Hale Irwin recognizes that most golf courses have only one signature hole. But you don’t win the U.S. Open three times and rack up 87 professional victories in a storied PGA career by doing what everybody else does. So when Mr. Irwin unveiled his design for The Links at Cottonwoods in March of 1998, he included two signature holes: the 13th, a par 5 extending to a whopping 600 yards, and the 16th, a par 3 with a nerve-racking island green. In 2012, readers of Golf Digest presented Mr. Irwin with a 4.5-star rating in the magazine’s “Best Places to Play” section for his audacious design and willingness to flout convention.
His distinctive pair of holes highlights a pristine, 18-hole stretch of Scottish-style links, complete with wide fairways pestered by strong seasonal winds but free of wandering sheep that chew on argyle socks. As players chase dimpled orbs across the Meyer Zoysia fairways and tap them over the Champion Bermuda greens, they’ll encounter water-bordering play on more than half of the holes.
Course at a Glance:
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.
In View Golf renders rainchecks obsolete by virtually teleporting patrons to more than 30 famed golf courses—including Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill—via 12'x9' high-def projection screens. As golfers take to the cyberlinks, video analysis software, previously available only to touring PGA and LPGA pros, records every swing, capturing such statistics as shot distance, club-head speed, and the golf ball's potential earning value. During a 45-minute private lesson, In View's professional instructors analyze the videos to make individualized adjustments to patrons' natural golf swings. Or forgo in-person tips on chips and grips, and instead opt for a round of 18 holes in the golf simulator with a fellow iron-wielder, using the instant video feedback to see and measure the results of tweaks to techniques and tempers.
Wedgewood Golfers' Club and North Creek Golf Course integrate the scenic landscapes of northern Mississippi into their par 72 layouts, taking golfers across rolling hills and rippling waterways.
The North Creek course's bermuda-grass fairways weave along the edges of Horn Lake Creek with a relatively open layout and mounded terrain that channels the links-style charm of golf's Scotch-Irish forebears. Slightly easier than its counterpart, North Creek caters to clubbers of all stripes with four tee options and optional bumper greens.
North Creek Golf Course at a Glance:
Cleaved through a combination of dense tree lines and intervening ponds, The Wedgewood course's bermuda-grass fairways sprawl across 6,863 yards of arduous terrain. With trees hugging most holes, and water hazards kissed against the underside of two doglegged fairways, the course frequently forces players into tough course-management decisions, such as when to smash a driver, when to play lay-up with a three-wood, and how to coerce fellow golfers into giving you unlimited mulligans. Though challenging from the back tees, the course's inventive layout is forgiving enough for players of all abilities.
Wedgewood Golfers' Club at a Glance:
Named to the 2010 PGA President's Council on Growing the Game, The Country Club of Oxford's head pro Ricky Hamilton hones the swings of seasoned and nascent golfers alike. Over the course of two private 45-minute lessons (a $65 value each), students learn proper stance and gripping techniques, as well as the precise angle at which to sport a jaunty pom-pommed cap. Using high-tech video equipment, Hamilton helps clients achieve optimal ball-walloping form, fine-tuning misaligned swings, adjusting out-of-whack slices, and redirecting sputtering putts with the patience of a seasoned lemming wrangler. Though private lessons are generally offered Tuesday–Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., patrons may schedule later appointments if necessary, as well as team up with a buddy for shared sessions. Players should bring their own clubs.
True to its name, Dixie Rents and its subsidiary, Party Concepts, rent out all manner of equipment for construction and landscaping projects along with furnishings and play equipment for big fetes. Dixie's arsenal of machinery, including generators, log splitters, and backhoes, teams up with propane-tank refills and airless paint sprayers to tackle home-improvement and construction goals. For party rentals, Party Concepts' expansive inventory suits most any occasion, from wedding décor such as candelabra, skirted tables, and wine fountains to business-conference gear such as podiums and dunk tanks.