy the pics. Check out www.sebastianhills.com for more detailed course information.