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woman golfer swinging golf club in front of crowd at The Marathon Classic Presented by Dana LPGA golf tournament in Sylvania, Ohio

Only in Ohio: Dana Open Presented by Marathon

It's sure to be a hole in one when you check out one of the longest running events on the LPGA Tour!

The Dana Open Presented by at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania

Only in Ohio: Dana Open Presented by Marathon

By Michael Pramik

Posted On: Aug 17, 2022

It started out in the mid-1980s as the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic and has become one of Glass City's most-anticipated annual sporting events.

Stacy Lewis signing autographs at marathon lpga golf tournament
Stacy Lewis signing autographs

The Toledo suburb of Sylvania will welcome the best women golfers in the world Aug. 29 - Sept. 4 for the Dana Open Presented by Marathon. It is one of the longest running tournaments on the LGPA Tour, since 1989,  and is held at Highland Meadows Golf Club. It's been a boon to local charities, raising more than $12 million in contributions over the years. Main sponsors are Marathon Petroleum and Dana Incorporated.

The golf spotlight will continue to shine in Ohio this fall, with the Kroger Queen City Championship presented by P&G. This tournament puts the best LGPA players together to play at Kenwood County Club in Cincinnati. 

woman golfer swinging golf club in front of crowd at The Marathon Classic Presented by Dana LPGA golf tournament in Sylvania, Ohio

The Course

Highland Meadows Golf Club is another classic private course that many Ohio golfers may not know much about. But it's a great test of the game in a pristine setting – mature trees punctuating rolling fairways intersected by a winding creek.

Harold Weber, a local amateur champion, laid it out in 1925. That was two decades after he was on the bronze-medal-winning U.S. team at the 1904 Olympic Games in suburban St. Louis, the last time golf was played as an Olympic sport until 2016. Weber won the Ohio Amateur Championship four times, including three times at Inverness.

The course plays to about 6,500 yards, and it's generally handled easily enough by the pros. Five-time champ Se Ri Pak holds the tournament scoring record of 23-under, which she posted in 1998.

exterior entrance to The Toledo Zoo and Aquarium

What To Do

The Toledo Zoo and Aquarium is a family-friendly retreat that blends the old and the new. There are two new tiger cubs to watch frolic with their mom, and historic murals from the Depression-era Works Progress Administration that should attract history buffs.

The zoo, located less than half an hour from Highland Meadows, has more than 10,000 individual animals representing more than 720 species. The two tiger cubs, Alexei and Rory, are sure to garner much attention in the Africa! exhibit. So too will three Masai giraffes, named Michelle, Ellie and Tulie. Guests can feed the long-necked denizens for an additional fee and take off on a zipline or tackle a challenge course 40 feet above ground for free.

In the 1930s, the zoo was the recipient of five WPA buildings. Notable among them is the ProMedica Museum of Science, completed in 1938 with slate slabs from the Maumee River. It was renovated in 2019 to include two new greenhouses and now displays Ohio’s biodiversity as well as three Spanish tile murals donated by Toledo's sister city of Toledo, Spain.

interior gallery of toledo museum of art

Another of the city's top attractions is the stunning Toledo Museum of Art, which has more than 35 galleries displaying world-renowned paintings, glassworks and sculptures.

An inspection of the museum's collection of paintings and sculptures will reveal works by such luminaries as Cezanne, Degas, van Gogh, El Greco, Monet, Picasso, Rembrandt and Rubens. There are more than 25,000 works of art here, one of the country's top art collections.

The 36-acre campus contains much more than the main building. The Glass Pavilion, which opened in 2006, houses the museum's glass collection, one of the finest in the world. It helps cement Toledo's reputation as the Glass City, dating back to the turn of the 20th century.

The museum grounds also include the Peristyle Theater, added in 1933, that currently serves as the home base of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. The Center for the Visual Arts, designed by architect Frank O. Gehry in 1992, houses the museum's library and the University of Toledo Department of Art.

General admission is always free, although some special exhibits will require an entrance fee.

plate of food and hand holding beer in glass pint glass at Five Brewing Co.

Where To Eat

Inside the Five Brewing Co., a hopping brew pub, is just a few minutes from Highland Meadows. That makes it the ideal post-round gathering spot.

Inside the Five is co-owned by two ex-NFL players who went to Michigan State University, Brandon Fields and Chris Morris. It offers 19 home brews, with intriguing names such as Prepare for Glory, Going to Canton and The Devil Wears Hoodies, a funny take on a New England-style IPA.

Inside the Five also has a location in nearby Perrysburg. Both pubs offer daily lunch and dinner specials as well as a Sunday brunch.

The Heights bar Toledo Renaissance Hotel

Where To Stay

There are comfy accommodations at the Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel. But the hotel's best feature could be up on the roof.

The 12-story, 241-room hotel features the city's only rooftop bar, The Heights, which offers eye-popping, all-around vistas of downtown Toledo and the Maumee River in a hip, industrial setting. The bar has lots of crafty cocktails and local brews to offer, as well as a menu of woodfired pizzas and light bites, including sliders, sandwiches, salads and pho.

The hotel is located near the Toledo Museum of Art, SeaGate Convention Center and Huntington Center. It offers a fitness center, lots of event spaces and several dining options. The window-filled lobby is a bright space full of glass, a nod to the city's glassmaking history. The rooms are a step up from ordinary, offering large TVs and plush bedding.

Maumee Bay Golf Course at Maumee Bay State Park lodge in Oregon Ohio

Where To Play

Ohio's north coast is on display at Maumee Bay Golf Course, part of Maumee Bay State Park, about a 30-minute drive east of Highland Meadows.

This is no ordinary state park course. Its architect is the late Arthur Hills, a Toledo native known as one of the game's best. It opened in 1991 in the style of a Scottish links course and provides a visually appealing challenge.

A highlight is the slippery, par-5 14th hole, a dogleg in which three water hazards can come into play. The course was once the site of a U.S. Open qualifying tournament, so it's a good test of your game.

A bonus is that golfers and their traveling companions have the lush state park at their disposal. There are great views of Lake Erie and a winding, 2-mile boardwalk through a marshy, protected area that will get you in touch with nature.

For more Golf in Ohio, check out #OhioFindItHere at Ohio.org


*Tournament photos provided by Marathon LPGA 

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