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.
The The Dive Shop's instructors, drawing from Scuba Schools International's programs, teach water-safety skills to fledgling divers and swimmers of all ages. Classes and activities range from the Scuba Rangers club?where kids aged 8?12 learn to snorkel and scuba dive from the safety of a pool?to open-water dives, swimming lessons, and more advanced stress-and-rescue dive sessions, during which instructors turn dog paddlers into almost-mermaids, minus the pet octopuses.
Pyrate Fest 2010 will serve as the ultimate celebration of the 14th annual Talk Like a Pirate Day, a cherished American tradition. Sunday’s schedule includes rousing sea shanties with Pepe the Pyrate, a black-powder cannon demonstration with Sir Smitty, Celtic fiddle performances, and hearty bouts of peg-leg shuffling. Bring out your black beards, blue beards, and sequined bandanas for the Pyrate Parade, followed by costume competitions for children and adults, a tête-à-tête pirate-lingo-slinging contest, and a pelvis-shaking, plank-walking pirate Elvis impersonator challenge.
In its 15th year, The Christmas Cottage of Memphis lassos local merchants with twinkle lights for a three-day festival of holiday shopping, food, and entertainment, with a portion of proceeds benefiting Le Bonheur Club. Booths bursting with quality items such as women's fashion, accessories, and jewelry, as well as children's toys and home décor, defeat gift lists that are lengthier than Santa’s breaking-and-entering rap sheet. This year's merchants include Pink Coconut Boutique, Cross Your Heart and Hope Designs, and Best Soles of Memphis. Saturday morning, parents drop kids off for a morning of coloring, story time from Usborne Books, playtime with Discovery Toys, bouncing on inflatables, and hunting for Easter eggs in Santa's beard. The children's area is open all weekend with admission starting at an additional $5. Other special events include a Friday-evening fashion show, and the Saturday-evening Champagne Diamond Drop, in which one of 250 servings of champagne will be handed to a guest with a real diamond awaiting at the bottom of the glass.