Best Public Golf Courses in Dayton, Ohio

Ohio is home to arguably the greatest golfer of all time, Jack Nicklaus.  Tributes to the Golden Bear can be seen throughout the state.  That’s especially true at THE Ohio State University where Nicklaus went to school.  Same goes for Dublin, where his famed Muirfield Village is located.  Even in the town of Dayton, the story checks out. 

I happened to be in Dayton a couple years ago for business, and of course, I escaped to play golf in the afternoon.  I only had the chance to play a couple of local courses, but one thing was evident, golfers in Dayton take the game seriously. 

That’s why I decided to do a guide about the public golf courses in and around Dayton.  Like always, our Golfer’s Authority readers chimed in with their own thoughts.

Let’s have a closer look at the best tracks anyone can play.


PipeStone Golf Club

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The quiet suburb of Miamisburg is home to PipeStone Golf Club.

Golf Digest gave this facility four stars and the “Best Places to Play” designation. 

Arthur Hills designed PipeStone.  The layout is both beautiful and challenging.  More than 100 feet of elevation can be found throughout the property.  Club selection can be tricky in spots. 

The greens are touted as some of the best in the Miami Valley.  If you get hot with the putter, you could be in for an epic day. 

PipeStone is owned and operated by the city of Miamisburg.  The relationship is a shining example of what golf courses can bring to a community in terms of both recreation and revenue.


The Golf Club at Yankee Trace

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Yankee Trace is home to 27 holes of memorable golf.  Golf Digest rated this property with 4.5 stars. 

While all three nines have their own distinct characteristics, they all reflect classic midwestern designs.  Holes move both left and right, and the fairways are lined by mature hardwoods.  Sound course management and keeping the ball in the play are the way to go. 

This is a great place to practice too.  The driving range is dual-sided and the short game area expansive.  During the winter when you can’t get outside to play, take advantage of three indoor simulators. 

I had the chance to play all three nines at Yankee Trace and was anything but disappointed.  This place does it right.


Miami Shores Golf Course

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Miami Shores is an iconic, old-school layout.  It was designed by Donald Ross and opened for play in 1949.

Like a lot of Ross designs, this course isn’t long.  Its defense is in it’s greens and their surrounds.  They’re undulating and slick.  Knowing which side of the hole to miss on is imperative.  For that reason, playing more than one round to learn the ins and outs of Miami Shores is a good idea. 

Again, this course is operated by the city of Troy.  It’s clear that they’re heavily invested in making this place successful.  That’s good news for everyone involved.

Affordable, quirky, and fun.  Those are the words our readers used to describe Miami Shores.


Brown’s Run Country Club

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For years, Brown’s Run was fully private.  It’s only in the last few years that they’ve opened their doors to the public.  And boy, golfers are happy they did. 

This is about as classic of a design as you can find anywhere.

The layout features a unique mix of both short and long holes.  You’ll have the chance to play aggressively at times, but par is a great score at others.

There aren’t any houses immediately surrounding the course.  As a result, the ambiance is quiet and tranquil.  Don’t be surprised if you encounter wildlife here too. 

A country club experience at a public price, Brown’s Run shouldn’t be missed.


The North Course at Reid Park

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The North Course at Reid Park has been around since 1967.  And it’s more than stood the test of time. 

To this day, the North Course is considered one of the better tests in the Dayton area.  While the course has some length in spots, it’s the narrow fairways and difficult greens that are the true defense. 

You can’t fake it around here.  If any part of your game is off, it’ll show up on your scorecard.

If you play here in the summer when the course is dry and fast, do your best to leave yourself uphill putts and chips.  Going the other direction can be next to impossible. 

A true test that will let you know where your game’s at, the North Course at Reid Park should be played at least once.


The South Course at Reid Park

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The second course at Reid Park is the South Course. 

As difficult as the North Course is, the South Course is meant for the recreational player and is all about fun.  This is the perfect spot for beginners, or anyone looking for a casual, fun round of golf. 

The fairways are wide here, and you can run the ball on to most greens. 

If you like to walk, this is a great course to do it.  There aren’t many hills and the distances between greens and tees are short.

A most enjoyable round at a modest price.  That’s what’s waiting at the South Course at Reid Park.


Miami Valley Golf Club

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It’s all about golf at Miami Valley, a course that hosted the 1957 PGA Championship.  You come here for one reason only – to enjoy the game we all love so much.

You won’t find any extra frills here.  Instead, the friendly and knowledgeable staff will make sure you have everything you need and send you on your way.

This is another classic old-school design.  It was designed by Donald Ross and opened in 1919. 

As such, scoring well means negotiating tricky greens and their surrounds.  I know I sound like a broken record, but staying below the hole is a must here.  If you do, you’ll have a chance at carding a respectable score. 

Always in exceptional condition, Miami Valley is a golf purest’s dream.


Cassel Hills Golf Course

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The year was 1974.  That’s when the community of Vandalia christened Cassel Hills Golf Course.

To this day, this facility continues to be one of the best values in the area.  You can play here for as little as $40. 

Just because it’s cheap to play here, doesn’t mean the course comes up short in terms of quality.  Quite the opposite in fact.  The course is in perfect shape throughout the season.  The bent grass fairways and greens are like playing off carpet. 

Five par threes are considered the toughest holes on the course.  They ask you to hit different clubs from the tee, and par is a good score on each one.

Cassel Hills isn’t going anywhere soon.  But the sooner you can get here to play, the better.


Meadowbrook at Clayton

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A round at Meadowbrook is tranquil. 

Set away from the urban hustle and bustle, you’ll feel like you’re in a park when you play here.

The fairways are lined by mature oak trees.  If you have the chance to play here in the fall when the leaves are changing, the backdrop is splendid.

Bentgrass tees, fairways, and greens are a dream to play off.  The ball sits up, and there’s not much of an excuse for making poor contact. 

The greens roll as smooth as silk, but can be treacherous if you’re putting downhill.

Along with great golf, the facility has all the amenities you could ever want. 

If you need a day to get away from it all, Meadowbrook at Clayton is the spot.


Homestead Golf Course

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Homestead Golf Course is where you’ll find the everyman golfer.  No one cares how much money you make, or about your race, color, or creed.  All that matters is that you’re here for the same reason as everyone else – to play golf.

The staff here makes everyone feel welcome too.  And they don’t charge a leg and an arm for the use of their course either.  That makes it even more attractive. 

The layout is straightforward.  No blind shots or hidden surprises here.  Instead, the course rewards quality shots and punishes those that come up short.

Simple, affordable, and charming all at once.  That’s what to expect when you play a round at Homestead.


As I mentioned, I haven’t spent a ton of time in the Dayton area.  With that being said, it’s more than evident that golf is a big deal here.

Just ask everyone that shared their thoughts with us and made the course guide possible.  To each of you, my sincerest thanks.

If you have more you’d like to add regarding public golf in the Dayton area, feel free to let us know down below in the comments. 

Best Public Golf Courses in Dayton, Ohio

Paul Liberatore

Paul Liberatore

Founder of Golfers Authority

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