While everyone who's ever picked up a golf club pictures themselves stepping up to the first tee at Augusta National and smashing a gentle draw down the center of the fairway, the fact of the matter is, the vaunted course lies beyond the skill set of the vast majority of players. High-handicappers need courses that are aligned to their strengths, which is precisely where Cooper Colony Golf Center enters the picture. The 18-hole executive course weighs in at an accessible 3,820 yards with a par of 60, and eschews overwhelming distance, glasslike greens, and flaming fringes for holes that make the game fun for beginners. Those golfers who need help fixing swings can tap PGA pro Gary Braeseke for lessons, or head to the driving range for some solo time tweaking swing mechanics.
It isn’t often that a golfer gets to stare down the same approach over water or lay up in front of the same fairway stream as Tiger Woods, Sergio García, and Jesper Parnevik. But on Bonaventure Country Club’s East Course, one can do just that: the par 72 half of this 36-hole club hosts the Dixie Amateur tournament, in which all three of the PGA pros at one time competed.
From the waterfall crashing alongside the East Course’s third green to its presence on hole No. 5, water is never far from golfers —crowding tee shots, threatening to swallow errant drives, and following them home in to-go cups from the onsite Sunset Grill.
East Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course
Total length of 7,064 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 74.2 from the back tees
Course slope of 132 from the back tees
Four sets of tees per hole