Just a short trip from nearly anywhere in Western Pennsylvania or Eastern Ohio, Lawrence County, known as the “Fireworks Capital of America” is a must-see on any trip itinerary. The area’s proximity to Erie, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland makes it a convenient hub for a host of activities to keep everyone busy.
A pair of nationally recognized pyrotechnic companies are credited with giving New Castle its title, as Zambelli Fireworks Internationale and Pyrotecnico started their operations during the mid 1800′s in Lawrence County.
There are also a host of things to enjoy.
The County’s rich history, having served as home to many of the wealthy tin moguls of the 1800s gives visitors a look into the area’s past. Many of the structures remain from that time, such as The Scottish Rite Cathedral with St. Mary’s Church, and the Historic North Hill.
There is also plenty for those into the Arts Scene, with pottery exhibits and playhouses to enjoy, with the Arts & Education at the Hoyt that houses art galleries, classrooms, studios, and a collection of fine arts. For an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday norms, a visit to Volant and New Wilmington allow a glimpse into the simpler lifestyle of the Amish Countryside.
But for those who like to keep their golf clubs in their trunk, “just in case,” there are a host of Lawrence County golf courses to satisfy even the most accomplished of golfers.
One of the finest courses in Western Pennsylvania, the Green Meadows Golf Course in Volant offers players a public course with the quality of a private club. The course features breathtaking views along the mature, tree-lined fairways highlighted by a plethora of flowers and trees to create a top-notch golfing experience. The 18-hole, par 72 tract was opened in 1960 and covers just over 6,500 yards from the back tees.
Located between Elwood City and Wampum, the Del Mar Golf Course was established in 1960 by a group of local golfers in an effort to create a semi-private golf club for the residents of Ellwood. Set upon 210 acres of rolling hills, the traditional par 72 layout was designed by Archie Loeffler and is known for its fast, rolling greens, so those with a strong command of their putter will be rewarded. The course features a comfortable blend of short par 4’s and reachable par 5’s but is balanced off with an assortment of challenging par 3’s. Three tee options ranging from 6515 yards to 5540 yards are available to accommodate golfers of all skill levels.
The semi-private Avalon Field Club at New Castle features an 18-hole course that remains largely unchanged since its creation in 1923. Designed by architect A.W. Tillinghast, the course runs just 6,600 yards from the back tees and is considered a hidden gem and one of the area’s finest courses. Daily rates are available to the public, and memberships are available for local residents.
One of the older courses in the area, the Castle Hills Golf Course is located just two miles north of New Castle, having first opened for play in 1933. The long, rolling terrain adds to the challenge of the tree-lined fairways. While water hazards only come into play on five of the holes, there are greenside bunkers throughout the course protecting elevated greens.
With distances ranging from 6,317 yards from the back tees to 5,482 yards from the forward tees, the par 72 tract is relatively short. The longest par five, #15, runs just 502 yards while #11 is just a 141-yard par 3, providing ample opportunity for birdie. However, the 429 yards, 3rd hole will take everything that’s in the bag to reach in regulation.
The final course on the tour of Lawrence County is the Tanglewood Golf Course in Pulaski. Tanglewood also features tree-lined fairways that run along the rolling hills of the area. Designed by Joseph B. Clingan, the par 72 layout features nice, wide fairways that are very forgiving, but there are some well-placed sand traps to keep players honest. The 9th hole, a par 5 that plays over a fountain/pond is a challenge, while most doglegs require accuracy and length.
While enjoying a trip through Lawrence County and the Western Pennsylvania countryside, whether the plan is for a trip through history or to enjoy the arts and cultural attractions, be sure to include time for a round or two on one of the county’s quality golf courses.