The course at the private Wolf Laurel Country Club leads players on a secluded retreat into the Blue Ridge Mountains, with mature forests and alpine vistas dappling climbs to elevations of more than 5,000 feet. Designer W.B. Lewis planned the fairways so that no two run directly parallel to each other, allowing players to explore every angle of the sprawling resort that’s bounded to the north by the Appalachian Trail. With tee-to-green elevation changes of as much as 300 feet, golfers must make careful club selections to give themselves the best shot at the par of 74. The signature sixth hole, a par 3, couples a downhill tee shot that plummets more than 200 feet with a dramatic vista from the tee box, spelling doom for shots that fly long and golfers who recover slowly after tee-to-green barrel rolls.
Course at a Glance:
* 18-hole, par 72 course
* Total length of 6,301 yards from the back tees
* Course rating of 72.6 from the back tees
* Course slope of 144 from the back tees
* Four sets of tees per hole
Upon arriving at the USA Raft site—which is located in Marshall, about three hours from Charlotte—whitewater explorers over the age of 8 can change into appropriate apparel and receive the provided gear (helmet, personal flotation device, and paddle). After an instructional orientation describing the itinerary and proper rafting techniques, riders will be shuttled to the river drop-in point 15 minutes away. Voyagers in search of frothy spumes will spend the next two to three hours conquering frequent rapids with nicknames such as Pinball, Sandy Bottom, and Ledges. Stops will be made along the way at Jump Rock to allow jumping jocks the opportunity to leap into the river, and also at Swimmers Rapid to let rafters cool off with a few laps. Afterward, a small snack will be provided. A skilled rafting guide will be in the boat at all times, which means no experience is necessary for this trip. If a half-day isn't enough for you, you can upgrade to a full day of rafting ($79.95 per person) for an additional fee. Call to make a reservation.
Wolf Ridge Ski Resort rises from the mountaintops of western North Carolina, topping their natural spires with its own elegant construction of wood, stone, and shingled peaks. In the resort's surroundiings, guests glide down any combination of 22 exciting ski runs, including nine greens for beginners and three black diamonds for experts. Five ski lifts chauffer snow-riders from the mountains' base back to the peaks for repeat runs or just to enjoy majestic views of the rolling stone- and forest-scapes.