Country Club of Canton's 18-hole course wraps snugly around a 22-acre lake, allowing it to incorporate water into play on most of the holes. It's been the central characteristic since the layout was first strung around the lake in 1923. Other previous occupants included the old pine forests, still in existence, as well as the lake monster, forced to relocate through eminent domain. The golf club's social scene revolves around the 12,000 square-foot clubhouse, where a driving range and putting green skirt the clubhouse grille and banquet space.
Course at a Glance * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,322 yards from the back tees * Rating of 69.5 from the back tees * Slope of 114 from the back tees * Three sets of tees * Scorecard
Helmed by LPGA Class A instructor Kathy Hester, Mississippi?s OnTarget Golf Schools build smooth, dependable swings during six one-hour, weekly classes. The six-session program allows instructors to mold pupils? form by breaking the swing down into its component parts, introducing sound techniques and allowing ample practice repetitions to commit concepts to muscle memory, where they will join riding a bicycle and swallowing oversize jawbreakers on command. Golf gurus also teach clubbers to hit practice shots with a target in mind, developing a subconscious association between their ball?s destination and the shot required to reach it. Clients can consult the schedule for upcoming classes. Online map directions might not be completely accurate, so customers should call ahead if they've never visited any of the courses before. Clubs will be available upon request.
The state-of-the-art equipment, convenient amenities, and variety of exercise classes at Courthouse Racquet & Fitness's six locations earned the club several of Jackson Free Press's Urban Living awards in 2011 and 2012, including Best Fitness Center/Gym and Best Yoga Instructor. Visit the flagship Lakeland location to swim in a pool of professional athletic proportions. Explore the 13,000-square-foot Madison 51 facility's yoga, spin, and boot-camp classes or the Northeast center's indoor and outdoor tennis courts.
The newest location in Brandon boasts more than 100 treadmills, elliptical machines, rowers, and other pieces of cardio equipment. Women can take advantage of the Downtown site's ladies-only cardio area. Three locations offer childcare, and the Byram facility has launched an afterschool program, where kids can do arts and crafts and engage in healthy physical activities in an environment devoid of teddy-bear drill instructors.
Whisper Lake Country Club's verdant course encompasses 4,645 yards of kempt bermuda-grass fairways into a compact-but-challenging par 64 course. Golfers can prepare for rounds with swing-loosening stints at the driving range. There, wise players will focus on mid-length shots and keep drivers securely covered so they don't recognize rounds of golf are being played without them. Various short, drivable par 4s line the course, eschewing the longball in favor of pinpoint long irons or fairway woods, encouraging duffers to direct orbs to hospitable landing areas and set up favorable angles to approach fast, tifdwarf greens. Four sets of tees make the course surmountable for golfers of all abilities, and its compressed yardage—the 18-hole course only features two, relatively short par 5s compared to nine par 3s—allows duffers to complete rounds in about three hours or less, freeing up valuable time to tend to workday obligations or mow basement shag carpets into in-home putting greens. Cart rental is included in all options.
• For $25, you get one month of tumbling-and-cheerleading classes (up to a $60 value). • For $40, you get two months of Mommy and Me classes (an $80 value). • For $75, you get a 1.5-hour girl's or boy’s birthday party for 15–20 kids (a $150 value).
Licensed childcare director Kristal Bailey serves as mayor of The Play Place's toddler metropolis, complete with a bustling rush hour of kiddie commuters and free WiFi for parents (all-day admission $6). The tots' town is equipped with miniature versions of civic institutions, including a bite-size boutique for dress-up, a hardware store for blossoming builders, free toy-truck parking, and state-of-the-art climate-control technology. On Tuesdays and Fridays, Bailey frees harried parents to run their errands or just get a morning off with indoor childcare ($10/hour), where tykes can meet and play with other local little ones. On certain upcoming dates, The Play Place will host a four-hour Parents' Night Out, granting moms and dads with 2-year-olds and older a Friday-night freedom that once seemed more fictitious than a fairy-princess rap battle.