Co-owner and PGA player Doug Martin and his fellow golf experts dedicate The Golf Range to the cause of perfect putts and smooth swings. An 8,000-square-foot putting green and short-game area doles out new golf balls for patrons to practice, minimizing misplaced shots and paychecks lost to preteen mini-golf sharks. The indoor putting green guards clubs from the elements, and players sharpen their skills beneath the all-seasons shelter of 37 heated and covered bays. Brush up with The Golf Range's online golf tips before taking to the tee.
Dearborn Country Club traces its roots to 1926, when a group of area businessmen purchased the sprawling Wymond Estate in Aurora, Indiana, and used its setting, overlooking the Wilson Creek Valley, to design a nine-hole golf course. Today, the original course still offers a timeless test of pin-hunting prowess, though it has expanded into an 18-hole, 6,314-yard layout after a 1993 renovation and a steady diet of protein-rich mini-golf courses. Characterized by undulating terrain that gives way to sprawling views of the valley below, the layout showcases hole designs that demand creative shotmaking, such as the water-clearing tee shot at the par 3 third hole and any shot from the double-dogleg fairway at the par 5 fifth.
Once the centerpiece of the club, the original Wymond Estate mansion burned down in 2003 and was replaced by a 25,000-square-foot, ivory clubhouse. Inside the stately clubhouse, the aromas of sizzling steaks emanate from BG’s Grille, where a menu of grill fare and seafood and a full-service bar help golfers unwind after a long day at the links or mourn the loss of a sand wedge lost at sea.
Course at a Glance:
Led by Golf Range’s Top 50 Golf Instructor Ralph Landrum, World of Golf’s staff of game-improvement gurus help players lower their golf scores with an array of golf-related activities. Private lessons conducted inside a climate-controlled swing room allow students to launch golf balls out onto the range while four cameras capture bad habits such as flat takeaways or saying “um” too much during their follow-through. Afterward, players can use their instructor’s pointers to build muscle memory on the rest of the complex’s practice facilities, which include an outdoor range with 24 mat tees and two sets of grass tees, indoor hitting nets with eight stalls, and an indoor putting and chipping green.
As soon as golfers feel they’ve practiced enough, they put their newfound knowledge to the test on the executive 18-hole golf course, with 14 par 3s and four par 4s, or the miniature golf course. When weather renders either course unplayable, thwackers move indoors to the golf simulator, which recreates the look and feel of more than 50 courses or a hodgepodge of 18 famous holes but without the extremely long between-hole travel times. World of Golf keeps a busy schedule of lessons, classes, and leagues, all of which can be found on the calendar.
At The Scuba Shack, the staff’s family-oriented lessons encourage divers to take social rather than solo ventures into the blue beyond. Each instructor carries an impressive résumé of underwater travels—the head trainer has been diving for more than 20 years and others have logged more than 1,000 dives. Captaining PADI-certification courses and specialty seminars—which cover topics such as night diving, photography, and fish identification—they take groups on open-water excursions to area lakes and Clear Spring Scuba Park. They prioritize educating their charges with safe and enjoyable teachings, rather than monotonous quizzes on whether the bends is a serious health issue or a 1980s punk band. With trips to dive sites in Fiji and Mexico, they introduce divers to the visual wonder of reefs and aquatic wildlife throughout the world.
Fitworks is home to a dedicated cadre of certified muscle architects who guide eager physiques through intense, small group workouts. Peruse the schedule before sampling a tension-undoing yoga class or a weekend-morning muscle-pump session, ideal for prepping for an underwater bench-press that will determine the office's next round of promotions. One-hour Zumba classes harness the rhythmic power of merengue, conga, belly dancing, and more to kill calories while resuscitating sleepy toes. After classes, students can freshen up or flex unused singing muscles in Fitworks' shower facilities.