Many have mistakenly accredited Brookside Golf & Country Club in Columbus to Donald Ross, for a number of reasons. One, Ross was responsible for the club of a similar name in Canton, Ohio, and two, there is a distinct semblance of Ross in the fairways and greens at the Columbus location. This is likely because it was designed by Charlie Lorms, who was the first golf professional at Columbus Country Club. No doubt he took some inspiration from his home course when laying out his first route a bit farther north.
The greens are perhaps the most celebrated portion of the design, and players will need to work to reach them, as Lorms uses defensive bunkering—and at least one pond—to guard the putting surfaces.
The club has been in the hands of Brian Silva for a few years now as he continues an ambitious renovation. The new plan involves restoring the original No. 11 par three, which was abandoned and replaced with an uphill par three at the No. 16 hole. The current plans involve maintaining the latter as an “extra” while restoring Lorms’s original short hole to the 18-hole route.
Brookside is a parkland course. The first hole is a welcoming par four. Fairway bunker right and greenside bunkers left and right. The 2nd is a long tight par five with several fairway and four greenside bunkers. The 3rd is a good birdie oppty. Straight away par four to a guitar pick green with three front bunkers. The 4th is a reachable par five. Favor the right side off the tee as the latter third of the hole bends left. The green is well protected with 3 bunkers. The fifth is a mid-length Florida par three. The 6th is a long par four that bends right and is the number one handicap hole. While there are a couple of fairway bunkers and one greenside right the difficulty is its length. The 7th parallels the 6th and is just a wee bit shorter. The 8th is amid-length forgettable par three. The 9th is the longest par 4 and just about straight as an arrow. From the tips 483 yards, I didn’t even sniff getting home in two.
The back starts off with another long par four that leans a little left. The 11th is a reachable par five with the last third of the hole doglegging left. To get home in a high draw down the right side is key. The green is protected with front right and left bunkers. The 12th is a long dogleg right. To give yourself a chance cutoff as much of the corner as you can. It is the number two handicap hole. The 13th-16th are your scoring oppties on the backside. The 13th is a short par four with fairway bunkers left and a fairway that tapers as you approach the green with a greenside bunker front right. The 14th is a mid-length par three. The 15th is a pretty straight par five that is pretty narrow. Possible to get home in two, but it is very treelined. The 16th is the shortest hole on the course it is uphill and has bunkers on each point of the compass. The 17th leans left and you can hit it through the fairway. There isn’t much worse than draws that do not draw. The home hole is a long par four with fairway bunkers left and right and a large greenside bunker left.
A pleasant mature tree-lined course.