Sculpted into tree-studded mountain slopes, Ragged Mountain Golf Club's 18-hole course plots a winding path over dramatic elevation changes. When played from the double black diamond tees—the club borrows skiing terminology in an homage to the winter activities hosted at the same site—club pros compare the layout to a U.S. Open course and advise only scratch golfers or those with remote-controlled golf balls to brave the tips. Along with tight tree lines and rolling terrain up and down the mountain, the course runs over streams that come into play on 14 holes.
With onsite lodging and golf-and-stay packages, Ragged Mountain invites golfers to set aside a weekend amid the mountain air. In the winter, Ragged Mountain activates a high-speed, six-person chairlift, from which skiers, snowboarders, and snow-angel enthusiasts gain access to two mountains with 50 trails, including 11 glades and three terrain parks.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Course rating of 74.9 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 149 from the farthest tees * Four tee options
Playing a round of golf is always unpredictable. Rain can spoil it. Any storm can, really. And in most places, golf courses lay dormant for half a year, their fairways untouched as they await the passing of the season. Fortunately, the courses at Fore Season Indoor Golf never close. That's because they exist in the massive, high-definition screens of seven Full Swing golf simulators and are impervious to weather. Best of all, the simulators let golfers play replicas of 42 world famous courses, including Pebble Beach and Pinehurst No. 2., without having to book airfare or turn their golf bag into a personal jet pack.
Along with the golf simulators, the facility’s driving net and indoor putting green allow for golfers to work on every facet of their golf game or schedule lessons conducted by the center’s two instructors. Fore Season Indoor Golf also shares space with a Pub that serves a menu of hot dogs, burgers, and sandwiches that golfers can eat by spearing them with golf tees.
You can’t talk about Eastman Golf Links without mentioning the scenery. Situated amidst 3,700 acres of environmentally protected woodlands, the 18-hole course tunnels through thick groves of trees and around six ponds. Its hilly terrain offers both elevated views of the unspoiled landscape as well as a safe place to look out for charging tribes of territorial sand trap rakes. The picturesque par-71 plays to 6,731 yards from the farthest tees—presenting a formidable challenge for experienced golfers—but shrinks to 5,499 yards when played from the shortest of four tee options.
Though the course is Eastman Golf Links centerpiece, guests can consider it a one-stop resource for all their golfing needs. A trio of experienced instructors lends their fairway-splitting savvy during private lessons, and also offers club-fitting services using FlightScope Launch Monitors. A driving range with both grass and turf hitting bays fosters practice sessions as does a practice green and a 9-hole short course. Guests can sample a collection of 150 demo clubs to find the one that best suits their game or scratches the parts of their back that are hardest to reach.
Course at a Glance:
* 18-hole, par 71 course
* Length of 6,731 yards from the farthest tees
* Course rating of 72.8 from the farthest tees
* Slope rating of 129 from the farthest tees
* Four tee options
Wonder Mountain Family Fun Park sternly rebuffs boredom with two mini-golf courses and a challenging human maze. Adventurers can negotiate the twisting turns, dead ends, and elevated checkpoints of the Treasure Trap ($5/person for ages 5+) in less than 10 minutes to enter weekly drawings for cash and T-shirts or to outrun overzealous Pac-Men. Alternatively, opt for a round of mini golf ($10/adult; $8/senior or child ages 5–12) on one of two courses strewn with lush foliage, flowing waterfalls, and muttering streams. Send dimpled balls spinning across the Mountain Mania course, recently rebuilt with five new hole layouts, or test your mettle on the Nautical Nightmare course, whose challenging holes may be better suited for teens and adults than youngsters or those who depend on holes-in-one for life force.
Newport Golf Club's 18-hole course sprawls across 143 verdant acres of the Sugar River valley, guiding players along distinct front and back nines with sections of rolling pastureland and other areas carved out of a forest of mature pine, oak, and cherry trees. The course was founded in 1920 as a nine-hole course that took advantage of the site's natural hills and running streams, and remained that way for 70 years. In 1989 the course was extended to its present length, with a back nine that intercepts the Sugar River at various points among the pine trees, mirrored ponds, and indigenous tribes of golf ball hunter-gatherers.
The Sunday River Golf Club carves through the scenic Mahoosuc Mountains to form a string of challenging holes and scenic views that earned acclaim from Golf Magazine and Golfweek. Designed by famous architect Robert Trent Jones Jr., the course rewards players with sweeping vistas; dramatic, undulating fairways; and bunkers filled with chocolate. Sharp elevation changes require precise hitting and careful club selection, and the precarious tee box locations create a floating sensation as golfers send shots soaring over tree-filled valleys. To help divot-diggers limber up for the ensuing round, today's Groupon includes unlimited practice facility usage and driving range balls as well as a clubhouse lunch of one entree with a fountain drink.