“A synthetic turf-covered love letter to Washington.” That’s what Fritz Hahn of the Washington Post had to say about H Street Country Club after visiting the nearly 7,000-square-foot bar at the heart of the Atlas District. Yet Hahn wasn’t talking about the eatery’s decadent food; he was commenting on the space's devilishly tricky indoor golf course. During each nine-hole outing—for adults 21+—putters encounter the Lincoln Theatre, Ben’s Chili Bowl, and the titanic grasping hands of a half-submerged Marion Barry. As if a trip to the links wasn’t enough to work up an appetite, the entire first floor of H Street tempts gamers with skee-ball, shuffleboard, and wall-vs-human staring contests—all within an arm’s reach of margaritas, mojitos, and other specialty drinks.
Upstairs, a glass panel filled with retired golf balls gazes out over artist and contributing decorator Lee T. Wheeler’s talents, which alight upon everything from the sculptures crafted from repurposed birdhouses to the bar’s cushy lounge seating. The design sets the stage for executive chef Pablo Cardoso’s upscale take on classic Mexican food, with tables welcoming grilled skirt steak splayed over "cowboy" beans, a half chicken paired with yuca, and fajitas stuffed with still-sizzling shrimp. For dessert, the chef stuffs crisp empanadas with sweet mangoes, topping the confection with creamy ice cream and a note to get out of gym class for a week.
Champion over the intimidating attractions gracing all 18 holes at Monster Mini Golf, which contains enough geometric challenges to make the course interesting for all ages. Navigate your dimpled, glowing orb past gobbling goblins, disgruntled dark trees, impolite specters, sleeping ogres, and frightened businessmen. While playing or standing in awe of the 3-D course, guests can listen for Monster Mini Golf’s own in-house radio station, "W.I.R.D. (Weird Radio)," whose live, on-site DJ doles out prizes to minigolfers based on random criteria such as having multiple noses or the best high five.
Argyle Country Club accommodates a variety of upscale physical activities amid beautiful outdoor landscapes centered around a clubhouse of 25,000 square feet. The one-day membership includes one round at the club’s private golf course, where linksmen enjoy a serene 18 holes of rolling hills and picturesque woods after polishing the rust off of swings with a turn at the driving range and a pint of tendon-tarnish remover. For racket wielders, the club sports five well-maintained Har-Tru tennis courts for games of long-lasting volleys and nimble returns. After a day on the course or the courts, take a dip in the 25-meter swimming pool with a diving area, or watch the kiddies splish-splash around in the wading pool. Temporary members can utilize the showers and changing rooms to freshen up before using the included lunch voucher ($15 value) at the club’s restaurant, refueling ravenous stomachs after a full day of tennis, swimming, and using the 14th hole's putting green as a stage for a medley of songs from The Sound of Music.
A member of the PGA since 2005, Mark Russo helps golfers of every age and skill level unlock professional-grade play during lessons at Night Hawk Golf Center. He boils down the complicated game to a three-pronged teaching philosophy that focuses on establishing fundamentals, trusting the swing to produce consistently positive results, and relying on feel as opposed to technical perfection or the advice of a talking divot. Ultimately, students should be able to get the hang of a swing that’s well suited to their bodies and can be comfortably repeated when facing down a tough shot.
“A lot of players look at the card and think because it’s short that they’re going to play their all-time best round of golf and end up spending a lot of time in the woods,” says head professional Joan Lovelace of the course at Fairway Hills Golf Club. The Ron Pritchard–designed course —which stays neatly within the bounds of 6,158 yards—doesn’t just get its bite from the woodlands about which Lovelace warns. Water comes into play on 12 of the 18 holes, and the second fairway’s wicked dogleg right and stream-guarded bentgrass green costars with collarless shirts in many golfers’ nightmares. The links wind down with a hope-inspiring 18th hole, where golfers with the right mix of skill and luck can make a birdie.
Adjacent to the course’s bermuda-grass fairways, the club’s practice facilities invite players to demolish buckets of balls at a turf range, cleat across a chipping area, or practice whipping a putter out of its holster and twirling it around their thumb. Lessons with the club’s PGA professionals are also available to help hone games.
Course at a Glance:
Brunswick Zone has been a trusted name in recreational pin pulverizing for more than a century, providing good times to patrons across the country. Friends and families season afternoons with a pleasant peppering of strikes, spares, and easygoing gutter balls under classic bowling conditions, or take the next bold step in ball-hurling evolution and engage in a round of cosmic bowling, where dancing lights, thumping tunes, and black-lit gear light up the full sensorium. At XL locations, game rooms beckon with nimble joystick workouts on classic and modern arcade games.