A golf getaway for clubbers of all abilities, The Georgia Trail encompasses a nine-hole executive course, an outdoor miniature-golf course, practice facilities, and a full-service dining area. The executive course traverses 2,254 yards of diverse terrain, where five par 3s beckon to players seeking their first hole-in-one, and four par 4s—including one that measures a relatively lengthy 436 yards—ensure that drivers' self-esteem won't deflate from a day of inactivity. A 2.5-acre lake and multiple streams and ponds loom near critical landing zones on all but three holes, placing a premium on pinpoint drives or 9-irons that double as snorkels. Alongside the course rests a 25-station, all-grass driving range, where players can hone their orb-blasting form before a round.
The Champions Trail putting course challenges players across a par 42 layout that emulates a full 18-hole course with hazards that include bunkers, fairways, rough, and out-of-bounds areas. Putt-putt posses roll orbs across lush synthetic grass, which deftly stands in for natural grass as its kempt hedges beckon to lonely lawn mowers. After a long day of driving, putting, and kicking balls across the multifaceted facility, guests can retreat to Augusta's Restaurant and look out over their conquered terrain as they enjoy entrees and drinks from the full-service bar.
Glowing boundary rails line the pitch-black corridors of Lunar Mini Golf's putting surfaces, guiding mini golfers and their orbs across a black-lit dreamscape surrounded by neon flourishes. As players attempt to sink hole-in-ones, the vibrant course thwarts their efforts with topsy-turvy surfaces, jutting ridges, and a gallery of luminous animals and bug-eyed aliens whispering commentary from inside the walls. Guests can become mobile accoutrements in the phosphorescent scenery by snagging necklaces and other glow-in-the-dark knickknacks available for sale, helping players identify opponents' movements and accentuate celebratory dances with glow-stick flair. The course's darkened alleys provide fun, casual outings for players of all abilities, as well as an eclectic venue for the birthday parties of future adults.
A lush labyrinth pressed against the banks of the Chattahoochee River, River Pines Golf Club's 18-hole, par 70 Championship Course spans 6,602 yards of bucolic, tee-to-green terrain. Fortify club-flailing skills before taking to the fairways with a stint at the club's driving range, which deftly emulates course challenges with grass hitting areas, contoured target greens, a practice sand bunker, and a loitering gang of feral flagsticks. A nimble golf cart accompanies golfers throughout the round, helping track down flush power-draws that bisect the course's immaculate, bermuda fairways or precise approaches that halt pin-high on the slick surfaces of bent-grass greens. A 32-ounce fountain drink, side of chips, potato salad, or coleslaw, and sandwiches loaded with turkey, ham, or chicken salad can provide gracious postround sustenance or help bribe the ravenous beaks of belligerent waterfowl.
Golf Instructor John Marshall can hit the golf ball a long way. While some "big hitters" are merely the product of boasting, John has the hardware to back it up. He won the American Long Drivers Association Super Senior National Championship in '05 And '06, and is a five-time RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship finalist.
These unconventional results come from a somewhat unconventional method. John has long used—and now teaches—a swing developed by legendary long driver Mike Austin, who once crushed a 515-yard drive at the 1974 U.S. Senior Open, the longest ever recorded in competition. As an instructor at Steel Canyon Golf Club, John illuminates the principles behind this swing that generate high club head speed without sacrificing accuracy. Lessons combine one-on-one coaching to help students get comfortable with the technique, which is likely a little different from the swing they're used to.
Former Georgia PGA Teacher of the Year, Jim Goergen has guided the game improvement of students ranging from amateurs to the PGA Tour. Whether coaching a first-time player, US Amateur Champion and PGA professional Matt Kuchar, or a sentient 6-iron, Jim seeks to hone what he calls the game’s true fundamentals. Boiled down to their most essential components, good swing mechanics consist of a single-plane swing of the club shaft, a square clubface through impact, and an athletic movement to make them happen in unison. All other variables, such as grip, posture, and takeaway, can only enhance the true fundamentals. Additionally, Jim places a great deal of emphasis on the short game, where the average golfer can make the largest improvements in number of strokes and number of putters saved from an angry knee smash.