Avondale Golf Club’s par 71 course immerses golfers in a lush landscape of verdant fairways, beguiling water hazards, and arboreal majesty. Unlike the pack animals relied upon by early golfers, golf carts tote clubs and other tackle without ever stopping to graze or braying during a backswing, allowing par pursuers to traverse the course’s 18 holes in expeditious comfort. Weekend and weekday tee times provide ample opportunity to trek across the classic course, home to a rich menagerie of birdies, bogeys, and mulligans since 1974.
From a bird's-eye view, the emerald expanse of All American Sports Center is unmistakably devoted to the sports of golf and baseball. No less than 20 heated tees and 40 seasonal grass tees line the driving range, allowing players to keep shooting for the horizon even after the sun sets and the towering lampposts light up the field. For short games, the center also features a 10,000-square-foot putting green as well as a chipping green complete with hazards such as sand bunkers and kiddie pools full of jury summons. The 18-hole miniature golf course encourages visitors to unwind as they putt past decorative waterfalls and rivers. At the dugout, guests can switch gears to baseball or softball, taking up bats to turn away the wrath of variable-speed pitching machines.
The Five Seasons Family Sports Club houses tennis courts, a dining area, fitness facilities, swimming pools, and a full-service spa under one roof. Within air-conditioned indoor courts or on outdoor clay courts, racquet slingers compete in friendly bouts to sharpen swings, refine backhands, and showcase grunting abilities. Members can also break a sweat in exercise areas speckled with modern cardio equipment and weights or cool off in an Olympic-sized pool with diving wells and wading areas. Before meeting others for a postgame beverage at the lively café, clients can wander to the spa for a relaxing massage or partake in a sports workshop to gain a firm grasp on game mechanics.
The seventh hole at Grey Hawk Golf Club could be the finishing hole at any PGA Tour host course. Water runs from the tee all the way to the green down the left side of the 578-yard par-five as it bends to the left, making any effort to cut the corner a daring proposition. A bunker on the right side of the fairway awaits any shots that fade right, and a stream runs across the front of the green, capping off the course's most difficult hole. The treacherous par-five is one of many memorable hole designs on the 18-hole, 7,079-yard course, which features water on 16 holes and a par-three with a true island green that tests golfers' confidence in their swing or their ability to skip a ball across the surface of the water. Mounded terrain and numerous sandtraps characterize the rest of the layout, which was designed by the venerable golf trio of von Hagge, Smelek, and Baril.
Course at a Glance:
The downtown lounge and golfery boasts six high-def golf simulators—massive windows that transport you into the scenic world of one of 16 top golf courses—along with a full menu of spectator fare in a fun and casual environment. During your retreat from the unmanicured greens of the everyday, you and your three closest friends or parolees will get four hours to play 18-hole golf on one of the course simulators; choose to use the lounge’s provided clubs, or bring your own for optimal swinging success (up to an $86 value). Shoot a fake round among the dramatic beauty of Pebble Beach or the lush tropical sights of Miami’s Blue Monster. When your ball touches the screen, the simulator picks it up and carries it to the exact locale on the virtual course—based on your sphere’s speed, height, and velocity—allowing you to show off, swagger, or cower in shame at your real-life abilities on the simulated greens.
The staff at The Golf Improvement Center knows that shaving strokes is all about getting the little things right. This precision is evident in the center’s facilities, from the 7,500 square-foot putting green modeled after the famous Himalayas putting course at St. Andrews to the seven target greens scattered around the 320-by-300-yard driving range and laser measured to every hitting station. Instead of the oversize range balls at the great majority of driving ranges, which get tired of flying after 100 yards, players hit real regulation golf balls that get recycled every year, which provides the invaluable feel and results of actual strokes. The center also recognizes that golfers committed to improvement can’t sacrifice practice time just because the course is full of rain, snow, or carnivorous fog. Thus, when the 24,000 square feet of grass tees aren’t available due to these or other concerns, players can continue to practicing their drives and chips on the 38 covered Fiberbuilt mats, some of which are also heated. At dusk, stadium-level lights flicker on to ensure the continuous bombardment of golf balls into the night sky.