A signature Gene Bates–designed course, Saddle Creek Golf Club's 18-hole layout alternates between dense woodlands and open fields, all brought together by a winding, stone-lined creek that babbles across multiple holes. Encroaching trees, lakes, and angry linebackers loom throughout the front nine, where accurate tee shots must bisect unforgiving fairways. The course's second act takes golfers out of dense tree lines and into an open, links-style layout, where players must conquer deep bunkers, intervening waterways, and unfavorable lies wrought by mounded, Scottish-style terrain. Rounds end with dramatic flair at the 18th hole, where a two-tiered green tests how well players have adjusted to the slick, bentgrass putting surfaces and triangular holes that dot the entire course.
The club's Nineteenth Hole overlooks the emerald expanse, allowing golfers to relive glorious moments over frothy beverages, savory meals from the grill, or mouthwatering sports broadcasts by Brent Musburger on the diner's dual big-screen TVs and LCD projector.
Course at a Glance:
* Designed by Gene Bates
In the deep, dark heart of Chapel Hill Haunted Woods, a specter searches for the head he lost many years ago. This unnamed and hatless figure commands a phalanx of frightful creatures, all of whom await to spook daring visitors every Saturday in October. A chorus of screams emitted from the treetops assures guests they've arrived at the right spot. Once on the path, they'll have to navigate the terrifying trails if they hope to make it out alive, calling upon every ounce of bravery as they snake past a pit of snakes and cross a slender wooden bridge that conceals unspeakable horrors. All proceeds from the frightful enterprise benefit the Young Farmers and Ranchers program, which funds scholarships and targets childhood hunger in the area.
The expert staff at Phoenix Paintball Division oversees multiple fields sprawling across 30 acres of paintball action. A woods field cloaks artistic assassins with trees and bunkers, and a tire-and-hay field conceals teams as they rally together toward victory. As in marital disputes between pro athletes, trained referees strictly enforce all rules, making safety the top priority at Phoenix. The pro shop rents and sells all necessary equipment, accessories, and apparel, as well as food and drinks to keep players fueled during friendly outings, group events, or special occasions, such as birthday parties.
At Trim-A-Tree Farms, patrons choose their Christmas tree from a plot of still-planted leyland pine trees and chop it down themselves or have an able-bodied staff member cut, net, and load their catch. Guests stroll through rows of lush green trees ($7.50/ft.) in search of the right plant to fill lonely living-room corners as the aroma of pine needles induces memories of a past infatuation with an air freshener. Between passes through the farm, warm up with steaming mugs of hot chocolate or melt fingers over a bonfire's licking flames as little ones trot through fields atop Star, Trim-A-Tree's trusty chestnut pony, during complimentary pony rides. Though additional items are not included in this Groupon, ornaments from the gift shop revamp trees, and adventurous souls can indulge in free temporary tattoos that take the shape of holiday icons or Scrooge's evening gruel.
Designed by legendary golfer and course designer Arnold Palmer, King's Creek Golf Club’s 18-hole, 6,807-yard course meanders through a tapestry of winding creeks and dense tree lines. Stately stone walls run along the banks of several greens, forming a natural barrier to protect the course from rogue lawnmowers. Water comes into play on the majority of the holes, complicating drives and approaches as players advance toward each contoured bent-grass green. Clubbers cruise the course astride a GPS-equipped golf cart, which provides accurate yardages to each green and provides a bird’s-eye view of upcoming hazards so players don’t have to pay off dubious waterfowl. King's Creek Golf Club fosters preround warm-ups with practice facilities that include a grass-tee driving range and a putting green.
Course at a Glance: