Richland Golf Center summons clubbers of all stripes with its sprawling, multifaceted swing-honing facility and a staff of ace instructors. Revolving around a central pond, the nine-hole executive course helps players master their approaches with seven par 3s and two par 4s that ensure drivers won't start questioning their self-worth. Clients can groom their game in pressure-free sessions at the 40 all-grass hitting stalls of the driving range, at the 2-acre short-game area, or by enrolling in one many golf lesson options.
The center also encompasses an 18-hole mini-golf course, which eschews gimmicky clowns and windmills in favor of a calming layout with misting fountains and obstacles such as water hazards, bunkers, and out-of-bounds areas. Clients can pair renovated swings with brand-new clubs in the pro shop, which peddles gear from brands such as TaylorMade, Srixon, Cleveland, or enlist the center's experts to regrip their current clubs or replace driver shafts snapped during sand-trap pole-vaulting competitions.
The greatest difficulty at Cedar Ridge Golf Course lies at the bottom of the six water hazards, as golfers have to contend with the aquatic hazards on 11 of 18 holes. Dense forest looms on the edge of fairways on the back nine, and undulating greens challenge putters throughout the course. The relatively flat layout is approachable for novice and seasoned golfers alike, and those who remain high-and-dry for the majority of the round will be rewarded with a victory lap or golf-cart donuts back at the clubhouse.
With a meticulously maintained Bermuda grass driving range, PGA professionals on staff, and three practice greens, Madison Golf Center has fashioned itself into a prime place to learn and get better at the game of golf. The grounds crew keeps the large, 70-tee grass hitting area in pristine condition, cutting it to less than half an inch each day to accurately recreate the playing conditions of private clubs. Once players have worked the rust off of their drives and filed the rust off of their irons, they can hone their touch around the greens in a short game practice area comprised of three putting greens and a chipping and pitching green. The center’s trio of golf professionals are always on hand to help players along their path to improvement through private and group lessons customized to each player’s playing style and goals.
Nestled into the countryside around the basin of the Appalachian mountains, the Blackberry Ridge Golf Club's championship course undulates through hills, rivers, and dense forest. Despite its changes in elevation, the Club prides itself on maintaining speedy greens and a few less-than-forgiving fairways, as showcased on the signature 600-yard par 5. Though the course displays few hazards aside from the natural bodies of water and sentient trees that offer caddy tips on multiple holes, the subtle gradients of the terrain offer an entirely different set of challenges. Off the course, a driving range provides golfers with a chance to practice their skills, and the clubhouse features a snack bar with homemade barbecue sandwiches, ice cold beers, and other snacks.
Course at a Glance:
Designed by prolific course architect Gene Bates, the 18-hole, 6,734-yard Twin Bridges Golf Club course bobs and weaves around the Coosa River and its surrounding waterways, forcing golfers to avoid hazards on 11 holes. But the most challenging hole—the 554-yard 5th hole, a par 5—showcases another course challenge: bunkers. The sand traps at 5 pinch the fairway at three different places, shrinking landing zones for drives and second shots and proving that water isn’t the only cause for concern on the course. Twin Bridges also boasts a driving range with a practice bunker and an 8,000 square-foot putting green, where golfers can get a feel for the speed of the course’s bent-grass putting surfaces.
Certified as a Cooperative Sanctuary by Audubon International, Twin Bridges works to preserve its scenic setting through natural resource conservation, providing habitats for area wildlife, and building vacation homes for migratory birds.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course designed by Gene Bates
Length of 6,734 yards from the farthest tees
Course rating of 72.1 from the farthest tees
Slope rating of 132 from the farthest tees
Four tee options
Designed by legendary golfer and course designer Arnold Palmer, King's Creek Golf Club’s 18-hole, 6,807-yard course meanders through a tapestry of winding creeks and dense tree lines. Stately stone walls run along the banks of several greens, forming a natural barrier to protect the course from rogue lawnmowers. Water comes into play on the majority of the holes, complicating drives and approaches as players advance toward each contoured bent-grass green. Clubbers cruise the course astride a GPS-equipped golf cart, which provides accurate yardages to each green and provides a bird’s-eye view of upcoming hazards so players don’t have to pay off dubious waterfowl. King's Creek Golf Club fosters preround warm-ups with practice facilities that include a grass-tee driving range and a putting green.
Course at a Glance: * Designed by Arnold Palmer * 18-hole, par 70 course * Length of 6,807 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 72.9 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 128 from the farthest tees * Five sets of tees * Scorecard