The late John Henderson McConnell, founder of the Worthington Industries steel company, established a private hideaway for friends and staff on former farmland near the state capital of Ohio with a view to using it as a fishing retreat.
He later invited the design partnership of Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish to transform part of the 300-acre site into a top quality private golf course and that’s exactly what they did, with the 18-hole Double Eagle course opening to critical acclaim in 1991.
Although mature trees surround the property, the layout actually has a relatively open feel to it with holes routed around some lovely natural ravines and ponds. And because the fairways lie on the land as it was found, there’s no trickery or sleight of hand to be found in the design.
A round here really gets going on the long par four 5th, where the approach across a ravine to a small target is bound to get the pulse racing. The 9th hole ends the front nine in fine style, featuring as it does a split fairway and enormous, spectacle sand traps in advance of the green.
Water plays more of a part in proceedings on the inward half, especially on the final two holes. The penultimate hole is a driveable par four beside a lake where trouble can be avoided by taking the safer bail out wide of the water. On the last hole, the fairway is divided by a central bunker, creating separate landing areas from where an approach across water can be made to the home green.
The Columbus, OH golf market is one loaded with some top tier golf offerings with Muirfield Village and The Golf Club leading the way. Double Eagle is another successful Tom Weiskopf / Jay Morrish layout but it does not have the creative holes and routing that the former design duo produced at other locations. The course is generally in "mint" condition. How good? The tees at Double Eagle run faster than the green speeds at nearly all other courses. Unfortunately, far too many people give extra value to turf conditions and not enough to assessing the architecture elements involved.
Double Eagle has the proverbial Weiskopf / Morrish driveable par-4 at the 17th but it's not in the same league as other similar holes the architectural tandem has created elsewhere. In sum -- the atmosphere is clearly golf oriented with no intrusions but the core of the overall design simply fails to provide a dimension rivaling its more noted neighbors.
by M. James Ward
Gary shared an interesting story on the 17th tee, a 355-yard par 4: Head pro Don Shimko scored a hole-in-one on 17, the only hole in one in his life and the only double eagle ever scored at Double Eagle Golf Club. The dues structure at Double Eagle is also a bit unique. There are no monthly dues, just one bill at the end of the year after the year’s expenses are tallied up. Larry Berle.