J.C. Martin Family Golf Center
Address: 652 Shunpike Rd Erie, PA 16508-2753
Phone: (814) 864-1821
Rates: $8 for nine holes; $6 at twilight
1. The price
2. The location
3. The clubhouse
4. A great place to meet fellow golfers
5. A great place for beginners to practice and get better
6. The course is kept in good shape
1. The Erie Zoo
2. Ice Skating
4. Dairy Queen
5. Peach Street
Alcohol is not permitted.
J.C. Martin Family Golf Center, a municipal golf course, was the place I played most often while growing up, so writing about it this week involved a lot of reminiscing. The course opened in 1919, so I know I’m just one of many children to grow up at J.C. Martin.
Some might criticize J.C. Martin for not being a difficult course; but those people fail to see the value of the only golf course located within the City of Erie limits. Many people enjoy a relaxing round of golf at J.C. Martin, but the course also serves as a learning environment for Erie’s young golfers.
Almost every hole has a bench to rest on, a garbage can, and a ball cleaner. Not much else can be found out on the course except for a drinking fountain located next to the sixth hole tee box.
The location of the course is perfect for those who can’t yet drive or don’t have the time to head out to some of the other courses. As I drove over to the course this week, I saw a few kids walking to the course with their golf bags on their shoulders.
I used to take advantage of the low price of the green fees ($8). Golfers can play all day for only $14 if they want to. A seasonal membership is only $160 for kids and $195 for college students.
The land J.C. Martin was built on is rather limited, which ended up restricting the design of the course. The course itself is very straight as well as back and forth. Elevation changes, sand traps and a winding creek give each hole individual challenges, but the course is still a little plain.
The Erie Zoo and two roads form boundaries around the course. Trees form boundaries around the different holes. The trees are not a problem for the most part. The fairways aren’t wide, but they aren’t tight, either.
A large putting green is located next to the clubhouse. It’s a great place for golfers to kill time while waiting to tee off.
J.C. Martin’s clubhouse is small, but it has what a golfer might need. The clubhouse mostly sells candy, but my favorite thing to order is the pepperoni balls. A pro shop is located in the clubhouse for anyone who might need to pick up a few items for a round of golf.
The clubhouse also features a few tables with chairs set in front of a television. It’s almost a guarantee that some kids will be sitting inside having a snack. J.C. Martin Golf Course is a family place, so alcohol is strictly prohibited.
All of the golf courses I’ve covered so far have either been hidden or located a good distance from the city. As a result, those courses didn’t have much going on around them.
J.C. Martin is different in this respect. The course does border a neighborhood, but it is also very close to Peach Street and many establishments.
Kids who play a round of golf at the course could head over to the Erie Zoo or to the John M. Cochran Ice Arena afterwards. A YMCA is just across the street for those who have memberships. And Dairy Queen is over on Peach if the heat is proving to be too much.