“A lot of players look at the card and think because it’s short that they’re going to play their all-time best round of golf and end up spending a lot of time in the woods,” says head professional Joan Lovelace of the course at Fairway Hills Golf Club. The Ron Pritchard–designed course —which stays neatly within the bounds of 6,158 yards—doesn’t just get its bite from the woodlands about which Lovelace warns. Water comes into play on 12 of the 18 holes, and the second fairway’s wicked dogleg right and stream-guarded bentgrass green costars with collarless shirts in many golfers’ nightmares. The links wind down with a hope-inspiring 18th hole, where golfers with the right mix of skill and luck can make a birdie.
Adjacent to the course’s bermuda-grass fairways, the club’s practice facilities invite players to demolish buckets of balls at a turf range, cleat across a chipping area, or practice whipping a putter out of its holster and twirling it around their thumb. Lessons with the club’s PGA professionals are also available to help hone games.
Course at a Glance:
Designed by respected course creator and star architect Arthur Hills, the gorgeous course gives swingers playable, sweeping greens shrouded by lush scenery. Waverly Woods was carved out of farmland, with wide, friendly fairways. Golfers will appreciate the back nine, which includes a distinctive par four and shifts in elevation.
Though the designers of Columbia SportsPark might have squabbled over how many batting cages to build or whether the mini-golf course should have a waterfall, they unanimously agreed on one factor—the park should be a place for families to spend time together. Today, their collaboration fulfills that mission with a sprawling 15,000-square-foot playground of family-friendly recreational activities. Along the 18-hole mini-golf course, lush plants, gushing waterfalls, and pristine ponds recreate the peaceful feel of a tropical garden or DMV lobby. Skaters pull off stunts at the 15,000-square foot outdoor skate facility with ramps, pipes, and a four-foot spine, while batters slug practice balls in cages equipped with professional fast- and slow-pitching machines. Beyond the daily family outings, Columbia SportsPark regularly hosts camps, skate lessons, and community gatherings throughout the year.