Course Details

When Ed Hess opened the course in 1965, Hi-Level became the first public 18-hole course in Clarion County.  The course has changed over the years, adding a beginner’s course in the 1970′s and a driving range in the 1980′s.

Most recently, Hi-Level lengthened hole number 5 to a par 5 and hole number 6 to a par 4. However, the course’s famous par 6 on hole number 16 has stayed the same.  “We’ve had lots of people stop to play Hi-Level simply because they have never played a par 6,” says manager and co-owner Mindy Hess.

The course layout spreads over 5863 yards of beautifully maintained fairways for a par 73 rating. Perhaps nowhere else in the county can a wider range of distances be found on a golf course. Hi-Level’s shortest hole is 120 yards, while the longest is 670 yards. The front nine features five par 4s and three par 3s, plus a par 5.

“The eighth hole is probably the toughest on the front nine,” the late co-founder Robert Hess once said. “Hole #8 is a 400-yard par four. The back nine includes two holes over 600 yards in length, the 625-yard #11 and the mammoth 670 yard #16, which is the par 6. Hole #16 is longer than the fourteenth and fifteenth hole combined.”

Roughs are short and manicured to prevent lost balls and to speed play. The holes are arranged to allow the golfer to use most clubs in the bag. Hazards include one pond, bunkers on five holes, and ever-green trees lining many fairways. Another unique component of Hi-Level is its scenery: various types of fruit trees line the fairways and dot the course. Co-Founder Edward Hess planted those because he thought it would be nice for golfers to grab some fruit while enjoying a round.

Hi-Level Golf Course Men Golfing

Course History

Hi-Level Golf Course is a third-generation family-owned and -operated public course in continuous operation since 1965.  The course accommodates both the expert golfer as well as the beginner. Hi-Level’s unusual history and natural beauty make it one of the most unique courses in the area.

Hi-Level was the first public golf course in Clarion County, constructed on the site of Fern City, an oil boom town with a population of 600 in 1885. The course was created by Edward Hess, a prominent oil and gas producer who purchased the land in 1954. Construction of the first nine was begun in 1963 and officially opened for business two years later. Nine more holes were added in 1967. A five-hole Beginner’s Course was added in 1970.

The course contains gently sloping fairways and Scottish-style contour greens. When asked about the course design, the late co-founder Robert Hess said: “Our greens were built to go with the contour of the land. If a hill were in the place where we wanted a green, we would build the green on top of the hill. Later we added sand traps around the greens to make play more challenging. Some of our greens are immense, like the one on the third hole. Most of the greens on the front nine, though, are big and the distances small. This is because when the course was built, few people possessed those skills that golf demanded. The back nine reflects a more challenging environment. Many golfers learned on the front nine, then graduated to the more difficult back nine. This variety of distances and challenges offers something for golfers of every level.”

There is always a new reason to enjoy a day of golf and fun times with family and friends at Hi-Level Golf Course. Golf is the ideal way to enjoy the outdoors and the company of others. Reserve your next tee time by contacting the Pro Shop at (814) 797-1813.


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