YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Those who golf in the area know how good the courses are and how low fees to play are compared to other parts of the country.
Now, the word is spreading, making the Valley a top destination for golfers.
The most recent edition of “Golf Digest” sold in this region contains a full-page ad touting the Valley’s many courses, encouraging players from out-of-town to make the trip for the day or even the weekend.
Those who run Mill Creek Golf Course said golfers from the greater Pittsburgh area already account for about 20 percent of their business, and they’d like to attract even more.
“Our goal is to tap the Cleveland market, the Akron-Canton market. Erie, Pennsylvania is another hotbed for golfers, and anytime that you can reach out to them to bring them to Youngstown to offer the what we have here and the value and the quality of the golf courses, is a home run,” said Brian Tolnar, PGA director of Golf at Mill Creek MetroParks.
On Monday, several teams from the Pittsburgh area made the trip to Mill Creek’s North Course.
“We rotate around. We play courses that are near our house and we play other courses that are up in this area, and this is one of the ones that we really like, enjoy coming and playing,” said Lee Kirchner, of Canonsburg, Pa.
Joe Weise, of Washington, Pa., said he considers the area as a destination for golf. He has been to Oak Tree, Mill Creek, Kensington and Yankee Run golf courses.
The head of the Mahoning County Convention and Visitors Bureau said attracting out-of-town golfers can create an economic ripple effect for other travel-related businesses, such as restaurants and hotels.
The Visitors Bureau even lists information on local hotels offering special stay-and-play golf packages in their latest local golf course guide.
Tolna said the word has gotten around to courses where he used to work.
“I’ve had some members up in the Rochester, New York-area that have seen the ads in “Golf Digest” that said, “You know, we know Brian went down there, so we’re gonna make a trip down there,'” he said.