Mound Grove Golf Course
Address: 10760 Donation Road, Waterford, PA 16441-2302
Phone: (814) 796-2767
Yardage: Blue: 6293, White: 5993, Gold: 5656, Red: 5467
1. The Clubhouse
2. The specials and deals
3. The food (My friend, Junior, tells me you won’t find a better pizza in the Erie area)
4. The entertainment
5. The change of pace between the front and back nine
6. The friendly atmosphere
7. The price
8. The wildlife and surroundings
1. The Clubhouse – it has everything you should want or need
Alcohol can be purchased at the clubhouse. Golfers cannot bring their own alcohol.
I recently spent some time out at Mound Grove Golf Course in preparation for this week’s Course Report. The course is owned by Paul Beibel, who runs Mound Grove with the assistance of friends and family. I had never been out to Mound Grove before, but everyone there made me feel like I was an old friend.
Mound Grove was built in 1993, but the land’s history extends all the way back to the 1840s when a man named Jesse Croover built a house on the property. Croover’s house, which still stands today, has a great view of the course. I’ve always been interested in houses with a history, so learning about this Italian-style home was great.
Apparently a secret room in the house was used to harbor runaway slaves back in the 19th century. The house’s cupola served as a lookout for Mr. Croover as he watched for bounty hunters.
Paul’s grandparents, Peter and Helen, bought the land off Old Donation road back in 1921. A long time passed before Edward Beibel, Paul’s father, had the idea of transforming the potato farm into a golf course.
Although the course officially opened in 1993, it didn’t become an 18 hole course until a few years after that. Mound Grove is similar to Crab Apple Ridge in that the first nine holes are vastly different from the last nine.
As Greg Junior, a manager at Mound Grove, gave me a tour of the course, I could see that the front nine had been built on farmland. The holes were very flat and trees were hard to find. The wide open fairways allowed golfers to be less accurate with their drives.
The back nine, however, appeared to be carved right out of a forest. The fairways were much tighter and I could see where golfers frequently had the most trouble. Paul Beibel joked that the front nine holes are for “hackers” and the back nine are for “golfers” due to the layout of the holes.
The course is pretty long, so I was happy to see a few porta-potties out on the course. On the back nine, where the trees are more abundant, wildlife can frequently be seen. Deer are the most common, but numerous animals frequent the land surrounding the course.
Erie’s weather hasn’t been too kind to the area golf courses this summer. Paul Beibel has over 200 acres of land to take care of, which means the work is never done. Mr. Beibel told me that he tries to keep the upkeep as organic as possible by avoiding harmful chemicals.
When I walked into the clubhouse, I was surprised to find much more than I had expected. Yes, there was a pro shop and a place to pay for a round of golf, but I also found a large bar and restaurant.
I found myself wishing my stomach was empty as I eyed the chicken wings and a few slices of pizza. The workers at Mound Grove make their own food and sauces. I immediately decided to go back to Mound Grove for some food when I have the chance.
Much like the old house on the property, the clubhouse was also built in the 1800s. It was remarkable to see a barn so big that had been built by hand. But with so much space in the barn, the Beibel family makes sure to do whatever they can to keep the place packed with people.
The restaurant and bar has food specials every day and the golf course makes sure to have some discounts, too. Wednesday and Thursday nights are usually karaoke nights at the bar. Live bands and other forms of entertainment are usually booked for the weekend.
The Beibels also try to plan beer pong and corn hole tournaments every now and then. I was even told that a Texas Hold’ em tournament might be on the horizon. Mound Grove might be unplayable during the winter months, but the land is located right next to some snowmobiling trails. Mound Grove Golf Course seems to always have something fun in the works.