Bow River and its adjacent aquatic arteries join ponds and marshland at Golf Canada Calgary Centre, creating aquatic layouts for the Les Furber–designed, 9-hole, par-3 course and the 18-hole, par-72 all-grass putting course. Hole 9 on the putting course even challenges players with an island green, and those who make it there without getting wet can pretend to be castaways even after the sun has set, thanks to stadium-style lighting.
To gear up for the courses’ myriad challenges, golfers can buckle down at a heated, lighted driving range that ranked in Golf Range Magazine’s 2010 Top 100 Golf Ranges in America. The swingers practice their long game from 52 enclosed tee boxes, aiming at target greens or clouds shaped like flag pins. Nearby, putters take the stage at a short-game practice area with a 4,000-square-foot putting green, a 3,500-square-foot pitching and chipping green, and greenside and fairway practice bunkers. Golfers can also hone their game in high-definition golf simulators, which unlock the fairways of legendary courses such as Pebble Beach and Pinehurst, or enroll in lessons with PGA of Canada pros led by award-winning instructor Jay Myren.
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For many years, the scariest thing about golf has been the Sansabelt pants. With today's Groupon, trade gentle golf claps for screams of putting panic: for $15, you get four rounds at Monster Mini Golf in Marietta, a $30 value. Come once by yourself and save the other three passes for when you have the hiccups, or bring three friends and see who has the strongest stomach for fun monster statues.
If you’re like most people, seeing another windmill boringly swooping its blades on a standard miniature golf course makes you secretly long for glow-in-the-dark zombies. Monster Mini Golf has heard those silent screams and created a fright-filled attraction perfect for couples, kids, adults with kids, and adults unafraid of sharing a fun evening with Dracula. Monster Mini Golf’s owners created most of the oversized monsters that stalk their greens and constitute the course’s obstacles. The creatures glow under ample black lights, and range in monstrosity from animated cuddliness to Bella-Lugosity. Kids of all ages are able to appreciate Monster Mini Golf's kitschy post-structuralist take on the play of difference between signifier and signified.
The links consist of 18 holes spread over 12,600 square feet, and the focus of the course is on challenging angles. Monster Mini golf offers just the right level of challenge to entertain both kids and adults. The Marietta branch opens its creaky doors from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Check Monster Mini Golf's website for upcoming holiday hours.
Monster Mini Golf also offers themed party rooms, such as the Haunted Mansion; a quarter arcade; and traditional arcade challenges, including skee ball and glowing air hockey. Success at these monster-supervised games offers not only personal fulfilment, but also the thrill of having conquered death incarnate. Plus you win prizes. While playing, be sure to listen for Monster Mini Golf’s own in-house radio station, “W.I.R.D. (Weird Radio),” whose live, on-site DJ hands out prizes for goofy reasons on the links.
CityVoters name Monster Mini Golf as the best mini golf site in the Atlanta area, and Yelpers give it five stars:
- It’s fun! It’s indoors, so can be played year round! The price is right and staff is very accommodating. – prs0, Cityvoter
- Monster Golf totally rules…The kids had a blast! Good times all around. I’d highly recommend this as an alternate for kiddie birthday parties or a cute, fun date spot. – lee y., Yelp
- The 18 spooky holes surprise golfers with challenges and tricks…They play GREAT music…Hopefully this one lasts! – Amy S., Yelp
Originally a 9-hole course upon its opening in 1978, community-owned The Bridges at Claresholm expanded into an 18-hole course in 2005 after designer Les Furber spent four years expertly crafting a back nine. Four tee boxes and attachable Gadget arms precede each hole, allowing patrons to adjust their distance to the green and driving angle to better avoid obstacles such as 12 water hazards. The Bridges at Claresholm also employs golf expert Lyle Broderson to offer private, semiprivate, or group lessons to golfers looking to make improvements, and hosts tournaments and male, female, and gopher leagues. Additionally, an on-site pro shop supplies participants with essential gear such as balls, clubs, and golf-suitable clothing, and Putter's Restaurant & Catering in the facility's clubhouse satiates visitors with weekly specials such as the Friday-night all-you-can-eat fish fry.
Certified by the World Golf Teachers Association, Steve Lawrence's instructional expertise acquired over 11 years continues to evolve, as he operates out of a technologically refined indoor environment for comprehensive golf instruction and practice. In private lessons, Steve augments his own purview of knowledge with TrackMan Performance Studio software, which records swings in high definition and gathers invaluable data, including swing path, club-face angle, and spin rate without having to inject nine-irons with a truth serum. The studio boasts hitting bays for full swing practice as well as a 600-square-foot putting-and-chipping area, all of which are put to use in training programs developed for juniors and adult tournament players. The academy also specializes in golf fitness training, which helps develop more efficient swings by strengthening the core, building muscle memory, and bench-pressing golf carts.
Callaway goes beyond minting high-performance golf clubs and gear—it actively pursues new technologies to ensure its products are of the highest quality, and that golfers are selecting the right equipment to match their playing style. At Callaway Golf Learning & Fitting Centre, golf experts employ the Callaway performance-analysis system, which combines computer analysis and high-speed digital photography to break down a player’s swing, a technology that has helped Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els. Data recorded during these swing sessions includes club-head speed, angle of attack, and launch angle. This information allows the professionals to generate personal specifications for custom clubs or elective surgery to attach a hybrid club to the client's right arm.
At the end of a session, clients take home a personalized booklet of the swing photos. Later, they can go online to review their swing by looking at a full-motion video or freeze frames, which can reveal key details about how post-swing pirouettes interfered with swing mechanics.
Part of the proceeds from each club-fitting session benefit the Jennifer Ashleigh Children’s Charity, which helps families with the expenses surrounding a child’s chronic illness.
The Canadian Professional Golfers' Association–certified golf instructors at Billy D's Golf Center mould swings and help aspiring golfers finesse the finer points of their game at a fully equipped facility encompassing 52 outdoor hitting stalls and grassy areas. In an enclosed four-bay teaching area, golf pros Daryl Patrick, who competed in the Malaysian PGA Tour, and Luke McKenzie, winner of the 2005 Ontario Spring Open, instruct pupils on mending hooks, saving slices, and willing balls into holes with elaborate tribal spells. Clubs whack and balls fly down 300 yards of lush green fairway, and an artificial putting green strengthens golfers' short game. Fatigued golfers and battered golf balls recoup in a 1,000-square-foot clubhouse, where golf pros fit and repair clubs and cooks serve up food that visitors can enjoy with a side of tree-filled scenery.
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