Led by Golf Range’s Top 50 Golf Instructor Ralph Landrum, World of Golf’s staff of game-improvement gurus help players lower their golf scores with an array of golf-related activities. Private lessons conducted inside a climate-controlled swing room allow students to launch golf balls out onto the range while four cameras capture bad habits such as flat takeaways or saying “um” too much during their follow-through. Afterward, players can use their instructor’s pointers to build muscle memory on the rest of the complex’s practice facilities, which include an outdoor range with 24 mat tees and two sets of grass tees, indoor hitting nets with eight stalls, and an indoor putting and chipping green.
As soon as golfers feel they’ve practiced enough, they put their newfound knowledge to the test on the executive 18-hole golf course, with 14 par 3s and four par 4s, or the miniature golf course. When weather renders either course unplayable, thwackers move indoors to the golf simulator, which recreates the look and feel of more than 50 courses or a hodgepodge of 18 famous holes but without the extremely long between-hole travel times. World of Golf keeps a busy schedule of lessons, classes, and leagues, all of which can be found on the calendar.
Golf Exchange's swing analysts help players lower handicaps by diagnosing mechanical inefficiencies and custom-fitting their equipment. Using state-of-the-art TrackMan technology, club fitters spend 45–60 minutes matching patrons with compatible clubs based on shaft type, grip type, and opinions regarding 1950s bebop. After obtaining new iron oars, the TrackMan system studies clubs in the act of swinging, identifying problematic approaches and fine-tuning club speed. Armed with heightened ball-whacking wisdom, golfers can use $75 toward the purchase of irons and $75 toward the purchase of drivers, allowing for precision swings through Ohio's snowcapped mountain ranges.
Co-owner and PGA player Doug Martin and his fellow golf experts dedicate The Golf Range to the cause of perfect putts and smooth swings. An 8,000-square-foot putting green and short-game area doles out new golf balls for patrons to practice, minimizing misplaced shots and paychecks lost to preteen mini-golf sharks. The indoor putting green guards clubs from the elements, and players sharpen their skills beneath the all-seasons shelter of 37 heated and covered bays. Brush up with The Golf Range's online golf tips before taking to the tee.
Meadowood Golf Course has an unusual quirk: its lone par 5, No. 8, is not its longest hole. That distinction belongs to the par 4 No. 5, which, at 455 yards, is some 40 yards longer than No. 8 from the back tees. Unsurprisingly, this hole is also the hardest on the 9-hole track. Not one of the other par 4s even reaches 400 yards, and No. 9 is a featherweight 260 so long drivers can take a crack at reaching the final green in a single stroke. Taken altogether, the par 35 course is a relatively short and forgiving spot for beginners to learn to play the game, with one lengthy par 4 that permits them some bragging rights or even the chance to take home a divot to place on the mantelpiece.
Colonial Pines Golf Club’s 18-hole course blankets 127 acres of tranquil Ohio Valley farmland for 5,966 yards of rolling hills and imposing hardwoods. Golfers traverse the par 70 layout on the backs of motorized carts or caddies hoping to improve their piggyback-ride form, steering balls away from a menagerie of hazards, including mounds topped with swaying heathers, woodsy thickets, and six lakes spanning 11 acres. The first tee shot aptly foreshadows a round in which avoiding water hazards and ingratiating oneself to ball-stealing fish will be critical, as drives must cross a pond that runs from the tee box to the beginning of the fairway.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 70 course * Length of 5,966 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 68.3 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 117 from the farthest tees * Three tee options * Link to scorecard
Elevation changes. Not only do they challenge players at Hickory Sticks Golf Club with constantly changing terrain, but they also afford spectacular views of the Kentucky Hills. The rippling landscape stretches across a 6,148-yard course?much of which consists of Hickory Sticks' marathon first and last holes, which measure 533 and 496 yards, respectively.
Course at a Glance * 18-hole, par 71 course * Total length of 6,148 yards * Course rating of 69.1 from the back tees * Course rating of 131 from the back tees * Four tees per hole * See the scorecard