The First Tee of Central Arkansas welcomes golfers with two distinct challenges: a championship-length nine-hole course and a par-3 nine-hole course. The longer of the two, the par-36 Chairman’s course sends golfers swinging across 3,428 yards of fairways lined with sparsely populated groves of trees. A golfer who is confident with a driver or shower-curtain rod can conquer the course’s lengthier holes, which include 539- and 551-yard par 5s and a 475-yard par 4 that is the course’s most difficult, due in part to a water hazard that hugs the left side and a misplaced track-and-field commentator who encourages the use of the flagstick as a javelin. For a more leisurely round, players can test their short iron skills on the par-3 Honors course, which features holes that range from 65 to 113 yards in length.
Along with its public courses, The First Tee of Central Arkansas uses the game of golf to teach local youth life skills through Jack Stephens Youth Golf Academy. The academy reaches out to low-income and special-needs children, providing free access to the program as a means of enriching their lives and preparing them for the future.
The six target greens and 350 grassy yards of landing area at Mulligans Golf Range & Bobby Wilson Teaching Center bolster gameplay alongside swing-honing lessons from certified instructors, including three-time World Long Drive champion Bobby Wilson. Golfers can tee off year-round and in any weather conditions from 10 lighted and covered stations, emptying two medium buckets of balls (180 total) across a peaceful verdant landscape punctuated only by the sporadic encouragement of cheerleading Scotch Highlanders. Long-driving neophytes with dreams of golf-ball domination can rework swings and locate sweet spots under the tutelage of certified golf pros during hour-long lessons. Instilled with new fairway-conquering wisdom, guests can showcase golf and culinary skills alike as they line up their shots from a natural grass tee and pepper the greens with a small bucket of 45 balls.
Belvedere Golf Club, named one of the state's top 20 courses by GolfLink, eases the jonesings of club swingers seven days a week with its Bermuda fairways and bentgrass greens. Lush, sloping hills and stately trees surround the course, a 1949 brainchild of Hall of Fame designer Herman Hackbarth, who took care to swath each shapely dogleg in the finest of canine pantyhose. Whizzing hither and yon in electric golf carts less than two years old, players can take on pastoral obstacles such as greenside bunkers, water hazards, and squads of guerilla hobbits. From the tips, the course measures 6,767 yards, with a par of 72, course rating of 73.1, and film rating of PG-13 for some strong language near the woods and sand traps.