Designed by prolific course architect Gene Bates, the 18-hole, 6,734-yard Twin Bridges Golf Club course bobs and weaves around the Coosa River and its surrounding waterways, forcing golfers to avoid hazards on 11 holes. But the most challenging hole—the 554-yard 5th hole, a par 5—showcases another course challenge: bunkers. The sand traps at 5 pinch the fairway at three different places, shrinking landing zones for drives and second shots and proving that water isn’t the only cause for concern on the course. Twin Bridges also boasts a driving range with a practice bunker and an 8,000 square-foot putting green, where golfers can get a feel for the speed of the course’s bent-grass putting surfaces.
Certified as a Cooperative Sanctuary by Audubon International, Twin Bridges works to preserve its scenic setting through natural resource conservation, providing habitats for area wildlife, and building vacation homes for migratory birds.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course designed by Gene Bates
Length of 6,734 yards from the farthest tees
Course rating of 72.1 from the farthest tees
Slope rating of 132 from the farthest tees
Four tee options
Golfers familiar with Callier Springs Country Club’s 9-hole course may have noticed something peculiar about the course’s water hazards: even during severe droughts, their water level hardly changes. That’s because—true to the club’s name—the waterways are fed by a system of active springs so plentiful that they once fueled the clubhouse, pool, 30 area homes, and too many toasters to count. Originally built in 1939, the course—which measures 3,146 yards from the farthest tees—was once a grassy lure for celebrity duffers such as Dean Martin and Andy Williams. Golfers can walk in their rarefied footsteps as they attempt to keep their orbs and golf carts from straying into the course’s meddlesome waterways.
Richland Golf Center summons clubbers of all stripes with its sprawling, multifaceted swing-honing facility and a staff of ace instructors. Revolving around a central pond, the nine-hole executive course helps players master their approaches with seven par 3s and two par 4s that ensure drivers won't start questioning their self-worth. Clients can groom their game in pressure-free sessions at the 40 all-grass hitting stalls of the driving range, at the 2-acre short-game area, or by enrolling in one many golf lesson options.
The center also encompasses an 18-hole mini-golf course, which eschews gimmicky clowns and windmills in favor of a calming layout with misting fountains and obstacles such as water hazards, bunkers, and out-of-bounds areas. Clients can pair renovated swings with brand-new clubs in the pro shop, which peddles gear from brands such as TaylorMade, Srixon, Cleveland, or enlist the center's experts to regrip their current clubs or replace driver shafts snapped during sand-trap pole-vaulting competitions.
The greatest difficulty at Cedar Ridge Golf Course lies at the bottom of the six water hazards, as golfers have to contend with the aquatic hazards on 11 of 18 holes. Dense forest looms on the edge of fairways on the back nine, and undulating greens challenge putters throughout the course. The relatively flat layout is approachable for novice and seasoned golfers alike, and those who remain high-and-dry for the majority of the round will be rewarded with a victory lap or golf-cart donuts back at the clubhouse.
With a meticulously maintained Bermuda grass driving range, PGA professionals on staff, and three practice greens, Madison Golf Center has fashioned itself into a prime place to learn and get better at the game of golf. The grounds crew keeps the large, 70-tee grass hitting area in pristine condition, cutting it to less than half an inch each day to accurately recreate the playing conditions of private clubs. Once players have worked the rust off of their drives and filed the rust off of their irons, they can hone their touch around the greens in a short game practice area comprised of three putting greens and a chipping and pitching green. The center’s trio of golf professionals are always on hand to help players along their path to improvement through private and group lessons customized to each player’s playing style and goals.
A slim parcel of grass, only wide enough to walk across, is the only thing preventing Creekside Golf and Country Club’s signature 18th hole from being considered a true island. The par 5 hole’s isolated bentgrass green presents a spectacular finish for golfers after they conquer the Richard Mandell-designed course, which challenges players with eight fairways split by a stream and myriad design obstacles. As difficult as the final hole is, it still doesn’t rank as the course’s hardest—that honor that belongs to the 14th hole, a lengthy monolith whose green is guarded by a creek, three bunkers, two trees, and Hades's erratic caddy, Cerberus. Before traversing the undulating fairways, golfers can warm up at the club’s driving range and putting green. They can also fuel up at the bar and grill or drop into the pro shop to replace any balls with defunct water wings. Whether digging up divots at the range or on the course, all players must leave their denim at home and wear collared shirts, making sure to conceal the screws that attach their heads to their bodies. Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,700 yards * Course rating of 71.5 * Slope rating of 134 * Four tee options * See the scorecard and take a course tour