Hale Irwin recognizes that most golf courses have only one signature hole. But you don?t win the U.S. Open three times and rack up 87 professional victories in a storied PGA career by doing what everybody else does. So when Mr. Irwin unveiled his design for The Links at Cottonwoods in March of 1998, he included two signature holes: the 13th, a par 5 extending to a whopping 600 yards, and the 16th, a par 3 with a nerve-racking island green. In 2012, readers of Golf Digest presented Mr. Irwin with a 4.5-star rating in the magazine?s ?Best Places to Play? section for his audacious design and willingness to flout convention.
His distinctive pair of holes highlights a pristine, 18-hole stretch of Scottish-style links, complete with wide fairways pestered by strong seasonal winds but free of wandering sheep that chew on argyle socks. As players chase dimpled orbs across the Meyer Zoysia fairways and tap them over the Champion Bermuda greens, they?ll encounter water-bordering play on more than half of the holes.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,989 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 72.3 from the back tees * Course slope of 119 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole
More than 600 acres of picturesque wetlands and forests serve as a backdrop to Willows Sporting Clays and Hunting Center's shooting range and sporting clay-shooting course. In this environment, staff experts are at the ready to provide personal instruction and lead guided hunts of deer, quail, and dove. Nearby, Harrah's Tunica's many amenities include several restaurants and a comedy club.
Funny Bone Comedy Club boasts an ever-changing marquee of headlining laughsmiths to elicit audience guffaws. Groupon buyers can pick from a full calendar of upcoming shows, including a set from HBO and Comedy Central veteran Mark Sweeney (November 8–13), who uses laconic sarcasm and a quiver of peacock feathers to tickle guests' ribcages. Cajun comic John Morgan (November 16–20) channels his parallel career as a motivational speaker to engage with table-bound attendees, summoning up resonant humor about everyday life. Actor and comedian Rahn Ramey (November 22–27) brings finely honed improv skills to his standup routine, tossing off spontaneous jokes and effortlessly dodging paper airplanes thrown by hecklers.
Most of the modern world is mapped—GPS devices capably guide people through entire road trips and atlases describe more terrain than most people could cover in an entire lifetime. While it's difficult to reawaken humanity’s sense of surprise and discovery, The Mid-South Maze is up for the challenge. Every year, the maze’s manufacturers spend months carving up their cornfield into clever patterns that, when viewed from the sky, might appear as a famed sports logo or the face of a long-departed pharaoh. On the ground, however, that pattern vanishes, leaving wanderers to use their wits to navigate the arching corn passageways.
The Mid-South Maze entertains with more than just its winding labyrinth. On Friday and Saturday nights in October, actors clad as ghostly apparitions haunt the herbaceous hallways of a spooky tractor ride. A giant jumping pillow launches kids skyward and gently cushions their falls, and a corn cannon fires ears of corn at targets up to 100 yards away. Anyone who hits a target wins a prize from one of the maze's sponsors and the right to eat nothing but popcorn balls until Thanksgiving.
A rotating menu of comfort-food favorites, including chicken-fried steak and roast beef with gravy, bolsters the hearty bar fare at The Spot Restaurant & Entertainment Complex, helping to fuel evenings of live entertainment. Attendees 21 and older gather to catch live bands, DJs spinning tunes, and comedians making wry observations or facing their fear of microphones. During DJ sets, patrons can take a break from dancing in a private VIP room with bottle service or by starting a games of darts or pool.
The interactive exhibits and programs compiled by the Pink Palace Family of Museums reinforce a mission that has stayed constant for 80 years: to "inspire people to learn how history, science, technology, and nature shape the Mid-South." Attached to Clarence Saunders' mansion built in the 1920s, the museum's permanent exhibits take an eclectic approach to chronicling the past, revealing everything from ancient fossils to contemporary southern history. Inside, visitors can chart the history of Memphis from the early Spanish explorers through the Civil War or walk through a replica of Saunders' original Piggly Wiggly—the country’s first self-service grocery store, and even see a shrunken head. Global adventures are chronicled on a four-story screen at the CTI-IMAX theater, and the Sharpe Planetarium explores the cosmos from the comfort of a 130-seat theater.
Traveling to east Memphis, one can discern the natural side of the Pink Palace Family of Museums. Lichterman Nature Center encompasses 65 acres of lush gardens filled with native wildflowers, trees, and wildlife. The center combines self-guided nature walks with plant sales and educational activities to expose visitors to the natural world.