Diamond Hill Mine sets visitors loose on 5 to 6 acres of dumps and spoil piles, challenging them to unearth the property's cache of quartz crystals and pieces of amethyst. During outings, explorers use their own rakes, shovels, and tools while excavating the land, or while trying to find un-dug veins, where some crystals have gone undisturbed for more than 400 million years. Every piece found on the property is authentic, meaning the mine hasn't been planted with artificial crystals or with forgotten hidden engagement rings.
In 1922, a small but devoted group of Newberry community members pooled their time and resources to create a space to enjoy golf, tennis, swimming, and the company of friends. From their efforts emerged the nascent Country Club of Newberry, originally comprised of a nine-hole golf course with sand greens and an outdoor pool that, true to the times, was no more than a pond fed by more than 75 springs and a steady flow of ragtime music. The pond still rests behind the sprawling, ivory clubhouse that anchors the Country Club today, a scenic testament to the humble beginnings of a club that now encompasses an 18-hole, championship golf course, two lighted tennis courts, and a junior Olympic-sized outdoor pool.
Streams and ponds snake throughout the golf course, threatening the life force of errant orbs on nine different holes. With a length of 6,530 yards from the tips, the moderately difficult layout offers four color-designated tees to cater to players of all abilities and those with an unwavering allegiance to the color gold.
Course at a Glance:
Owner Shannon Hudson developed the 30-minute circuit to be fast and challenging with a pinch of hateful fun so participants stay engaged while getting ripped. The workout program includes a certified trainer who will provide guidance through stages such as jump rope, speed bag, heavy bag, and more. By combining the best functional, interval, cardiovascular, and circuit training regimens into one beast of a workout, the 9Round training program places a great deal of emphasis on results, just like the retired Keebler elves that now live inside Scantron machines.
Nestled several miles north of Augusta National Golf Club, the 27-hole course complex at Mount Vintage Plantation Golf Club resembles golf’s most hallowed grounds in ways that extend beyond geographical proximity. Designed by Tom Jackson, the course rolls through curtains of carolina pines, speckling nearly 2,000 acres with white-sand bunkers and scenic water features that test the accuracy of every swing.
The two original nines, the Chester and the Vintage, shine with visually stunning vistas and elevation changes—on the Vintage course alone, 8 holes boast a rise or fall of 30 feet or more. Opened in 2008—eight years after its forebears—the Independent course puts water in play on all but 1 hole, testing golfers’ abilities to manage high-pressure shots or skip balls close to pins.
For more than 15 years, Steve Goforth's career in the golf industry has seen him take on a wide range of roles. He started playing the game at the age of 8, and soon went on to earn a letter on his high school's varsity squad. His foray into the business side of the game came in 1990, when he was hired by Hejaz Golf Course as a cart attendant and a maintenance worker. While there, Steve learned the ins and outs of the industry, witnessing the operation of a successful golf course from giving lessons and consoling trees after golfers' vicious attacks. He eventually got recruited as a custom club builder and certified fitter at Slazenger, and later managed and taught at a golf center. Today, Steve has returned to his original stomping grounds at Hejaz Golf Course as a Class A PGA Professional, and invites novices and experts alike to take part in his private lessons and group clinics.
As golfers stand over teed-up golf balls, staring down the fairway of Indian Trail Golf Course’s 370-yard 14th hole—the course signature—they may be perplexed by its ranking as the round’s most difficult hole. Though the scorecard reads “short par 4,” the hole packs a good deal of hardship into its diminutive stature. Golfers must aim for the top of the fairway hill off the tee, while steering clear of the boulder on the right side and the large pond just beyond. Players are forgiven for going the conservative route with a long iron off the tee, as opposed to risking the driver or a retrofitted t-shirt cannon. If they leave themselves a decent lie on the approach, a two-tiered green awaits just over the water, making three-putts an all-too-common occurrence.
While not every hole features boulders, uphill fairways, and the ever-present threat of boogeyman attacks, the course is characterized by the ubiquitous threat of hazards. In all, nine ponds and more than 40 bunkers haunt players along the 6,272 yards of Bermuda-covered terrain, lending an air of hostility to the otherwise pristine surroundings.
Course at a Glance: