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.
The Georgia Trail is a 9-hole golf course with rolling greens, a 2.5-acre lake, and numerous streams. Hole six, the most picturesque on the course, measures 191 yards from the back tees and has a water hazard butting up against the green. The onsite Augusta’s Restaurant includes an outdoor cabana bar that overlooks the golf club, surrounded by palm trees, waterfalls, and fire pits filled with lost golf balls. The menu includes homemade soups, hearty salads, and a variety of burgers, sandwiches, and entrees.
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.