Candywood Golf Course

In 1964 Anthony J. Candella, Sr. D.O. and his wife Annette began to acquire the farmland in Vienna from lots #40, #41, and #35 on which to build his family's golf course.  The land had been owned by several individuals and families: Mabel Blair, Vasilie and Helen Farkas, Stella Yeletchko, E. A. and Virginia Catchpole, and Moses and Rose Szakas.  The biggest share of the golf course's 285 acres were acquired from Toy and Chloe Covington, who had purchased the land from Augustus P. "Doc" Doughterty in 1954.  Doc Doughterty, the owner of ice and cold storage businesses in Niles and Youngstown, had named the farm "Claredale" in honor of his wife, Clarabelle.  When Dr. Candella acquired the property, "Claredale" was still proudly painted on the barn that had housed the Doughterry's prized Black Angus herd.

Dr. Candella in turn renamed it Candywood.  "Candy" was Dr. Candella's nickname from his childhood days in Campbell, Ohio.  The century old barn had then taken on a new role as a clubhouse and banquet center for the course.

The Candywood Golf Course was a public golf course located at 765 Scoville North Road.  In 1965, the course opened with 18 holes.  The layout, however, proved less than satisfactory.  After the close of the 1966 season, the course was completely replotted and laid out anew.  It reopened in 1967, using 151 acres in its tees and fairways and surrounded at the east by a beautiful stand of deciduous trees.  Since that time Candywood hosted many tournaments.  The Ohio Open was played there on August 28-30, 1972, with a field of 182 golfers in contention.  Professional golfer Bob Wynn won the contest to round out three straight years in a row as champion.  The winning amateur was Jack Durban of Columbus.  More than 200 golfers vied for the trophy the next year, when Candywood again hosted the event.  Dick Plummer, a professional golfer from Cincinnati, was able to stop Wynn's winning streak in the hot August weather.  Warren's Lalu Sabotin was the winning amateur.  The Ohio Lefthanders' tournament has also been played on Candywood.

Candywood's front nine had many wide-open fairways, but its back nine was built through a heavily wooded area. The large greens are very fast and some of them are undulating. Water hazards (natural streams and three man-made lakes) come into play on five holes. There are some long par 3's in excess of 200 yards. Candywood Golf Club boasted about its country club conditioned course with huge, fast greens, with no sand bunkers. Candywood Golf Club was a gently rolling course that is pleasant to walk if you desire and with the hole design to reward accurate approaches more so on the back nine with trees that line the fairways.  Candywood Golf Course played to a maximum distance of 6,672 yards and a par-72. The course rating was 71.4 with a 116 slope rating. Candywood had four sets of markers for all golfing abilities. [1]

Candywood Golf Course flagFlag dimensions: 12 x 17 inchesImage courtesy of Tyler Stanton

Perhaps the popularity of the course was also due to Bob Rappach, who had been the greens' superintendent since 1969.  With his careful nurturing and updating, the course had proved to be one of the areas loveliest courses, but also quite challenging.  Bob's father, Metro Rappach, owned the farm immediately south of the course.  His older brother Frank continued to farm the fields contiguous to Candywood for many years.

When Dr. Candella died in 1990 (Find a Grave memorial), his son, Anthony J. "Jamie" Candella, Jr., D.O., took over the management of the course.  He updated the watering and sanitation systems, and erected a building to house the greens-keeping staff and equipment.  A new pavilion for golf outings was added behind Dunlap Cemetery.  Jamie's sister, Marilyn Candella Mitchell and her husband Jack, managed the clubhouse banquet center.

The course was permanently closed in October of 2015 and the property was zoned agricultural and converted into a hunting preserve in 2016 called the Candywood Whitetail Ranch. [2]  The land was sold in April 2019 to Jardine Management LLC.

The building was remodeled and is the location for a restaurant and event venue called Candywood Wine Cellar.

Updated 4/04/2024
This entry is adapted from Carley Cooper O'Neill, "Candywood Golf Course," in Vienna, Ohio, "Where We Live and Let Live": Town 4, Range 2 of the Connecticut Western Reserve (Apollo, PA: Closson Press, 1999), pp. 243-245.
[2] "Officials to sue over wedding," Warren Tribune Chronicle online, October 2, 2018.