A pirate ship casts its shadow over the green corridors of Pirates? Cove mini golf course, setting the scene for golfers to enjoy a round of swashbuckling putt-putt. The 18-hole promenade also winds past geysers, waterfalls, and trickling streams.
The first 18-hole course ever designed by legendary architect Pete Dye, Maple Creek Golf and Country Club's challenging course layout unfurls across 6,633 yards of tree-lined, water-kissed topography. The club's driving range is an expansive tract that absorbs players' practice shots as they prepare for the fast-starting course where the second hole is the most difficult and most willing to throw a tantrum. Babbling streams and rippling ponds add to the scenery of the pristine par 72 course, threatening the life force of ill-struck orbs on as many as 11 holes. Class-A PGA pro Jim Grossi roams the verdant valley, shoring up swings in lessons, on a never-ending mission to appease his golf mentor, who was half golf cart.
Glowing, neon creatures cast a ghastly glow on the 18-hole miniature golf course as guests putt through the darkened corridors that comprise one half of the Bat Cave. The aptly named course snakes through caverns teeming with ghoulish creatures that distract putters as they attempt to measure the slope of the green or ask for advice from the spirit of the pterodactyl skeleton hanging over their head. More fast-paced recreation awaits in the other wing of the Bat Cave?a batting cage where guests blast homers off pitches slung at speeds of 35 to 85 m.p.h.
The Bat Cave shares space with the RollerCave, a rink where guests glide on rollerskates under dancing lights. The open arena also encompasses an arcade with a pool table, skee-ball, and other classic games.
The narrow fairways of Thatcher Golf Course wind through dense forest that looms threateningly and forces players to exhibit control. Its nine holes are spread over a short and relatively flat layout. Water and sand hazards lie ready to swallow wayward golf balls on four holes, and mature oak trees guard three others, thwarting approaches with outstretched boughs. Should golfers want to threaten the course par of 35, they must rely on their accuracy, as opposed to distance or guardian golfmothers.
At Morningstar Golf Club, lacing a drive down the fairway is no easy feat?and neither is finding the green in regulation. Narrow fairways and small, undulating greens define this deceptively difficult course, which further complicates passage by peppering sand traps and waterways into the 18-hole layout. The course nestles in the shadow of a clubhouse that was renovated from a 19th-century barn and still boasts the original beams.
MAN Golf Management’s facilities give players myriad ways to curb their golf cravings. Coffin Golf Club and Riverside Golf Course invite guests to play through more than 6,200 yards of golf apiece, with three to four tees per hole and prevailing winds that can send shots sailing into sand bunkers or water hazards. Meanwhile, the Riverside Golf Academy lets players practice on 16 covered hitting stalls, 18 outdoor hitting mats, two grass chipping practice greens, and one indoor putting green. There, instructors also host private lessons to help golfers sharpen their swings without replacing their drivers with lumberjack axes.