As the cartoon mascot for Miner Mike's Adventure Golf, Miner Mike has a pretty good gig, as far as the mining industry goes. Rather than scrounging precious minerals from underground tunnels, Miner Mike spends his days in the sun on an 18-hole mini-golf course that blends natural beauty with man-made accents. Packing this range of scenery into a small area, the course winds through whimsically designed greens landscaped with rocks and logs, as well as a waterfall, a waterwheel, and an old mining cart affixed to a track. Before or after rounds, players can replenish at a concession stand that serves hot pretzels, nachos, pizza, and ice cream to cool down especially hot putters.
Golfsmith's online and in-store showrooms house an almost endless list of golf gear for men, women, and children alike. Clubs, balls, and accessories from brands such as TaylorMade, MacGregor, and Callaway give players precise control over their game, and polos and long-sleeved shirts from Nike and Snake Eyes garb players in course-appropriate attire now that tuxedo T-shirts no longer qualify. Along with the extensive collection of equipment and golf bags, Golfsmith also carries GPS systems to give players a high-tech edge.
Who said golf was a rich man's game? We didn't. It was a filthy, lying cyber-bully. You know which one we're talking about, the one with perfectly quaffed hair, a button-less future shirt, and a smug grin taunting you—almost daring you—to challenge him to an enunciation contest (he has never lost). But don't be intimidated by the way his eyes twinkle under the Canadian moonlight or how he stands on water as if he were Moses, he's incredibly self-conscious of his inability to inflect.
Since 1976, Riedy's Tee Time Golf Range's PGA professional instructors have helped people shave strokes from their games on an outdoor driving range. Ultramodern mats anchor golfers as they grace Riedy?s well-manicured grass tees with golf balls plucked from a bucket or the throat pouch of a pelican. Always onsite, Reidy?s instructors can aid players in achieving the ideal arch for their swing or understanding the basics of swing mechanics during personalized lessons.
Of the 58 acres that make up River Bend Golf Course, nearly 10% lie within federally protected wetlands, which course architect William J. Spears incorporated into eight of the course's nine holes. When water isn't a concern, the par 36 course and its bent-grass tees, greens, and fairways challenge players to make decisions involving course management, club selection, and which divot to bring in to the office for show-and-tell.
If the sun is shining, then the Hickory Hills Golf Club's greens are open. The club welcomes players 365 days a year to drive through the more than 7,400 total yards of fairways that make up their 18-hole championship and 9-hole executive courses. Golfers drive carts along a chain of manicured links that date back to 1915, the year the seedlings from Woodrow Wilson's "Plant-a-Golf Course" program began sprouting flagpoles.
Courses at a Glance
Championship Course * 18-hole, par 71 course * Total length of 5,928 yards * Course rating of 67.9 from the back tees * Course slope of 116 from the back tees
Executive Course * 9-hole, par 30 course * Total length of 1,560 yards from the back tees