Long the home of the Mississippi Choctaw Indians, Dancing Rabbit Golf Club derives its name from the waterway that snakes across its grounds, which the Choctaw referred to as "the creek where rabbits dance." The club's name is not the only thing that hearkens back to a bygone era: towering, mature pines and hardwoods cast their shadows across the 700-acre plot, which hosts two handsome, challenging 18-hole layouts designed by course architect Tom Fazio and former PGA star Jerry Pate. Opened in 1997, the Azaleas course connects Bermuda fairways and bentgrass greens in a 7,128-yard layout that takes full advantage of the surrounding water. The zoysia fairways and Bermuda greens of the Oaks course, meanwhile, offer a slightly different feel, though the two courses are similar in length, difficulty, and topography.
Regardless of which course they play, golfers will have to keep their wits about them until the very last shot, as both feature 18th greens guarded by water hazards. Before hitting the course, guests can warm up at a practice facility that includes a driving range with seven target greens and three contoured putting greens, as well as a bunker where they can practice sand shots or dig for ancient divot tools.
Azaleas Course at a Glance:
Oaks Course at a Glance:
The 18 holes at Frank House Municipal Golf Course embroil golfers in a test of skills and mental toughness as they guide orbs over a lush, emerald carpet. After completing the relatively straight front nine, players must adjust aim for shots on the back nine, where all but three of the holes make severe dogleg turns. One of these doglegs, the 18th, forces players to lay up short of a lake, and then approach over its width or try to freeze it over with an icy glare.
Course at a Glance:
A PGA-certified golf guru, Lee Harper draws from more than a half-century of experience and a career as a collegiate and professional golfer to help clients bolster swing confidence and on-course performance. Groupon holders can also opt to learn under the tutelage of Charles Miller, a seasoned PGA pro. The patient pedagogues resuscitate ailing swings with particular expertise on developing a sound short game and putting stroke—skill-sets that have led them each to victories in golf championships and intra-neighborhood window-smashing competitions. The private one-hour lessons are tailored to suit the needs of pupils, allowing them to pinpoint the source of recent pitching-wedge travesties or to discuss course-management dilemmas, such as when to go for the green, when to lay-up, and how to placate territorial flagsticks. Sessions are conducted at the practice range of the Frank House Municipal Golf Course.
Bama Mini Golf challenges families with a pair of 18-hole miniature-golf courses in an all-ages environment fit for toddlers, grandparents, and everyone in between. Considered an intermediate challenge, the facility's first course features plenty of lighting to illuminate putts during evening rounds. The advanced course weaves through the property's wooded surroundings and transforms into a glow-in-the-dark adventure after nightfall. Concession stands dole out sodas, ice cream, and fresh snow cones to fuel more fun and games, which Bama Mini Golf plans on expanding to include go-karts, an arcade, and laser tag.
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.