According to The New World Atlas of Golf, “Scioto is the course where Jack Nicklaus developed from a pudgy junior to a world beater. Designed by Donald Ross in 1916, it carries all the hallmarks of his best works – greens nestling into the terrain, gentle slopes on the approaches, full use of the ground’s natural contours and plenty of subtle problems which demand thought rather than power.”
Scioto Country Club may well be where the young Golden Bear cut his golfing teeth, but we should not overlook the club’s impressive tournament history. It was here at Scioto in 1926 where Bobby Jones won the second of his four US Open titles, becoming the first man ever to hold both the US and British Open titles in the same year. Five years later, the club played host to the 1931 Ryder Cup, which the US squad won and, in 1950, Scioto hosted the PGA Championship, which, as it turned out, was not the spectacle that many had hoped for.
Donald Ross originally laid out the course at Scioto Country Club, but today it’s really only the routing that can be attributed to Ross because Dick Wilson made extensive changes to Scioto in the early 1960s.
Mike Stachura, writing in American Classic Courses: “1953: Jack Nicklaus, playing with his father [at Scioto] and breaking up his front and back nines to run home and eat dinner, shoots under 70 for the first time at the age of 13, making an eagle on the final hole.”
In 2008 Jack Nicklaus and Michael Hurdzan’s award-winning renovation at Scioto was unveiled, which involved rebuilding Dick Wilson’s greens to USGA standard. The result, we think, will stand Scioto Country Club in good stead for many years to come and will appease most Donald Ross design aficionados.
I had the pleasure of playing Scioto a few weeks ago. The club itself is the type of club you'd love to join with a lively membership, great practice facilities, nice clubhouse, friendly staff, pool, and other amenities. The course has the perfect amount of trees (enough to give you trouble if you miss the fairway but few enough to give you great views). The pars 3s were outstanding, the par 4s had a lot of variety, and the par 5s were very good.