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.
Owned and operated by accomplished golfers, Accelerized Golf at Heritage takes a high-tech approach to improving swings and scores. The instructors rely heavily on visuals, especially technology that makes finding flaws and analyzing the golf swing a much simpler process. One of those tools, called Hotlines, uses more than 20 virtual markers to track the different positions of a student's swing. Instead of sending the results to NASA for in-depth analysis, though, the equipment provides instant feedback so tweaks to swing mechanics can be integrated on the spot. Students reap the benefits of Accelerized Golf's accelerated process during single and group lessons, and can retain their improvements by practicing at the facility in between sessions.
Sprawling across expansive, velvety knolls that roll softly beneath soaring Georgia pines, Fox Creek Golf Club is a challenging par 62 course that serves golfers of all abilities on its freshly cut Champion Bermuda grass greens. Under the experienced instruction of PGA teaching professionals, a duet of 45-minute lessons ($65) fine-tunes all aspects of your short game and long game, including driving, putting, and parallel parking golf carts. Once you’ve honed your swing’s pendulous power and precision, you can show off your stroke during a rousing round of 18 holes with cart included, which spares you the hassle of traversing the course on foot and answering the riddles of its many bridge-dwelling trolls.
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.
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.
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.