Many golfers will cruise the course at Emerald Falls Golf Club in a cart, but they could almost traverse the layout in a canoe. After the first hole—a player-friendly 548-yard par 5—golfers encounter a combination of ponds, streams, and sandstone waterfalls on every subsequent hole. Though each hole reflects a keen and calculated effort in course design, the fifth hole ranks among the more memorable. The 423-yard par 4 starts in a tree-lined chute that will encourage most golfers to play a conservative drive down the left side of the fairway—but it's the second shot that, like Jack Nicklaus's mood at the time of their birth, will determine golfers' fate. The hole doglegs sharply to the right as it approaches the green, which is perched on a peninsula and surrounded by water on all three sides. To prepare for the other masterfully designed holes that comprise the 7,148-yard, par 72 course, golfers can take a hole-by-hole tour or get the scouting report from their network of earthworm informants.
Course at a Glance:
One of 41 geographic sections that make up the PGA of America, the South Central PGA promotes enjoyment of golf and involvement in the game as the sport's ambassador to the states of Oklahoma, Arkansas, and much of Kansas. The association, which includes male and female golf professionals as well as a slew of courses, aims to spread the ideals of golf through high standards of professionalism, sportsmanship, integrity, and community involvement. A cornerstone of this mission involves introducing new generations to the sport through Junior Golf programs, which instill admirable attributes in youngsters to prepare them for life's rough patches and stealthy sprinkler heads.
In 1960, Floyd Farley and Randy Heckenkemper’s vision for the LaFortune Park Golf Course facility’s championship course came to fruition, bringing to life a picturesque design of rolling bermuda-grass fairways unfurling in front of bentgrass greens guarded by bunkers. Heckenkemper recently returned to renovate the links’ water hazards and grassy contours, which contribute to a layout that’s both unique and challenging enough to earn the title of Tulsa’s Best Golf Course from Urban Tulsa Weekly, an award that even Meryl Streep hasn’t won.
The same deciduous trees that shade the championship course’s greens also thrive at LaFortune’s 18-hole executive course, whose shorter fairways save time for postround drinks or lunch at the club’s North Dining Room. Even when the sun is vacationing in the Andromeda galaxy, golfers can still play through the par 3 layout thanks to the course’s ample lighting, which illuminates the streams that split seven fairways and demand strong carries from golfers, and the tricky bentgrass greens, most of which are hemmed by bunkers.
Before embarking on 18-hole outings or whacking balls from one of 80 hitting stations on the driving range, golfers can gear up at the golf shop. Named one of America’s 100 Best Clubfitters by Golf Digest, the shop’s team of experts includes Callaway, Titleist, and Ping specialists and a repair technician with more than two decades of experience in mending putters gnawed on by nervous caddies. To perfect their swings, players can attend lessons run by PGA teaching professionals that rely on a vector launch monitor and V1 digital coaching software to improve students’ form.
Championship Course at a Glance:
Executive Course at a Glance:
Enjoy stroke after corrective stroke on the range at Tee Town Golf Ranch, where 20 covered hitting stalls stand as the gateway to hole-in-one heaven. Slap a clubface on premium range balls and go for distance or, for increased satisfaction, aim for one of 10 target greens that patchwork the range. Once your power drive is accurate enough to knock decommissioned Soviet satellites out of the sky, finesse your short game by putting across the short-game area's 10,000-square-foot bent grass green, chipping out from an uneven lie, or playing a game of H.O.R.S.E. with a newly acquainted practice partner. Whether golfing in the evening or daytime, both areas are equipped with both brilliant lighting as well as the celestial brilliance of the sun (not available on rainy days).
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 your swing and break down your form on a high-definition video display. GolfTEC’s certified teaching professionals point out your flaws and strengths and coach you on how to permanently improve your game, from tee to green. Sensors chirp with approval whenever you execute a perfect stroke or crack an especially witty golfing joke.
Seizing an opening, a boy manning a motorized boat slams into the boat in front of him. Before the other driver has time to retaliate, he turns the wheel 90 degrees and high-tails it to the other side of the bumper-boat pool. Safe, for the moment. Nearby, similarly minded motorists intent on reckless cruising race laps around a go-kart track, bounding off the track’s walls and off fellow drivers trying to practice their parallel-parking skills. High-pitched screams in the distance indicate that the Tiger Terror rollercoaster has begun its decent, and the swift crack of a baseball bat indicates the batting cage has met its match.
As the sun sets on another day at Route 66 Carousel Park, park-goers take in the twinkling lights of a towering ferris wheel and the smells of sweet and savory park confections wafting through the summer air. Whether at the park on a whim or celebrating a birthday, corporate event, or puppy’s first words, guests can keep the revelry going late into the evening.