Host of the PGA’s Wyndham Championship from 1977 to 2007, Proehlific Club at Forest Oaks's private course incorporates natural elements such as looming trees and severely sloping hills with manmade sand traps and water obstacles, challenging beginning and experienced golfers alike. Opened in 1962, the terrain was renovated in 2002 after the renowned Love Golf Design group reached out to professional golfers to find out what makes an ideal course. The main improvement, helmed by Davis Love III, was the resprigging of the fairway with bermuda grass, a strain of turf that can handle extreme temperature changes, and a redesign of the new greens. The course was featured on the PGA for over 30 years, and was enjoyed by Davis Love III as well as Rocco Mediate and many other professionals. While the golf course is the main attraction, the club also houses a pro shop, a 25-yard professional-size swimming pool, tennis courts, and a restaurant.
Built in 1969 and having hosted the 2001 National Golf Association Triad Classic, Pine Knolls Golf Club has a long and sparkling history. In 2006, two brothers-in-law from Ireland—Graham Ruttle, a retired professional motorcycle racer, and Pearse Mahon, a class-A PGA professional—purchased the course. Today, they carry on its tradition of challenging and enjoyable play. To conquer the 6,338-yard layout, golfers must decipher the course’s small and complex greens, which requires even more concentration than geocaching for holes on a course that spans an entire city. To calibrate their swings before tackling the course, golfers can warm up at the grass-tee driving range or enlist Mahon's advice in a private lesson.
Course at a Glance:
World-renowned course architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. dreamed up the challenging layout of Mariners Landing Golf’s 18-hole, par 72 course, where players putt on bermuda grass under the watchful eye of verdant mountains. Golfers shake their Magic 8 balls to decide among five sets of tee boxes before they play through the sand trap- and pond-studded fairways, which wind through residential areas. Players can also practice swings at the driving range’s 12 hitting stations or rehearse chipping and putting on the practice green. The course’s golf professional and an assistant golf professional instruct students in the proper way to thrust and parry during a golf-club duel, and the Dew-Sweepers pro shop outfits swingers with Titleist and Nike equipment. After facing down the fairways, golfers can relax in the clubhouse restaurant with a burger and fries.
Course at a Glance:
From their home base at Deep River Golf Range, PGA-certified instructors Scott Duerscherl and Riley Kurtz help students along the path to lower golf scores. The teachers adhere to an overarching philosophy that there is no single perfect swing that works for every player. Instead, they tweak an individual's natural mechanics to create a comfortable swing that can be repeated even when hitting from difficult lies such as hillside dirt or camouflaged snares. During lessons with either Scott or Riley, students focus on the fundamentals of making proper contact with the ground in relation to the ball and controlling the ball's flight path. Casio high-speed cameras capture each cut for analysis with SwingView Pro software, which can spot swing-inhibiting problems such as backswing hitches and straitjacket polo shirts. On days when inclement weather prevents practice on the range, players can head to the indoor teaching area, complete with a sheltered putting green.
Both the Lynchburg and Roanoke locations have year round batting cages, 36 holes of championship miniature golf, the best gameroom around with the largest prize center in the area. The Lynchburg facility has go-karts and bumper boats.
• For $38, you get 18-holes of golf for two with cart rental and access to the driving range and practice facilities (up to a $94 value). • For $80, you get 18-holes of golf for four with cart rental and access to the driving range and practice facilities (up to a $188 value).