Named after the prolific course architect who sculpted its front nine in 1927, Donald Ross Golf Club offers an 18-hole, par 72 layout that cleaves through groves of towering trees. Though the longer of the two nines, the front eases golfers into the round with more straight-forward holes—three of the four opening holes are among the five easiest on the course. More difficult terrain awaits on the back nine, where golf balls may be lost or set free in a stream that cuts across six different holes.
The Club offers a practice green where golfers can get a feel for the speed of the course conditions by chipping, putting, and slip-and-sliding across its grassy surface. In the event of inclement weather, players can head inside, where a Foresight golf simulator offers digital recreations of rounds at Carnoustie, Cog Hill, and other world-famous courses.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,821 yards from the tips * Course rating of 72.5 from the tips * Slope rating of 126 from the tips * Four tee options
Playing mini-golf at The Fun Center at Paige's Crossing is like stepping into a storybook. Three different 18-hole courses transport players to fantastic locales such as castles, Old West streets, or the giant loafer that's home to the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe. Indeed, many attractions let visitors escape into their imaginations. They can become racecar drivers at a go-kart track, conductors on a Runaway Train mini-rollercoaster, and PGA stars at the driving range.
If you'd rather not go outside, there's plenty of attractions indoors. A symphony of electronic beeps fills the arcade, where players shoot basketballs or collect redemption tickets from skee-ball machines. In colder months, these indoor spaces transform into a Winter Jumperland complete with inflated bounce castles and plenty of parking for reindeer.
Back Nine Family Fun Center condenses fun into the small, dimpled orbs of golf balls. At its driving range, clubs propel these balls as players hone each aspect of their swing. A nearby mini-golf course offers opportunities for good-natured family competition and successful confrontations with a windmill, and a pro shop stocks used clubs.
Sycamore Golf Club is an island of shimmering emerald stamped onto an ocean of rolling beige. Once a wide-open farmland, the 100-acre parcel underwent major changes in 1961, when landscapers cleared away the wheat fields and cow communes to make way for the expansive 18-hole course. Today, the charm of the land remains thanks to a trio of ponds and two creeks that make their presence known on 15 holes, all of which are surrounded by newly planted tree groves.
True to the down-home feel of the area, Sycamore Golf Club is managed by the husband-and-wife team of Todd and Kathy Sandow. Kathy minds the pro shop and ushers twosomes and foursomes onto the first tee. And Todd, a PGA Professional, helps with club fittings and lessons for players of all levels.
Course at a Glance: