Arbor Hills Golf Club's greens are tricky. They may look unimposing, but upon closer inspection?or after a winding lag putt that behaves bizarrely?they reveal their true nature. This is to be expected from Mr. Arthur Hamm, a disciple of the famed Donald Ross, who pioneered the "turtleback" green, named for the infuriating way golf balls seem to roll off in every direction. While golfers won't find any true turtlebacks on the course, the greens are no cake walk. They demand a sound strategy?and occasionally creative problem solving?to get the ball to stop at the right spot.
This is all, of course, assuming that golfers able to drive their golf balls through the fairway alleys delineated by lindens, birch, oaks, walnuts, and tall scotch and white pines. On approaches, the ability to keep the golf ball below the hole proves important, as mishits have the tendency to skip over the back fringe, much like a very disobedient little boy who will get a timeout later. These omnipresent challenges, coupled with the leafy scenery, have kept novices and skilled golfers coming back since the course's opening in 1925.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,513 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 70.9 from the back tees * Course slope of 129 from the back tees * Three sets of tees per hole * Scorecard
The sound of pure drives rings out over Country Town Golf's 9-hole layout, where golfers take aim at fairways and greens tucked in the shadows of trees. The gently rolling course offers a fun-and-fair challenge for golfers of all abilities. The course captures the natural beauty of Springport, and the indoor golf simulator whisks golfers away to more far-flung destinations. Using vivid 3D graphics and ball-flight projection technology, the simulator lets golfers test their mettle in rounds at world-famous courses such as Augusta National Golf Club and TPC Sawgrass.
Branson Bay Golf Course is a tale of two halves. The front nine of the 18-hole, par 72 course is built on lowland, sending golfers through gentle rolling terrain. Past the halfway mark, however, mature hardwood trees rise into sight and present a whole new set of challenges. As in a list of people's favorite life-sustaining liquids, water makes frequent appearances, coming into play on nearly half the holes. To warm up for the course's lineup of tests, players can get some swings in at on-site practice areas, including a driving range and bunker and putting zones.