For nearly a quarter century, Ultimate Golf & Academy founder Chad Westra has been instructing golfers of all abilities while developing original methods for improvement in his book and instructional DVD, The Ultimate Way. Through Chad's methods, golfers discover the components of a balanced swing, including the turn of the clubface and the point of impact. By focusing on clubface connection, the instructor asserts that golfers can develop natural swings attuned to their unique form and golf bag full of modified soup ladles. Ultimate Golf allows visitors to practice their swings on its 22-acre facility, which features a well-lit driving range, 19-hole miniature golf course, and digital golf simulator. The simulator allows golfers to play on digital replications of 100 legendary golf courses.
Prairie View Golf Links guides golfers along a Scottish links-style course that wanders through prairie wetlands and rolling hills. Keeping with course architect Joel Goldstrand's vision from its opening in 1984, there are no trees to obstruct sight lines or hug unsuspecting humans in efforts to project their ideals of world peace. The open playing conditions tempt players to unleash full power off the tee, but a stream comes into play on hole nine, ready to swallow up errant golf balls. The flowing water splits hole four's fairway by length, forcing players to pick a side off the tee, like when twosomes must flip divots to decide who gets to ride on top of the golf cart. Players who can keep their shots on dry land enjoy taking aim at large greens, including an enormous double green that holds the flagsticks for holes two and seven, reminiscent of early Scottish designs.
Bookended by the rippling waters of Lake Madison and Round Lake, The Lakes Golf Course’s nine-hole layout arches over 3,128 yards of rolling, lush terrain. Conscientious clubbers will spend time at the adjacent driving range before the round to prepare swings and motivate lazy golf carts in time for the first hole, a par 5, 533-yard monolith rated the course’s hardest hole. Throughout the layout, gentle elevation changes create the occasional tricky lie and give way to splendid views of the lakes and the surrounding countryside topography. Those looking to extend their golf outing to an overnight trip or romantic getaway with their sand-wedge can hunker down in the rustic but modern accommodations at The Lodge, or pitch a tent made of polo shirts at the Camping Grounds.
Course at a Glance:
9-hole, par 36 course
Course rating of 72.2 (adjusted for 18-hole round)
Since the first fairway drive in 1998, Northern Links Golf Course has presented players with nine holes of challenging and enjoyable golf. On the course's signature second hole, a 215-yard par 3, players must steer clear of the out-of-bounds road on the left and take necessary precautions to avoid a sunburned ball in order to conquer the island-style green. The 3,176-yard course offers a great opportunity for walking, though carts are also available.