What is known today as Rolling Hills debuted in the spring of 1965 as Country Fairways, a nine-hole golf course carved out of a 40-acre parcel of pastureland on Droste?s farm in rural northwest Madison County. Back in the day, patrons were spared any hint of ceremony as they laid down modest greens fee on the counter of an unassuming starter ?shack? that was fashioned from the bed of a long retired grain truck.
Today, Rolling Hills Golf Course still supports the modest ideals of a bygone era with an emphasis on course maintenance and approachable design. The 5,765-yard layout features water that comes into play on at least seven holes, but the course makes it playable for all skill levels with open fairways, sparse tree lines, and large greens. After a round of sinking birdies or snapping fairway irons in half, players can relax with a snack or drink at the bar and grill inside the clubhouse.
Carved through the heavily wooded bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, Lockhaven Golf Club's 18-hole layout takes golfers into an undulating circuit of tree-lined corridors. The par 72 course spans 6,880 yards from the tips, presenting a formidable challenge as the arboreal obstacles compound the length and fast, bentgrass greens pose an equal test to short game skills. Golfers can prepare for their round at the on-site driving range and practice green.
An Olympic-sized swimming pool fosters warm-weather fun with lanes for swimming laps and a walk-in kid pool for younger swimmers. After a day of recreation, guests can unwind at the bar and grill or enjoy a gourmet meal in the formal dining room that overlooks the golf course.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,880 yards from the tips * Course rating of 72.0 from the tips * Sloep rating of 129 from the tips
The Great Godfrey Maze brings a bit of a seasonal joy to the village of Godfrey, itself situated at the maze-like intersection of the Mississippi, Illinois, and Missouri rivers. Each year, the corn maze features a different theme that determines the layout of the passageways and the design of the cow train. The 2014 theme celebrates the Harry Potter book and film series. From above, the corn maze looks like the mystical Hogwarts' towers. The cow train, meanwhile, is rechristened the Hogwarts Express, and the hay wagon ride serves as the festival's very own Night Bus. There's even a zip line, giving guests the chance to experience a little of what it must feel like to ride a flying broom or rocket towards superstardom after publishing your first novel.
The golf carts at The Woodlands Golf Club take players on a grassy roller-coaster ride over frequent changes in elevation and down fairways brimming with challenging lies at every turn. Play intertwines perilously with a winding creek at many points, with a scant three holes, like a cautious wicked witch, managing to avoid water altogether. All 18 holes launch players down zoysia grass fairways from one of four tees, challenging each club in the bag en route to greens that hold approaches and roll true. On the last hole, the newly refurbished clubhouse provides a scenic backdrop for the homestretch.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course
Total length of 6,418 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 70.6 from the back tees
Course slope of 123 from the back tees
Four sets of tees per hole
Mixing the outdoor ruggedness of paintball with the pain-free shooting of laser tag, Mission Ready Outdoor Laser Tag drops combatants of all ages into a fun-filled, bruise-free arena. Hay bales and obstacles dot the outdoor course, offering shooters a decent vantage point from which to unload volleys of laser beams in efforts to win the field. The coursemasters can accommodate large parties for special occasions or bring all of the required gear inside for private indoor sessions that forge friendships easier than legislation mandating daily compliments.