Carmel Mountain Ranch Country Club fuels club-wielding adventures with a secluded 18-hole championship course backdropped by sweeping mountain and valley views. Natural running streams and boulder formations wind along the 6,400 yards of conditioned fairways and varied terrain, allowing golfers to connect with nature while circumnavigating man-made pot bunkers and ninth-hole sphinx riddles. From an aerial perspective, the course layout resembles a figure-8 devoid of parallel holes, enhancing privacy midround. During 60-minute group-lesson clinics, a golf professional will lead you and up to nine other range-stationed players through proper techniques for putting, driving, chipping, and communicating with forecaddies via semaphore.
A plethora of water hazards designed by course architect Walter Denzer challenges golfers as they swing through Stone Gate Golf Course's 18 holes. Denzer crafted the front nine to form a regulation par 36 course, and made the back nine into an executive par 3 course. Across both nines, he peppered a glut of ponds to test players’ aptitude at launching dimpled orbs safely over the rippling water. Denzer outfitted hole three's fairway with a trio of sand traps and mammoth Venus flytraps, and designed holes two and eight as par 5s to up the challenge. The back nine is equipped with lights so games can continue until midnight on warm nights.
Lights also illuminate the driving range, where golfers hone their form at 22 hitting stations. The practice area’s new target greens challenge short and long irons or ball-launching crossbows. For additional game improvement, swingers of all levels can join golf professional Jimmy Saenz—NPGIA’s 2011 Teacher of the Year, a featured guest on KFYO 790 AM, and an instructor with more than 16 years of teaching experience—for personalized lessons. To prepare for their day on the course, guests can drop into the recently renovated clubhouse to consult a club fitter or order equipment from Titleist and Pinnacle. And, after swinging in the sun, players can unwind by sipping a beer at the Stone Gate Grill.
Chaparral Ridge Golf Center's nine-hole golf course takes clubbers careening across an emerald landscape of fairways carved into the Texas countryside. When looped twice over, the course becomes a par 72 that measures 6,940 yards and rattles irons with nearly constant déjà vu. Rounds begin at the par 5, 525-yard first hole, where long hitters must measure their desire to reach the green in two against the risk of pushing or pulling the ball into a vast waterway that runs along the right side. Similar strategic decisions await at the par 3 ninth hole, where a bashful green hides behind a bunker, beside a small pond, and underneath a lifetime of trust issues. A somewhat lengthy layout when played from the tips, the course welcomes duffers of all abilities with four tee options.
Pitch black except for fluorescent, zig-zagging putting greens, Lights Off Golf's glow-in-the-dark facility invites families and friends to test their putting acumen in 18- or 36-hole contests. Guests can also opt for a day pass to thoroughly test Newtonian physics against the difficult angles and elevation changes of the course. Lights Off Golf's party area can also host birthday parties and the wandering crowds of clubgoers drawn like moths to neon lights.
With an array of equipment and apparel, Golf Headquarters of Amarillo outfits men, women, and wee ones for the triumphant launching of projectile orbs. Increase confidence for tee offs on the green with a set of clubs from top brands, including Callaway, Titleist, and Taylor Made. A dozen Nike golf balls ($15.99–$44.99) can be sent sailing with a driver ($99.99+) or a wedge ($29.99+), and children who have outgrown the mini-golf course can try their hand at mature club twirling with a lightweight junior club by US Kids ($24.99–$39.99). Protect hands from feisty blades of grass or demanding, mid-tournament crossword puzzles with a pair of golf gloves ($9.99+), and keep feet suited up with Adidas Golflite men’s shoes ($59.99). The RJ Sports junior stand bag weighs only 3.2 pounds and boasts a dual-strap carry system, providing a comfortable way to haul clubs and emotional baggage from a runaway golf cart ($39.99).