Cox’s Golf Driving Range’s grounds slope and skate through beautiful landscaping arrangements of bushes and trees that ensconce practice greens and snuggle up against the tricks and traps of the 18-hole Putt-a-Round miniature golf course. Contenders who prefer bats to clubs unleash thunderclaps in the range’s 10 automated batting cages with pitching machines that can alternate between baseballs and softballs. An onsite pro shop outfits practitioners with all the gear they may need for a day of the sporting life, including clubs, balls, and disposable plaid pants.
Carved into the rolling landscape of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Auburn Hills Golf Club's 18-hole course features 6,534 yards of elevated tee boxes and breathtaking views of the Southwest Virginia countryside. Throughout the course, players encounter tantalizing high-risk-and-high-reward shots straight from the architectural mind of Algie Pulley, such as the par-4 13th hole, which dares big hitters to drive for a half-visible green hiding 306 yards in the distance. More straightforward challenges await at the 190-yard, par-3 17th, where duffers must calm gun-shy golf carts before sending tee shots somersaulting over two large ponds that stand sentry in front of the green. The pristine par-72 opens its arboreal arms to golfers of all ages and experience levels with four tee options.
PGA instructor Werner Riemer uses Auburn Hills' sunlit green as a classroom, where the master dispenses his golf wisdom to students. Werner’s teaching techniques have bolstered the talents of LPGA Hall of Famer Sandra Handy, and also earned him special PGA certification in golf instruction, a feat obtained by only 1% of PGA members and 3% of computer simulators.
Course at a Glance:
Perched on hilltops that overlook the scenic Roanoke Valley, Hanging Rock Golf Club's 18-hole course surfs the mountainside for 6,602 yards of challenging course conditions. Rising peaks cast shadows across the course's emerald fairways as undulating terrain places a high premium on club selection, confident swings, and 9-irons impervious to motion sickness. The course's signature hole, the par-4 fifth, showcases the inventive designs of architect Russell Breeden as golfers can pen their own pin-hunting tale by playing to a two-tiered green stationed boldly uphill, a tricky layout that emphasizes accurate approach shots and putters that don't sweat under pressure. To help prepare players for upcoming rounds, resident ace Chip Sullivan conducts private lessons and runs golf academies for birdie seekers of all stripes.
Course at a Glance:
Both the Lynchburg and Roanoke locations have year round batting cages, 36 holes of championship miniature golf, the best gameroom around with the largest prize center in the area. The Lynchburg facility has go-karts and bumper boats.
Like narrow, perfectly coiffed clearings, the fairways at Hunting Hills Country Club slide through the dense forest that covers the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The 18-hole layout was unveiled in 1971, realizing the visions of tight, tree-lined shots and hilly traverses first pictured by architect Raymond F. Loving, Jr. The course's commitment to upkeep and aesthetics has never wavered over the ensuing four decades, and golfers today continue to contend with daunting drives and unsettling elevation swings.
These concerns leave foursomes thoroughly tuckered out by the 18th hole, at which point they might ask a caddy for a piggyback ride to the clubhouse for drinks and lunch.
When they're not swinging away on the golf course, members test their sports skills at the tennis facility's four lighted hard courts and four Har-Tru clay courts. They can then cool off in the swimming pool, which features an adjoining wading pool perfect for kids or pet turtles.
The course at Botetourt Golf & Swim Club skims through the densely forested terrain of the Roanoke Valley, revealing dramatic glimpses of the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains as players contend with its string of pristine trials. Opened in 1962 with just nine holes, the course celebrates half a century of expansions and improvements that have culminated in its current status as an 18-hole championship track. Golfers today send drives hurling through hilly terrain carpeted with lush sod and roll their putts over undulating greens in pursuit of a par of 71, all while the freshly shorn flags of conquered pins dangle from their belts.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Total length of 6,111 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 70.8 from the back tees * Course slope of 136 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole