GALION — As they approach a 60th year of operation, Valley View Golf Course remains, as their website indicates, “one of Northern Ohio’s best-kept golf secrets.”
Conveniently perched on 100 acres just a mile north of Route 30 in Galion, Valley View is a family-owned and operated public course, with membership options for avid players.
With a surprising amount of hills offering scenery on uniquely-designed holes, and even some water hazards, it’s a challenging outing for all.
Valley View also has a driving range, with practice areas across from their large parking lot. If you’re available, their best deals are Mondays, where for only $20, you get 18 holes with a cart.
The course is owned by Mike Stuckman, whose father, Lee, and his uncle, Emerson, originally laid out the track and built it. The brothers had worked landscaping for Crawford Nursery in Bucyrus and decided to construct the course over two years.
Valley View sits on the Sandusky River watershed, causing rainfall on the front 9 to flow to Lake Erie, while water from the back 9 — finished in 1964 — goes south to the Ohio River, Stuckman explained.
He also says Valley View was the first public golf course in Crawford County.
“The game has changed a lot, but we’ve been an asset to the community for quite a while,” Stuckman said.
The two-level clubhouse, situated overlooking the course, is the original structure from nearly six decades ago.
Six people rotate work throughout each day in the building, while eight more tend to irrigation, mowing, and watering the course during the season. Valley View is normally closed for a few months each winter but will open for diehard golfers when weather cooperates. The clubhouse restaurant serves a variety of food, including breakfast.
Like many golf courses, Valley View was affected by COVID-19 but never really closed and came back strong, as people sought outdoor activities during the pandemic.
They now have nearly 200 members.
They host the high school sectional tournament every September with 15 schools, as well as several tournaments, including the annual Chamber of Commerce event in late June.
A fond early story comes from 1965 when Karsten Solheim set up shop in the parking lot to sell revolutionary putters out of his trunk. Soon after, Solheim became a multi-millionaire golf icon when his PING putters became famous around the world.
While locals enjoy the course, Stuckman said the central location causes a decent amount of golfers from Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo to meet for a round at Valley View.
“People have enjoyed it here for a long time,” Stuckman said. “We are a family-type operation that gives people a quality golf course at a decent price, or lower. It’s one reason we’ve been here a long time, while others haven’t.”