Founded by three Scandinavian families in 1977, Scandia Family Fun Center flings open its doors and invites families in for afternoons of youthful fantasy. Manicured hedges and lush green mounds dot the center’s challenging miniature golf course, while go-karts rumble past on the Stockholm Raceway. The sounds of splashing and laughter not only indicate the birth of a pirate, but also a gentle collision between Baltic Sea bumper boats, accompanied by the crack of speeding baseballs and softballs at the batting cages. The center’s Scandia Screamer lifts passengers 165 feet into the air before accelerating to speeds of 65 mph, while the Swedish Scrambler opts for a more amenable 25 mph. Visitors can also exercise their opposable thumbs at a fully-stocked arcade, visit Scandia's snack bar brimming with pizza, hot dogs, and churros.
Setters' Ghost Golf Club charms iron wielders with an 18-hole semi-private course that unravels its emerald links across 6,350 yards of rolling farmlands. With four sets of tee decks, birdie hunters of all levels can comb the velvet fairways while breath-abating views of the Niagara Escarpment and Georgian Bay distract them from wayward approach shots and singing telegram caddies. Camel-coloured bunkers and pockets of pasture grass dapple the fertile splendour and swallow dimpled pills yearning for a more victorious landing. Settlers' Ghost challenges scratch players with a sinuous orientation, and its bent grass tees and magnificent vistas beckon casual shooters.
In 1965, the twists and traps of Ancil Hoffman Golf Course were born from the brain of course architect William Francis Bell. Bell's approximately 200 course designs also include the South Course at Torrey Pines, a La Jolla course that was selected to host the U.S. Open in 2008. Ancil Hoffman is replete with watery views, including lateral water hazards on holes 1 and 10. Additionally, the Merle Priddy Memorial grass driving range runs next to the American River, offering golfers a place to perfect their swings using Nike practice balls. Practice facilities also include two large putting and chipping greens.
Led by PGA director of golf instruction Eric Pollard, the instructional programming at the course is based on a teaching method Pollard designed himself after years working with California golf instructors Eddie Merrins and Carl Welty. In addition to adult lessons, Ancil Hoffman Golf Course offers camps where juniors can develop their swings and grow into kilts made of the family tartan under the watch of a professional instructor.
Course at a Glance:
In five decades as a golf-course architect, the late Robert Muir Graves put his stamp on more than 800 golf courses worldwide. His artistry is on full display at Cherry Island Golf Course, where he sculpted shapely fairways and greens into the scenic wetlands of Elverta. Throughout the course, Graves balanced holes pocked with streams and ponds with more straight-away tracks, where the only threat of water comes from the clouds and the open mouths of pelicans flying overhead. The course's hardest-rated hole, the par-4 seventh, is a titan of a hole. Though it only measures 391 yards from the tips, a pond runs from the right side of the fairway to the front of the green, imperiling golf balls on both tee shots and approaches.
Before testing their mettle on the links, golfers can get their timing down at a driving range with grass and artificial tees. The practice facility also encompasses two putting greens where golfers can get a feel for the speed of the putting surfaces without having to drive their cart onto the first green.
Course at a Glance: * Designed by Robert Muir Graves * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,494 yards from the tips * Course rating of 71.0 from the tips * Slope rating of 120 from the tips * Four tee options
The waters of Covell Creek, several ponds, and patches of tall, native grasses shape the 18-hole course at Wildhorse Golf Club—a 6,828-yard track sculpted by award winning golf course architect Jeff Brauer. The natural hazards may not be hospitable to errant golf balls, but they do sustain a thriving population of geese, swans, owls, and a cattail or two that can be used as a pitching wedge. The course features several challenging holes, including a memorable finisher. At 465 yards from the tips, the 18th hole—a par four for men and a par five for ladies—will have even long hitters struggling to reach the green in regulation. To prep swings and putting strokes, golfers can warm up at a 30,000 square-foot chipping and putting green or graze on calorie-rich grass at the 18-stall driving range.
Course at a Glance:
Castle Oaks Golf Club’s 18-hole, par 71 course carpets 6,739 yards of rolling, oak-studded California countryside. Architect Brad Benz designed the scenic layout, which runs along Sutter and Mule Creeks as it winds through the Preston farmland and cozies up to Preston Castle, a landmark that dates back to 1894. At the beginning, middle, and end, the course sets treacherous obstacles in players’ paths. The first and 10th holes—which are positioned parallel to one another—are buttressed by a quintet of ponds that make tee shots harrowing endeavors, and four ponds hug the 18th fairway to ensure each round ends with dramatic flair.
Before taking to the first tee, clubbers warm up their swings at Castle Oaks’ driving range. Indoor and outdoor dining is available six days a week at Caddy’s Restaurant and Caddy’s Bar, allowing guests to enjoy air conditioning after a particularly hot round or attempt to count each blade of grass on the course’s fairways.