Northwood Golf Course in Meridian
PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Adkins
Opened in 1930, the golf course at Northwood Country Club is virtually the same today as it was seven decades ago – fun to play.
"This course was laid out originally as a shot making course," says Jimmy Gamblin, head PGA Golf Professional at Northwood. "It's playable. Young people learn to hit straight and older people don't have to hit it very far to make the shots. It's not easy, but it's also not set up for the course to win. It's set up for people to enjoy themselves and to want to continue to enjoy the game."
Junior Golf Program
Like the course, the Junior Golf Program at Northwood has a prestigious history. It was started by Bill Davis, who started the junior program in the state. The Northwood program has produced the likes of Eddie Merrins, who served as the head professional at the Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles and also as the head coach of the successful golf program at UCLA. Merrins started playing golf at age 11 at Northwood. Other players who came up through the youth program include amateur champions Virginia Grimes and Lou Hart. Currently, three players from the program are members of college golf teams.
"It's nice to have just one player on a college team, and we've often had kids who came from this course playing in college, but three at one time is something special," Gamblin says.
Kids as young as ages 3 and 4 can join the junior program as long as their parents are present to supervise. But Northwoods isn't just for the young; it's also for the young at heart.
"We've got a member who is 92 and he still enjoys playing the course," Gamblin says. "We've got several who are 80-plus who play weekly."
The signature hole at Northwood is No. 8. Golfers have to hit the second shot across the lake and aeriator fountain to reach the green. Meanwhile, No. 17 is one of the most rewarding. The shortest hole on the course at 130 yards, it gives every golfer an opportunity to do well.
"It's just an enjoyable adventure to come here to play," Gamblin says. "People bring their own golf carts and get to experience a laid back game of golf at a full-service club."
Other courses in the region include Lakeview, which sits on the shores of Bonita Lakes. This 18-hole regulation length public course rewards good shots and provides a fun outing for players of all skill levels. Briarwood is a private, member-owned 18-hole course with a large outdoor pool, a restaurant and a roster of activities. Ponta Creek course at the Naval Air Station also offers 18-holes.
Find more on golf in the Meridian, MS area.