Gardner Municipal’s par 71 course takes golfers on an 18-hole odyssey through immaculate fairways hugging the north end of Crystal Lake’s waters. Astride a whirring golf cart or advancing on foot, golfers bob and weave through the course’s tight tree lines, rein in wayward balls, and bribe woodland creatures to improve their lie. Rounds reach their crescendo at the 538-yard, par 5 seventh hole, where drives must trace the fairway as it doglegs to the left while avoiding a vanguard of towering trees along the left side of the fairway.
A multifaceted training area fosters straighter swings and confident putts with a three-tiered practice green and a two-level driving range with space dedicated for long drives, shorter iron shots, and blindfolded sprints through the barrage of practice shots.
Gardner Municipal Golf Course showcases the latest golf styles and equipment in Ben Egan's Golf Shop, which is run by a savvy staff that will help golfers find the clubs and clothes that best suit their style. William's Restaurant and Tavern awaits greenside, where golfers can peruse a menu of prime meat cuts and savory grill fare while deciding whether or not spinach leaves would make a good putting surface.
Course at a Glance:
Hosted by owner and former Funniest Comic in Boston winner Dan Smith, the laughmasters at Wisecracks Comedy Club mine for chuckle deposits in funny bones throughout Worcester County. Wisecracks's professional acts engage errant guffaws with new looks at evergreen topicsm, including love, life, and the ethical implications of the Large Hadron Collider. Groupon holders can fly solo or flock in V formation with up to nine wingmen to any show in 2011, including appearances by Tonight Show veterans such as Gary Gulman and Dwayne Perkins.
202 Entertainment's miniature-golf course offers pint-sized putters the chance to hone their stroke over 18 holes of family-friendly, obstacle-laden terrain. Grab three friends, siblings, or shillelagh-swinging necromancers for a brisk glide over the course's streams, ponds, and spray fountain, deftly preventing nefarious, hazard-bound sea serpents from tasting the sweet dimples of prismatic orbs as you practice your putt and strut.
The Give Me Five pass grants access to five of any of the following activities: Kimball Farm's 300-yard driving range, nine-hole pitch-and-putt course, and batting cages will help golfers and batters adjust squeaky swings, and the Animal Adventures exhibit allows guests to interact with reptiles while discussing current events with talking birds. Give Me Fivers can also perform kinetic-energy experiments using colorful balls on the Waterfall Run or Forbidden Mine miniature-golf courses before boarding a bumper boat to faithfully recreate Star Wars on melted ice. The pass may also be used to acquire a play card (a $6 value) from the Olde Sawmill Midway Arcade.
First laid out in 1926 by influential course architect Donald Ross, whose 413-course resumé includes Pinehurst No. 2 at Pinehurst Resort, Winchendon Golf Club’s 18-hole course stretches over 5,512 yards of tree-dotted New England countryside. The par 70 layout remains true to its original design, with narrow fairways cut through thick curtains of trees that part intermittently to reveal scenic views of Mount Monadnock and squirrels changing clothes. Small, undulating greens await at the end of each hole, offering a slick blend of bent and poa grass that presents more challenging putts than golfers may expect upon their first visit. Golfers can prepare for their rounds with a bite at the onsite bar and grill or by loading up on golf balls at the pro shop, which sells an array of golf equipment and apparel emblazoned with the Winchendon Golf Club logo or pictures of clients’ favorite mini-golf obstacle.
Course at a Glance: