An all-day pass allows golfers to explore Otter Creek's three nine-hole courses, the North, East, and West; all characterized by narrow fairways, multiple bunkers on almost every hole, and plenty of roughage and foliage to challenge errant shots. The par 5 fifth on the North course, the longest hole at 584 yards, imposes complex obstacles such as a fairway that rises for 200 yards before a slight dogleg right and turkey bone left, leading to dueling bunkers guarding the green with Otter Creek to the right. After piloting the cart to the West course, golfers test their midrange game on the par 3 sixth hole, an uphill iron shot about 200 yards out that leads to an undulated green that moves left to right. Ottter Creek's 27 distinctly different holes allow golfers to practice a variety of shots during a full day of course play, providing enough time for snorkeling in the course's pond to retrieve a hearty supply of golf balls.
Players have to find peace and serenity while they're on a golf course. The gentle babbling of the Blue River as it cuts through the Bear Chase Golf Club's par 72 Championship course helps golfers uncloud their minds when setting up for booming drives and precise approaches. But Bear Chase Golf Club is more than a place to play a round of golf. A 1,600-square-foot banquet room with attached outdoor patio overlooks the club's 127 acres of swaying trees from alongside the course's 18th hole, where hosts can invite guests to enjoy the fresh air and try to catch passing tee shots during wedding receptions or other celebrations. An onsite pro shop also helps players prepare for future games by pairing them with gear and apparel from trusted brands.
Course at a Glance:
Opening its first fairways in 1926, Hillview Country Club prides itself on a charming course that envelops golfers in an emerald ecosystem replete with L93 bentgrass fairways and smooth, fast-moving greens. Players must contend with tree lines along the fairways and several water hazards as they corral golf balls over the 6,495-yard Robert Simmons design. Before a round, players can warm up at the practice facilities, which include a driving range with natural-grass hitting stations and a short-game area. The chipping green allows for approaches from up to 75 yards away, precisely the distance of Jack Nicklaus’s bathroom putting green.
Course at a Glance:
As the PGA Director of Instruction at Smock Driving Range-MZ III Golf Academy, Michael Zedrick III molds the swings of adult and junior golfers into sound strokes worthy of repetition. Michael’s arrival on the range marks the latest stop in a glittering career that includes two years spent as an assistant at TPC Scottsdale and a stint studying under Hank Haney at ESPN Golf Schools. He also boasts certification as a Titleist Performance Institute instructor. Michael puts all of this know-how to use during his intensive lessons, which he caps off with Titleist V-1 Pro video swing analysis that can be accessed via the Internet for post-lesson study or as entertainment at a gathering of extended family.
Otte Golf and Family Fun Center is a perennial fixture in Golf Range Magazine’s list of the country’s Top 100 Golf Ranges. Its 300-yard driving range houses more than 50 stalls—guests can choose between grass and mat hitting surfaces—set under high-powered lights that keep the target greens illuminated at night. The range provides a venue for independent practice or preparation for rounds on the center's 18-hole executive course, a circuit of par-threes and fours that takes a convenient 2.5 hours to complete, which gives golfers more time to trick out the vintage golf carts in their garages.
A lighthouse stands sentry over the 18-hole miniature golf course, where guests advance through flowerbeds, willow trees, and tidy rows of shrubs and hedges. Those interested in striking balls that aren't placed on tees or the noses of their best friends can visit one of nine batting cages, where pitching machines dispense a steady stream of baseballs and softballs at various speeds.