Golfsmith's online and in-store showrooms house an almost endless list of golf gear for men, women, and children alike. Clubs, balls, and accessories from brands such as TaylorMade, MacGregor, and Callaway give players precise control over their game, and polos and long-sleeved shirts from Nike and Snake Eyes garb players in course-appropriate attire now that tuxedo T-shirts no longer qualify. Along with the extensive collection of equipment and golf bags, Golfsmith also carries GPS systems to give players a high-tech edge.
If the sun is shining, then the Hickory Hills Golf Club's greens are open. The club welcomes players 365 days a year to drive through the more than 7,400 total yards of fairways that make up their 18-hole championship and 9-hole executive courses. Golfers drive carts along a chain of manicured links that date back to 1915, the year the seedlings from Woodrow Wilson's "Plant-a-Golf Course" program began sprouting flagpoles.
Courses at a Glance
Championship Course * 18-hole, par 71 course * Total length of 5,928 yards * Course rating of 67.9 from the back tees * Course slope of 116 from the back tees
Executive Course * 9-hole, par 30 course * Total length of 1,560 yards from the back tees
A stately, English Tudor–style clubhouse greets guests from its perch overlooking Stony Creek Golf Course, a 5,004-yard, par-65 fairway chain that connects over rolling, tree-lined terrain. A stone-lined creek forms a watery wishbone across the relatively short course, adding a scenic sense of continuity as golfers hit their way across nine par-3s, eight par-4s, and one 518-yard, par-5. The course shares its grassy hillocks with a fully lighted practice facility featuring a driving range—which offers the option of hitting from synthetic turf or real grass—and a miniature golf course occupied by fountains and waterfalls. After a day at the links, guests can unwind at the clubhouse bar and grill, where immense windows look over the course and a covered patio provides an area for spectating games of bean bags, horseshoes, or ping pong.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-65 course * Length of 5,004 yards * Course rating of 62.5 * Slope rating of 103 * Three sets of tee markers available * Scorecard
Staffed by experienced golfing professionals and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the three laws of golfing robotics, GolfTEC’s motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor swings and break down each individual’s form on a high-definition video display. Sensors chirp with approval whenever they detect the perfect stroke or an especially witty golfing joke. GolfTEC’s certified personal coaches will point out flaws and strengths while providing golfers with tips on how to permanently improve their game from tee to green.
As the cartoon mascot for Miner Mike's Adventure Golf, Miner Mike has a pretty good gig, as far as the mining industry goes. Rather than scrounging precious minerals from underground tunnels, Miner Mike spends his days in the sun on an 18-hole mini-golf course that blends natural beauty with man-made accents. Packing this range of scenery into a small area, the course winds through whimsically designed greens landscaped with rocks and logs, as well as a waterfall, a waterwheel, and an old mining cart affixed to a track. Before or after rounds, players can replenish at a concession stand that serves hot pretzels, nachos, pizza, and ice cream to cool down especially hot putters.
At Deer Valley Golf Club, players can feel like a tour pro for a day. The club unfurls 27 holes of bluegrass fairways and bent grass tees across the northern Illinois countryside, providing a variety of holes that will test every club or strategically shaped tire iron in your golf bag. Measuring 6,415 yards from the tips, the 18-hole championship course presents a challenging round for golfers of all stripes with four tee options. Players swing through shorter rounds at the 9-hole executive course, saving time to polish their clubs before or after their outing.