Led by Golf Range’s Top 50 Golf Instructor Ralph Landrum, World of Golf’s staff of game-improvement gurus help players lower their golf scores with an array of golf-related activities. Private lessons conducted inside a climate-controlled swing room allow students to launch golf balls out onto the range while four cameras capture bad habits such as flat takeaways or saying “um” too much during their follow-through. Afterward, players can use their instructor’s pointers to build muscle memory on the rest of the complex’s practice facilities, which include an outdoor range with 24 mat tees and two sets of grass tees, indoor hitting nets with eight stalls, and an indoor putting and chipping green.
As soon as golfers feel they’ve practiced enough, they put their newfound knowledge to the test on the executive 18-hole golf course, with 14 par 3s and four par 4s, or the miniature golf course. When weather renders either course unplayable, thwackers move indoors to the golf simulator, which recreates the look and feel of more than 50 courses or a hodgepodge of 18 famous holes but without the extremely long between-hole travel times. World of Golf keeps a busy schedule of lessons, classes, and leagues, all of which can be found on the calendar.
One of Golf Digest’s 100 Best Clubfitters, Golf Exchange equips duffers with brand-name gear and fairway-appropriate apparel. A two-pack of FootJoy WeatherSof golf gloves prevents calluses and provides palm traction ($19.99), and a Club Glove microfabric towel detarnishes balls sullied after landings in sand traps, water hazards, or the groundskeeper’s ice-cream cone ($24.99). A collegiate gift card ($24.99) emblazons games with balls, tees, markers, and towels accented in U.K. blue and white, and the Ping golf backpack piggybacks pros and newbies as they limbo under challenging pars ($49.99). Golf Exchange’s experienced team of player-staffers stands ready to assist equipment searches with well-timed answers or suggestions. Today's Groupon slips snugly into holiday gift exchanges, warming hearts when folded into greeting cards, slipped into stockings, or stuffed into hollowed-out fruitcakes.
Co-owner and PGA player Doug Martin and his fellow golf experts dedicate The Golf Range to the cause of perfect putts and smooth swings. An 8,000-square-foot putting green and short-game area doles out new golf balls for patrons to practice, minimizing misplaced shots and paychecks lost to preteen mini-golf sharks. The indoor putting green guards clubs from the elements, and players sharpen their skills beneath the all-seasons shelter of 37 heated and covered bays. Brush up with The Golf Range's online golf tips before taking to the tee.
The fairways at Deer Run Country Club beckon golfers along an immaculately crosshatched carpet of plush bent grass. Whittled from a rolling blanket of forest by architect Mike Macke, the 18-hole course forms a heart-shaped patch surrounding several arteries of pristine residential streets and five ponds lurking in wait. After building up an appetite while hacking out of the rough and taking in the beauteous Ohio River Valley setting, players can fill up on wings, pizzas, and half-pound burgers at the Fairway Grill.
Course at a Glance:
Hickory Sticks Golf Club entertains golfers of all skill levels with a scenic, 18-hole course and a complete clubhouse catering to pre- and postgame needs. Club-toting pairs and quartets can bathe in the beauty of the par 71 course's 6,100-plus yards, which wind their way through scenic woods and hills. Two lakes and numerous ponds provide watery obstacles and opportunities for amphibious frogmen to remoisten desiccated skin. Today's deal includes cart rental, affording a jovial road-trip vibe to each tee-seeking trek. Though not included with this Groupon, golfers done with their 18th hole can refill tummies at the on-site snack bar or peruse the pro shop for course souvenirs, golf attire, and special sunglasses whose lenses are emblazoned with a helpful reminder to "be the ball."
Beech Creek’s course blankets the rolling Ohio countryside with more than 5,400 yards of player-friendly fairways and greens. The relatively short layout welcomes novice golfers, while more experienced aces and tape-measure enthusiasts flaunt their length off the tee on three par 5s that measure at least 550 yards.
Course at a Glance
The short par 3 course at Golden Tee challenges golfers with its undulating bent-grass greens, uphill and downhill shots, and multiple tee options. During nine-hole rounds, duffer duets can opt to swing from blue tees, boasting a driving span of 110–165 yards, or red tees, situated from 51 to 100 yards⎯or golfers can further challenge themselves by teeing off from a moving golf cart. Along the green jaunt, golfers will need to maneuver chips and drives past the course's shot-taxing obstacles, which include 11 bunkers, 4 golf-ball-hungry lakes, and a plethora of spontaneously combusting fairways. Each round adjourns with a pair of drinks and hot dogs, which are ceremonially chipped into their mouths via pitching wedge by a local golf pro.