A look at the challenges local courses offer as golf season gets into full swing

As the weather takes a favorable turn, local golf courses are gearing up for their busy months. Happy Valley has plenty of options for those looking to get out on the links this spring and summer.

Blue/White Courses

Penn State’s two courses usually maintain their beauty year-round and provide plenty of challenges. The Blue Course, a par-72 course, is marked by slightly changing elevation and one of its most difficult holes comes up quick. The Par-4 third angles to the right so a right-handed golfer wants to push their tee shot. A hook off the tee will bury you in the trees.

Beware the Par-5 sixth on the White Course, too. It is 513 yards from the Blue Tee and you’ve got a tee shot from low elevation to start. There are also two big bunkers to avoid with your initial shot, too.

Toftrees Golf Club

On a perfect day, it doesn’t get much better than the splendid setting Toftrees has to offer. And yes, there are plenty of trees.

Sunlight cuts through barren branches on late fall afternoons while leaves provide decent cover from the sun in the summer. But you really don’t want to be playing a shot out of a treeline and those who haven’t mastered the tee shot will find themselves doing so often as each hole is bordered by trees.

The Par-4 ninth may be the most breathtaking hole in Centre County. For multiple reasons. Situated on a lake, multiple angles from different tee box locations offer spectacular views. A shot from the deep black tee will require a lot of power as your ball will have to carry over nearly 230 yards of water to find land again.

Skytop Mountain Golf Club

A 15-minute ride west to Port Matilda will take golfers to Skytop Mountain. Like Toftrees, the views can be majestic with a little cooperation from Mother Nature.

Sandwiched between Bald Eagle Creek and Route 322, Skytop’s fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth holes are nestled right up against one of Centre County’s best known fishing spots. As you work your way through the back nine holes, you’ll find yourself moving up the mountain with the downward views only improving as you go.

Start on the front nine and get the toughest hole out of the way early. The Par-5 second was originally designed – according to Skytop’s website – to be the most challenging hold in the state. It’s pretty close with two massive bodies of water in the middle of the fairway.

Mountain View Country Club

Mountain View has plenty of variety – from flat links to gradual, rolling hills – and offers plenty of value and great views.

Living up to its namesake, Mt. Nittany and Tussey Mountain lie in relatively close locations and are visible as scenic backdrops on most every hole.

Four par-5s give this course consistent length. You better hit a good tee shot on the par-5 third as there is plenty of room for error before your ball will even land in the fairway.

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