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.
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.
Golfsmith's online and in-store storerooms 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 and tennis gear to help them overcome the bunkers’ tricky nets.
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.
The golfing gurus at Edwin Watts Golf Academy diagnose and correct their students' poor swing and putting habits in an effort to help them improve their shots and lower their scores. In one-on-one swing-analysis sessions, students learn a repeatable swing that eliminates tendencies they may have to slice, hook, push, or pull the ball. A special laser attaches to the end of the player's club and tracks the swing path while JC Video swing-analysis software records the session from two separate angles, lest analysis be thrown off by only looking at the golfer’s good side. Putting analysis employs Tomi technology to measure eight separate parameters of the putting stroke, from clubhead orientation at address to swing path and tempo. After swing and putting lessons, students may access the recordings on a password-protected website, so they can forward videos to friends or sports-documentary filmmakers.