Shale Creek Golf Club in Medina, Ohio is a residential community course built on the Gunkelman Farms land. It is managed by Granite Golf Properties, who also manages the high publicized Quarry course in Canton. The course’s namesake and the Rocky River come into play on a number of holes, requiring a number of forced carries. For the most part, the houses don’t come into play, with the exception of hole 13 where the homes are a bit close for my liking.
The course starts out with a pretty easy dogleg right. Water is along most of the right side, but the hole only stretches 342 from the tips and the fairway is wide. Probably the best opportunity for a birdie on the course.
The second hole (par 3, 205 yards) is a interesting par 3. The green rises from left to right in the middle of the green, but then falls back down towards the right side of the green. Players will need to find the right part of the green to have a reasonable chance at birdie; otherwise, a two putt would be an achievement.
Another birdie hole comes at the par 5 third. Reaching 524 from the tips, the fairway is undulating, but accommodating. OB threathens wayward tee-shots to the right, where a lateral hazard of grass threatens wayward hooks. Golfers trying to reach the green in two must contend with the water on the right side.
Hole 6 (486 yards) is the longest par 4 on the course and the number one handicap hole. At 150 yards, there is a small creek that runs across the fairway, but for most, this isn’t in play off the tee or the second shot. The water on the right is definitely in play, however.
The last hole on the front 9 is one of the more interesting on the course. After a downhill tee-shot, the player will need to carry the creek on their second shot. Depending on how conservative the player is with their tee-shot, it may be tough to hold the green with their second.
After the turn, the par 4 tenth (359) is all target golf. Driver is most likely a poor choice off the tee. The Rocky River must be carried for the second shot.
On hole 12 (par 4, 419), be wary of what the GPS says. The hole cuts sharply to the right, so the distance is actually further than what it says.
16 and 17 is a good stretch of holes. 16 is a 569 par 5 that is uphill with a sharp curve to the left. Bunkers are in play for the tee-shot, layup, and approach to the green. 17 is all the par 3 one would want. There is safety to the right, but when I played, the pin was in the left, which means a full carry to the green with a mid/long iron. Par is a good score here.
After the tough par 3 17th comes an even tougher 18th. A forced carry off the tee is met with another forced carry to the green. Plenty of hazards and O.B. throughout the hole. Be lucky to end your round with a par here.
Shale Creek is a decent course in great condition. The greens were especially in good shape, had interesting undulations, and rolled true and quickly. One item of note were the amount of ball marks players were leaving, which is unfortunate, but can’t be held against the course. The clubhouse is essentially a double wide trailer, but I have no problems with that. The pro at the desk was very accommodating, although there was an issue with carts not being available for my tee-time, resulting in having to wait 10 minutes after my time for a cart.
The course has GPS and it’s good for the most part. One item to note that on the day I played (7/3/2009), the GPS food ordering did not work, which lead to confusion and wasted time. There is a food stand at the turn called The Oasis which is where you should order food after 9. The clubhouse had Landshark and Sam Adams on tap, so it was okay by me.
I played $56 to play 18 holes, with cart and range balls on a Holiday weekend after 12PM. Due to length between tees (2-3, 9-10, 14-15, 17-18), the course is not reasonably walkable and I’m not sure they’d allow it.
Oink Rating – 6