Cleveland Metroparks’ eight golf courses lay nestled in a ring of forests, rivers and valleys, which surround the city of Cleveland and are locally coined “The Emerald Necklace.” While each course is unique in its own right, Manakiki in Willoughby and Sleepy Hollow in Brecksville rank among the top public courses in Ohio — and for good reason.

Big Met and Little Met Golf Courses
Tucked in the rolling hills of Rocky River Reservation, the 6,481-yard, par-72 Big Met Golf Course (4811 Valley Parkway, 440-331-1070) and the 2,527-yard, par-34 Little Met Golf Course (18599 Old Lorain Road, 216-941-9672) offer something for everyone. Believed to be Ohio’s most played 18-hole golf course, Big Met (built in 1926) features rolling hills, a moderate length and the scenic beauty of the Rocky River Valley. Built in 1924, Little Met, meanwhile, provides a longer nine holes than Mastick Woods, but not nearly the length of its neighbor, Big Met.

Manakiki Golf Course
Located 17 miles east of downtown Cleveland, the 6,643-yard, 18-hole Manakiki Golf Course (35501 Eddy Road, 440-942-2500) is an elegant, par-72 public course with a classic Donald Ross design. It offers a variety of challenges, including doglegs, water hazards, up-and-down shots, back-to-back par-5s and two canyon holes.

Mastick Woods Golf Course and Washington Golf Course
Due to its executive length, Cleveland Metroparks’ 1,900-yard, par-31 Mastick Woods Golf Course, built in 1964 and located in Rocky River Reservation (19900 Puritas Road, 216-267-5626), is ideal for juniors, new players or those looking for a leisurely golf experience. Meanwhile, the 1,460-yard, par-29 Washington Golf Course in Newburgh Heights (3841 Washington Park Blvd., 216-641-1864), which was built in 2006 and features a driving range, is only 10 minutes from downtown Cleveland.

Seneca Golf Course
Located at the highest point in Cuyahoga County, Seneca Golf Course in Broadview Heights (975 Valley Parkway, 440-526-0043) offers 27 scenic holes, many of which have been newly renovated, as they were built in 1940. The course is primarily known for some lengthy par-4s and par-5s.

Shawnee Hills Golf Course
Shawnee Hills Golf Course in Bedford (18753 Egbert Road, 440-232-7184) is often noted as Cleveland Metroparks’ most versatile course, as it’s able to serve golfers of all skill levels on its 6,366-yard, 18-hole regulation course and nine-hole, par-3 course. Shawnee Hills offers hills, large pines, maples and oaks, along with the beautiful Deer Lick Creek.

Sleepy Hollow Golf Course
The 6,893-yard, 18-hole Sleepy Hollow Golf Course in Brecksville (9445 Brecksville Road, 440-526-4285) provides spectacular views of the Cuyahoga River Valley and a classic “out and in” layout. Designed by Stanley Thompson in 1924, the par-71 course is known for its aesthetic beauty and challenging play.