Leatherman Golf Learning Center's driving range showcases a mastery of both utility and aesthetics. A double-decker driving range is the back porch of a handsome, colonial-style farmhouse. The sides of the top deck are bordered by white fences that match the walls of the building itself; underneath, players take aim at the target greens from sheltered hitting bays on the first floor. The range anchors a practice facility that also includes putting and chipping greens and a sand trap. PGA Class A pro Chris Leatherman uses the facility for private and group instruction.
The golf center also fosters whimsical play with an 18-hole miniature golf course. The course weaves through colorful landscaping, streams, and waterfalls that keep guests cool on a hot day or when putting with a soldering iron.
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 teaching professionals will point out flaws and strengths while providing golfers with tips on how to permanently improve their game from tee to green.
Designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer, Birkdale Golf Club’s course transforms natural beauty into challenging obstacles, with 200 acres of rolling hills intersected by streams and framed by mature pines. The course’s bermuda fairways lie beyond elevation changes that give way to greenscapes festooned with ponds and deep, stone-lined bunkers that test players to use every club in their bags before desperately reaching for the oversized soup ladle. Once approach shots find the green, golfers must putt precisely atop the firm and true crenshaw bentgrass greens.
Birkdale Golf Club pampers players before and after rounds with a practice range and onsite tavern trimmed with rich wood hues and green leather barstools. The club also staffs a team of PGA pro instructors who school pupils in the arts of swinging and scorecard penmanship with private lessons and group clinics.
Course at a Glance: * Par 72 * Four sets of tees * Length of 7,013 yards from back tees * Course rating of 74.3 from back tees * Slope rating of 138 from back tees
Part of a small minority of golf coaches who have attained the rarefied title of PGA Master Professional in Instruction, Scott Fossum has honed swings with a results-oriented approach for 18 years. Scott molds sputtering swings into reliable motions by first developing solid contact and direction control before, if necessary, helping golfers add distance to their shots by teaching them how to hit the cart path every time. In lessons, the incisive instructor often relies on video swing analysis to enhance his own diagnostic skills and help golfers gain a better understanding of their own natural swings. Having logged thousands of hours conducting lessons, Scott sprinkles golf wisdom onto players of all abilities, from fine-tuning the herculean drives of low handicappers to teaching youngsters how to tame a bucking golf cart in junior development programs.