At Tryon Country Club, tree-lined Bermuda-grass fairways and bent-grass greens stretch across a par 72 course surrounded by striking mountain vistas. Designed by course architect Donald Ross in the early 1920s, the nine-hole course allows golfers to play full 18-hole rounds courtesy of an additional green and varied tee placements that enable them to approach holes from different angles. A stream slashes through the middle of the course, and strategically placed bunkers capture approach shots the way strategically placed cameras catch chimney sweeps pocketing precious soot. Golfers must call ahead to reserve a tee time, ensuring that their dogleg adventures do not conflict with prescheduled tournaments or long-foretold pheasant uprisings.
Outdoor Family Fun Center nurtures the various swing-based abilities of its patrons with multiple driving, putting, and batting facilities. Customers can exchange batting-cage tokens ($1.75/each) for 15 pitches from an arm-style machine. The batting cages launch line-drive ammo at various speeds that range from slow-pitch softballs to 80-mph baseballs. Throughout the year golfers can calibrate their crosshairs with buckets of balls ($6+) on the driving range's covered and heated hitting stations or the artificial mats and grass tees. The 3-acre Bermuda grass short-game area ($8 for all-day play) includes target greens and uphill lies while enabling golfers to practice picking the locks on sand traps. The 18-hole, par 42 miniature golf course ($5 for kids younger than 12, $6 for adults) challenges putters with slopes, turns, and professionally landscaped ponds and waterfalls.
Set against the Blue Ridge Mountains, the scenic Broadmoor Golf Links is anything but a regular ole' course—it challenges players to navigate its 7,140-yard layout with creative and imaginative shots. That's because this par-72 jaunt blossomed from the mind of renowned course architect Karl Litten, recognized by the PGA as one of golf's "fab four" designers. Unlike many other architects, Litten gives each of his courses a handcrafted quality, which means that none of his creations feature the same "signature" element, such as a fog machine at every tee. Litten's dedication to uniqueness shines through at Broadmoor in the form of bumperless greens and a hole arrangement that allows players to finish rounds in about four hours.
When players have made their way through this Litten-designed masterpiece, they can head over to the clubhouse to enjoy a meal or drink at the grill room, bar, or spacious dining area.
Ashville's Fun Depot brings together a multitude of giddy, rambunctious pastimes for competitors of all ages. Laser tag pits noble light-warriors in battle across two stories covering 1,200 square feet, as they weave and dodge around rubberized pillars in a ritualized war dance guaranteed to trip opponents ($7). Colorful, low-slung, single- and double-seater go-karts zip along a quarter-mile outdoor track ($8), while weather-immune karts race for the finish indoors ($7). Three indoor batting cages lob pitches at four speeds and adjustable heights ($1 for 15 throws), and an 18-hole indoor mini-golf course, festooned with verdant murals and a burbling waterfall, separates the birdies from the eagles ($4 for adults, $2.50 for children 10 and under). Knee-high ruffians can ricochet into a padded play area ($3 all day), with neon tunnels, slides, and a bounce area that allows them to perform calibrated experiments on relative gravitational rates.
The Cork & Cleaver, the most popular restaurant in Waynesville according to TripAdvisor, serves luscious food with exceptional service. Starters on the menu include upscale favorites such as oysters rockefeller, baked with spinach and mornay asiago sauce ($8). Skim over soups and salads to land on the meaty terrain of the 20-ounce Braveheart black Angus porterhouse steak, including the tender filet and the hearty loin ($26). The Cork & Cleaver also offers natural meats, ranched sustainably and without a trace of hormones or antibiotics. All steaks are served with pillowy mounds of roasted-garlic mashed potatoes, a loaded baked potato, or the vegetable of the day.
Stepping onto Reems Creek Golf Course, you may get the feeling you've been transported to the Scottish Highlands. Course architects Hawtree & Sons designed the layout to suggest that region's rolling topography, its sense of quiet solitude, and its roving bands of Brigadoon extras. Undulating hills seem to shift under the shadows of trees swaying in the wind, and dense forest in the foreground gives way to majestic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The 18-hole, 6,492-yard course tests players' mettle with a number of challenges. The long, slightly curved drive of hole 3 seems an open shot, but a guarding sand bunker punishes ill-aimed drives for the green. Hole 16 ups the ante with a pond and two sand bunkers directly in front of the cup.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,492 yards from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole * Scorecard