Ratings from our panel of 1,900 course-ranking panelists
100 GREATEST/BEST IN STATE SCORES
1 / 3
“Fowler’s Mill is not the course it was 30 years ago when it was owned by TRW, but the bones and shot values are still there. I played the Lake and River nines. The risk-reward calculus is amplified if/when the tee shot is even slightly out of position. Trying for a long approach out of the rough or from the wrong side of the fairway can lead to disaster. Witness the par 5 5th where the green is guarded by a very tall oak or the par 5 8th where the combination of drive and second shot need to be about 450 yds off the tee to be able to turn the corner. This is a relatively early Pete Dye course (c. 1970) and the influence of Donald Ross is in evidence. Several holes are placed on plateaus without facing bunkers — no need since the slopes provide all the challenge needed. On a Pete Dye course one might expect to find rail road ties and pot bunkers everywhere, and you would not be disappointed except that many of these features are not visible because they have been overgrown by shrubbery and weeds. And the bunkers have shrunk and contain very little sand. That is a shame because this course could (and should) be great again."
2 / 3
“I had not heard too much about this course. So much to my surprise, I was thoroughly impressed what a Pete Dye gem it was. (I played the Lake and River nines). There were so many classic architectural elements reminiscent of Donald Ross designs - particularly greens up on plateaus as on holes number 6, 7, and 13 as well as the rise up to the fairway on hole #11. I really enjoyed playing there. I thought they should cut down the vegetation to open up the views from the tees to the fairways on holes 4 and 8 and also the view the green from the fairway on hole number 10."
3 / 3
“The bones of one of the best public golf courses in the northeastern US are hidden at Fowler's Mill. There is a nice balance of holes (played the Lake and River nines), with natural features of both a lake and river integrated superbly into the design in a natural area without a home in sight. Unfortunately, Fowlers Mill seems to have fallen to neglect. Fairways and even the occasional green are patchy, bunkers have withered away to tiny specks, greens have been shrunk down with green side bunkers sitting far away from the greens they protect, and native areas are allowed to grow high enough to block out the view of greens. Trees have encroached to the point that it is difficult to find the fairway from the back tees in some spots. Nothing indicates the discrepancy between possibility and reality more at Fowler's Mill than the par 4 12th, a staggeringly lovely short par 4 in which Pete Dye used the Chagrin River to produce a split fairway par 4, but the entire left fairway is completely obstructed by trees, defeating the hole's purpose. There is a shot option-filled natural layout that Pete Dye conceived years ago lurking here; Fowler's Mill is a reclamation project waiting to happen."